[OSGeo-Discuss] [Incubator] Should OSGeo accept "benevolent dictator" projects into OSGeo?

Johan Van de Wauw johan.vandewauw at gmail.com
Wed May 11 02:18:19 PDT 2016

On Wed, May 11, 2016 at 10:56 AM, Peter Baumann
<p.baumann at jacobs-university.de> wrote:
> Hi Jonathan,
> while OSGeo and rasdaman share the strive for quality we come from different
> approaches: OSGeo believes in the power of committees and strong regulation
> whereas rasdaman has a culture of unbureaucratic, technocracy based
> collaboration. In other words: good ideas are always welcome - we live this
> daily, based on humanistic ideals, not on law enforcement.

I disagree with this conclusion. Both allowunbureaucratic and
technocracy based collaboration, as proven in many projects such as
QGis, OSGeo live, ...

It is only when a large part of the PSC has a different opinion then
the benevolent dictator that a difference between both arise.
If such occasions arise the project definitely has a problem, and I
don't think having one person deciding the way forward as the default
option is a good one.

I should add that the benevolent dictator style is not always
succesful, also in important projects. See eg glibc [1]. I do think it
can be succesful if the "BDFL" shows leadership and I think it is a
good model to avoid some bikeshedding. But in every sucessful BFDL
open source project you see that there is in fact a larger group of
people involved (similar to a PSC), and I don't know any examples
where the BDFL chose a direction which was opposite of this groups
opinion and where this worked out well.

Kind Regards,
[1] eg https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_C_Library#Debian_switches_to_EGLIBC_and_back
"In March 2012, the steering committee voted to disband itself and
remove Drepper in favor of a community-driven development process"

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