[Foss4g2008loc] FOSS4 front page

Carrin Martin carrin.avri at iceeafrica.co.za
Mon Feb 18 08:59:09 EST 2008



I'd like to request a few more changes to the front page of the FOSS4G :

1.	please change the following: FOSS4G2008 incorporates GISSAs 2008
biennial conference'  


2.	please remove "South African delegates can treat this as an
extra-special biennial GISSA conference.


3.	I'm not clear as to why some topics are treated as themes and
some as 'applications, methodologies and theoretical work' .  Why are
some (MDG's, PPGIS) under themes, and Health, land reform not.  Should
they not all be themes?  What differentiates some from the other, and
what does it mean for people wanting to submit papers.  


4.	The theme was put forward after much discussion on our side
about how we pursue the notion of 'option' and how we encourage the
participation of the whole South African GIS community.  There needs to
be a clear link between the theme and the text below it indicating why
it was chosen, that this is about debate, discussion, and exploring what
is appropriate for the developing world.  As it stands now, the GISSA
bit comes below the theme which immediately dilutes it, followed by a
bit more about GISSA and a sentence about wanting to encourage exposure,
debate etc.  


There are some topics which suggest that this is about development
issues, but the text does not reflect the intention of the bid.  I'm
working very hard at this end to get the proprietary software vendors to
come to the event by selling it as a debate.   I'd like to see a little
more enthusiasm about the theme, that we need everyone there to
participate given the current status of GIS software in developing
countries, that its time for developing countries to participate in the
debate, that it will be an opportunity for people from developing
nations to have access to FOSS experts from around the world, etc.  I
think its all in the motivation.


5.	I seem to recall our earlier discussion that papers on
proprietary GIS were not to be restricted to GISSA members only.  The
discussion was that some topics should be open to developing countries
to get them to come, present their stories, and discuss and debate how
FOSS could work for them.  The discussion was the all developing
countries would be welcome to submit any paper, but that preference
would be given to FOSS.  If no-one in the developing world has used FOSS
for health do we exclude them, knowing that the situations in developed
and developing countries are very different.   There should be no need
on the programme to indicate if it FOSS or mixed.  If its an
application, and people know that the conference aim is to generate
debate, it woun't matter which software was used, people will go because
of the chance to learn about or inform others about what FOSS can do.
Hopefully there will be FOSS people in all of the sessions who can
participate in the discussion.  And it may be that FOSS cannot do what
proprietary software can do, and that someone will be prepared to assist
with new developments.    



This if from the FOSS4G page immediately below the theme:

"The local host for FOSS4G2008 is the GeoInformation Society of South
Africa, GISSA <http://www.gissa.org.za> . FOSS4G2008 incorporates 'GISSA
2008'. South African delegates can treat this as an extra-special
biennial GISSA conference. 

While Free and Open Source GIS is our focus, GISSA members are welcome
submit papers they would have submitted were this the 'usual' GISSA
conference, i.e. with solely proprietary GIS content. We want to
encourage exposure, debate and understanding among FOSS and proprietary
communities. Submissions with some reference or relevance to FOSS will
be given preference, however and where appropriate, talks will be marked
clearly on the programme as FOSS / Proprietary / Mixed."


Carrin Martin

Research Manager

Africa Vision Research Institute

272 Umbilo Road

Durban 4001

South Africa

Ph: 031 2023811

Fax: 031 202 3858

Fax to e-mail: 0866 363060



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