[OSGeo-Discuss] [rasdaman-dev] Re: [Incubator] Rasdaman and OSGeo Incubation: Proposed way forward

Bruce Bannerman bruce.bannerman.osgeo at gmail.com
Tue May 10 15:14:56 PDT 2016

Hello Alex and Mattijn,

Thank you for your reply. I appreciate your thoughts on this.

I see your names popping up often in my email as you help people on the
Users and Developers lists. So it is good to see your comments.

As I read through your email, I realised that I need to clarify a few
concepts from my viewpoint, particularly as it relates to a PSC.

When I think of an open source community, I think of:

   - A community of people (Developers, Testers, Domain Specialists, Users,
   Technical Writers, Marketers, Managers etc) who are interested in working
   together and collaborating on the development of a specific functionality.
   We are not just talking about developers.

   - All people within the community should be free to contribute effort to
   develop the functionality as they are able to.

   - The community should be open, to allow those with merit and skill to
   rise to decision making and/or leadership roles within the community.
   Ideally the community will use the concept of 'meritocracy' to facilitate
   this. That is, the more good work that a person does, then the more that
   they are able to do.

   - Therefore, anyone, from any background, should be able to aspire for a
   leadership role within the community, including controlling the integrity
   of the project's source code as a 'Committer', through to working on the
   PSC to guide the community and its future directions.

   - While the community member may aspire towards this goal, it will be up
   to their own efforts, knowledge and ability to demonstrate that are fit for
   such a role.

   - The Project's Governance Framework should be structured to support and
   facilitate this openness, and to provide a structure and process to allow
   those with merit to lead.

This way, we can grow the community and bring in new volunteers, sponsors
and perhaps funding. Ideally, we'll get the community to a stage where it
is self-sustaining and can survive the loss of key people and sponsors.

This is what we are trying to achieve via OSGeo Incubation.

We are nearly there with the Rasdaman Community.

However, we don't have the key part, the enabling Project Governance
Framework right yet.
The project has achieved what it has through the dedication and hard work
of community members, and facilitated by Peter Baumann's leadership.

We are not trying to change the leadership of the Rasdaman.

What we are trying to do, is to ensure that Rasdaman's Governance Framework
is open to allow those deserving, to rise to leadership and decision making
roles through merit.

For practical purposes, as you have suggested Alex, I expect that this will
lead to little difference in the current day to day running of the Rasdaman

But it will have a significant impact on the Project's future viability and
its ability to attract new volunteers and contributions!

We all want Rasdaman to succeed and to live up to, and ideally surpass, the
potential that it is showing.

My challenge to the Rasdaman Community is to speak up on this issue. Do you
want a project that values and facilitates meritocracy?

