[OSGeo-Discuss] Incubation, osgeo-EU and FOSS4G

Massimiliano Cannata massimiliano.cannata at supsi.ch
Wed May 11 01:41:55 PDT 2016

Sorry for cross-posting but these recent topics (which took place on
different lists) took myself to reflect about our foundation.

Summary of the long mail below (for those who don't have time go trough :-D


DISCUSSION: only a small number of people take part to the discussions, why?

INCUBATION: we care about high quality, long term sustainable and reliable
solutions, who cares of governance models?

BUSINESS AND OSGEO(EU): we are a foundation of people not of companies, we
don't have to do business!

FOSS4G CONFERENCES: fees are a barrier, we are building exclusive events
rather then being inclusive, who care about revenue!

More explanation of my thoughts (for those who have time to spend and go
deeper :-o )


I'm an environmental engineer and thus far from being a rigorous
informatics or an economist or a social science expert. Nevertheless in
these last 20 years (from Bangkok to Seoul without missing a single one) I
had the opportunity to met those words, make some experience and learn a
That's to say that i do not have the truth in my pockets and I'm open to
change my view.

First a small consideration, those topics are discussed by a small number
of people with respect of the total members of our community. It means that
A) the arguments are not of high interest B) silent people are shy and do
not feel to be in the position to add value to the conversation C) people
think it is a waste of time.
This is often happening and my impression is that people just don't care to
much of these 'political' issues but only of technical matters.

My understanding is that OSGeo trough the incubation process aims at
guarantee high quality, long term sustainable and reliable solutions to
show that FOSS Geospatial technology is valuable and credible. In this view
the governance model adopted (PSC, dictator or whatever) is of secondary
importance to me as long as the software respond to the above mentioned
requisites. I personally prefer clear process rather then open-in-words but
fake-in-fact rules.

OSGeo is an organisation of people. Not of sectors or groups or parties. Of
course people belong to categories and this tend to influence the way they
see the world. For this reason people tend to contribute to the community
for their competence and interest within committees or working groups. It
is not the mandate of OSGeo making lobbies or acquire mandates. To
me OSGeo should get together great projects and people to offer the world
the possibility of advance and improve the life of people. I know It is a
bit exaggerated but when i think of open source i see it as a mean of
equity: like making  accessible food and sanitation and drinking water and
medicine to everyone in the world. Making tools for a better governance
available to all.
OSGeo is about mutually sharing experiences, ideas, solutions not building
business. For this LocationTech which is a community of companies /
entities I understood is more suited.
So my vision is OSGeo focused on people not on companies or groups.
Splitting the community is not an advancement but a loss of value.

This is the momentum. Here i have always get inspiration from listening
talks, discussing with people, talking with friends. It used to be a very
inclusive event: the peak of the FOSS4G iceberg. I'm saying "it use to be"
because prices are year by year growing so much that today they represent a
barrier. I would have liked to came with 5 people from my group but this is
simply not economically sustainable: as a result the younger will lose this
opportunity to join the community and breath the breeze of Open innovation.
If i compare FOSS4G prices (rate per day) with other comparable events they
are higher. I personally don't need fancy locations and I am more
interested in involving more people rather then having high revenue for the
foundation. I want to meet students, people from low income countries,
small companies, start-up. Let's find a way to be Open..

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