[OSGeo-Discuss] Does rasdaman CE solve an open source geospatial problem?

Andrea Aime andrea.aime at geo-solutions.it
Sat May 21 05:36:28 PDT 2016

On Sat, May 21, 2016 at 2:06 PM, Cameron Shorter <cameron.shorter at gmail.com>

> I'd be interested to hear opinions of others in the field as to whether
> Rasdaman community version is of value for real-world production systems by
> itself.

I guess that would depend on the needs of the production system itself, and
I'm not sure the OSGeo inclusion should be
based on how capable the software is... in short, I'd stay away from this

However I believe this discussion raise an important point, it does not
make sense to talk about Rasdaman without qualification,
it makes sense to talk about Rasdaman CE and Rasdaman Enterprise, any
discussion about the abilities of the software,
benchmarks and the like, should be properly qualified by the version of it.

I agree OSGeo should be mostly concerned about the CE version, and how open
it actually is.
Like, if someone develops an extension to it that mimics some of the
enterprise functionality, will it be welcomed in the project?
That is the most important aspect, the "open core" model has a clear
tendency to keep the core version limited to
show better value in the paid for version, but the community around the
core version should not be pressured to stay away
from improvements that would hurt the money making brother of it.

While we are on the topic, there are also gray areas in which this model
tends to fall into, which can ruffle some feathers as well.
Say someone develops an improvement for the core version that is
competitive, to some level, with some functionality of the enterprise
and the company decides to "donate" the equivalent code because it's better
developed, better tested, faster, more scalable
and so on.
This tends to hurt feelings on both sides, the community developer may feel
walked over, his/her code dumped in the thrash,
the company may feel like it's been held hostage of some ransom, by having
to donate its superior code over the
lower quality one offered by the community (of course, it could be the case
that the community offers something better,
but if that point is reached, the death bell is probably starting to sing
for the open core approach).

To some extend that's unavoidable I'm afraid, but I believe that OSGeo
should at least be concerned that the
community version is treated like a full open source project and everybody
feels empowered to pitch into it according
to their needs and abilities.

Then there is another topic of discussion, which is whether OSGeo agrees
with a dual licensing model to start with,
given the obvious tension that it generates between a open community and
the company benefiting from it.
Peter cites the need to make a honest living doing open source, and the
open core module as a way to reach that objective.
As a long time open source developer involved in single licence software I
never felt like I was underpaid or
mistreated, even when I have clear vision of companies making money off
work that sometimes I did over holidays...
I simply knew what I was getting myself into, and what the consequences of
an open license are.
That said, I do appreciate that people want to get an honest living and
work in open source at the same time, it's
simply too good of an opportunity to miss.


GeoServer Professional Services from the experts! Visit
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Ing. Andrea Aime
Technical Lead

GeoSolutions S.A.S.
Via di Montramito 3/A
55054  Massarosa (LU)
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