Bruce Bannerman
OSGeo Mentor for Rasdaman

> *From:* rasdaman-dev at googlegroups.com <rasdaman-dev at googlegroups.com> on
> behalf of Alex Mircea Dumitru <m.dumitru at jacobs-university.de>
> *Sent:* Tuesday, 10 May 2016 9:25 PM
> *To:* rasdaman-dev
> *Cc:* rasdaman-users at googlegroups.com; Incubator at lists.osgeo.org;
> discuss at lists.osgeo.org
> *Subject:* Re: [rasdaman-dev] Re: [Incubator] Rasdaman and OSGeo
> Incubation: Proposed way forward
> Dear Bruce,
> First of all, I would like to thank you for your continued commitment to
> the incubation process and the guidance that you have provided that in the
> end has lead to better developer practices in our small community of
> contributors. Automated testing, better documentation and many other of our
> development features would have probably came a lot later if not for your
> contributions.
> I understand the position of OSGeo and its desire to standardize community
> practices for the projects it endorses. But as software developers we know
> all too well that there's no one-fit for solution for all our problems.
> Rasdaman has a small core team (alongside temporary contributors) that
> works round the clock to provide users of our database a fully functional
> raster database. Not a research prototype and certainly not some simple
> software with a highly specific target. We provide an open-source database
> capable of storing terabytes of data in an area filled only by commercial
> companies with thousands of developers and many more in support teams
> (Testing, QA, Research etc).
> Even in these conditions, we do our best to provide the utmost support to
> our users, be it questions on usage, specific use cases or feature and bug
> requests. I've rarely seen a question on this mailing list waiting for more
> than a couple of hours for an answer, a feat that even commercial products
> do not offer. We have no incentives to do this, other than the good feeling
> that you get knowing that someone else finds your work useful.
> In this context, please understand that we are only able to do all this
> with such a small developer team by streamlining our decisions and moving
> fast from the design phase towards development and testing. If the process
> gets hindered we do not stand a chance to compete with all the commercial
> large players and our field would become just another one dominated by
> closed-source proprietary software. I believe the OSGeo community values
> open-source software and competition in commercial markets more than
> tedious procedures and committees that we find more frequently in closed
> corporations.
> And the worst thing is that even with such a steering committee (which
> would obviously be dominated by the people that we have now and would be
> the equivalent of the "benevolent dictator" approach) we would just be
> lying to our users and future contributors instead of being transparent to
> them and making sure that they understand how rasdaman is steered and
> giving them the chance to evaluate themselves if they want to contribute or
> use our software. I for one prefer explicit and sincere information as
> opposed to smoky curtains. From my wonderful meetings with OSGeo members I
> believe they share my feeling. With this in mind I hope we can be more
> flexible and reach an agreement that helps us all continue our valuable
> work.
> Hope this helps bring some light from a developer's perspective. Once
> again thank you for all the support so far and I hope we can be more
> productive together in OSGeo than on separate paths.
> Thanks,
> Alex Dumitru
> On Sun, May 8, 2016 at 11:27 PM, Bruce Bannerman <
> bruce.bannerman.osgeo at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Dear Rasdaman Community members,
>> As per below, I proposed a 3 month period of time for the Rasdaman
>> Community to reflect on the OSGeo Incubation discussion over the last two
>> weeks and to decide how the Rasdaman Community wishes to proceed (or not)
>> with OSGeo Incubation.
>> Peter Bauman has responded on your behalf that this time for reflection
>> is not wanted. He would like OSGeo to make the decision now.
>> I will allow a three day period for comments from the Rasdaman Community
>> before taking further action.
>> I would like to hear the view of Rasdaman Community members on this, so
>> please respond. An email response to the Rasdaman Users list is all that is
>> required.
>> Bruce Bannerman
>> OSGeo Mentor for the Rasdaman Project
>> On 8 May 2016, at 21:02, Peter Baumann <p.baumann at jacobs-university.de>
>> wrote:
>> Allow me to respectfully disagree.
>> rasdaman is leading technology due to rigorous science and excellent
>> engineering. This is what rasdaman users enjoy and what rasdaman developers
>> are proud of. Independent research shows that rasdaman is much faster than
>> Apache SPARK and other related technology. Today, rasdaman databases exceed
>> 100 TB in size in operational setups by leading data centers, and we are
>> going Petabyte now.
>> Still, OSGeo wants us to replace this "design by innovation" by a "design
>> by committee" approach governed by a "dictatorship of voting". (Note that
>> the term "dictatorship" is not brought up by me, but the provocative term
>> has been used on us first by OSGeo in an intense discussion preceding this
>> mail).
>> Disclaimer: TL;DR:
>> Don't get me wrong, the team and myself will always listen to input, and
>> will discuss it openly. Decision will be solely based on technical merits,
>> and nothing else. In particular: no majority vote. Yes, this obviously
>> requires decent hardcore Computer Science skills, and these do not come by
>> vote. Feel invited to join the party under these conditions, and you will
>> find that we value genius over committees.
>> To add more background, rasdaman is now entering its seventh year of
>> incubation (for comparison: OSGeo has celebrated its 10th anniversary).
>> This gives a hint that OSGeo's own governance might be worth
>> reinvestigating. BTW, OSGeo has not passed its own incubation rules and
>> thinks this is not necessary.
>> The rasdaman team has been working hard to accommodate OSGeo requests,
>> some of which indeed are useful for software quality, undeniably. However,
>> we cannot afford any longer to get distracted from innovating rasdaman
>> further, so there are no resources for waiting a couple of months and then
>> going the next iteration, like the last 6 years.
>> A brief summary of this history can be found here (annually updated in
>> some spare late-night moments): http://rasdaman.org/wiki/OSGeo .
>> Your annual OSGeo sprints are much acknowledged, Bruce, but we all seem
>> to agree that this story needs to converge, in one or the other way: either
>> to fundamentalistically focus on one specific niche setup, or to broaden
>> its perspective and accept that the world has many colors... is Linux
>> committee-driven? Drupal? Django? Ruby? Even NASA has tried to explain
>> OSGeo that their approach does not always fly.
>> OSGeo has had ample time to come to conclusions, it knows what rasdaman
>> is and how it works. Let us see whether (and when) OSGeo is able to decide.
>> Therefore, we will patiently await OSGeo's verdict, accepting whatever its
>> decision may be.
>> Hope that clarifies,
>> Peter
>> On 05/06/2016 02:43 AM, Bruce Bannerman wrote:
>> Dear Radaman Community and the OSGeo Incubation Committee,
>> I propose that we suspend a decision on the way forward with Rasdaman
>> Incubation for a period of three months.
>> This will provide time:
>>    - for all to reflect on incubation discussions events over the last
>>    two weeks; and
>>    - for the Rasdaman Community to discuss and decide on the way forward
>>    that they wish to take.
>> Should the Rasdaman Community wish to continue with OSGeo Incubation,
>> then I will be happy to continue as OSGeo Mentor for a short period of time
>> to work through the Project Governance approach with you. I will also be
>> prepared to stand aside, should you prefer an alternate mentor.
>> Should the Rasdaman Community decide that it does not wish to continue
>> with OSGeo Incubation, I am sure that you will be encouraged to continue
>> your association with OSGeo as an "OSGeo Community Project" [1]. You will
>> be able to do this using your current Governance Process.
>> We have come a long way over the last six years. I'm impressed by how
>> well the Rasdaman Community has developed and by the processes and the
>> functionality of the software developed. Rasdaman has great potential in
>> the future.
>> It is a credit to you all.
>> Bruce Bannerman
>> OSGeo Mentor to Rasdaman
>> [1] https://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/OSGeo_Community_Projects
>> _______________________________________________
>> Incubator mailing listIncubator at lists.osgeo.orghttp://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/incubator
>> --
>> Dr. Peter Baumann
>>  - Professor of Computer Science, Jacobs University Bremen
>>    www.faculty.jacobs-university.de/pbaumann
>>    mail: p.baumann at jacobs-university.de
>>    tel: +49-421-200-3178, fax: +49-421-200-493178
>>  - Executive Director, rasdaman GmbH Bremen (HRB 26793)
>>    www.rasdaman.com, mail: baumann at rasdaman.com
>>    tel: 0800-rasdaman, fax: 0800-rasdafax, mobile: +49-173-5837882
>> "Si forte in alienas manus oberraverit hec peregrina epistola incertis ventis dimissa, sed Deo commendata, precamur ut ei reddatur cui soli destinata, nec preripiat quisquam non sibi parata." (mail disclaimer, AD 1083)
>> --
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> --
> Mircea Alexandru Dumitru
> Researcher LSIS Group
> Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH
> Campus Ring 1 | 28759 Bremen | Germany
> Phone: +49 421 200 3193 | Fax +49 421 200 3193
> m.dumitru at jacobs-university.de
> <v.name at jacobs-university.de>http://www.jacobs-university.de
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