[GRASS5] Update from Chicago meeting

Moritz Lennert mlennert at club.worldonline.be
Tue Feb 7 15:01:11 EST 2006


I support your proposal.


On Tue, February 7, 2006 19:05, Markus Neteler wrote:
> Dear GRASS Community,
> after returning from the Chicago meeting I'll summarize below some
> relevant
> points of the meeting discussions there which were supported by IRC chats.
> 25 people attended the meeting, a peak of 50-60 people were
> listening/writing
> in the dedicated IRC channels. Comments from IRC were picked up [1] and
> discussed, a couple of people also followed via telephone.
> Here key points from the meeting:
>    * Attendees represented over 17 different groups/companies and over 20
>        different open source/free software geospatial projects
>    * Foundation name: "Open Source Geospatial Foundation" or just OSGeo.
>      Domain will be: http://osgeo.org (already registered, but not yet set
> up)
>    * Initial membership started with attendees who met in Chicago
>    * Initial/Interim board elected (from a longer list of proposals):
>        - Arnulf Christl - Mapbender/ccgis.de, Germany
>        - Chris Holmes - GeoServer, Open Plans, U.S.
>        - Gary Lang - MapGuide, Autodesk, U.S.
>        - Markus Neteler - GRASS, ITC-irst, Italy
>        - Frank Warmerdam - GDAL, OGR, etc., Canada
>    * Adding more members and board members will be discussed shortly
>        after having set up the infrastructure.
> New "OSGeo" mailing lists and Web site will be set up shortly, also the
> minutes and results from the meeting will be posted there. This will take
> a couple days to get this together. We had 10 hours in the meeting room
> and yet very little time to actually post documents.
> For me it was a very successful and productive meeting. While being very
> skeptical before, I am now confident that the "migration" from a Mapserver
> oriented foundation to a global "Geo" foundation happens. Looking at
> the interim board, we see that various different projects are represented
> from (currently) two continents.
> Initially, I was skeptical as I wanted to avoid a Mapserver/Mapguide
> centric
> foundation, and only limited to software issues. The scope of the new
> OSGeo
> foundation is much wider and includes also GIS (not only mapping),
> promotion
> of Free geospatial data (for parts of the world outside North America) and
> education issues such as a GFOSS core curriculum. Of course these ideas
> are
> still templates which have to be filled by the communities.
> The goal is to establish the new foundation as reference point for all
> relevant GFOSS communities. It was discussed to make the new web server a
> "one stop shop" for the participating projects. This would help to avoid
> that
> people have to seek many different web sites etc. But also a sourceforge
> style shall be avoided.
> An idea is to migrate projects to the foundation to homogenize the look
> and
> feel while getting provided all necessary infrastructure (Web server,
> Mailing
> lists, bug tracker, compile farm, whatever else). Things are inspired by
> the
> successful Apache Foundation. However, the new foundation will not
> strictly
> follow their principles which would not make much sense either. For
> example,
> a transfer of the copyright does simply not work for many projects and is
> also not desired by everyone. But I see many benefits in migrating the
> project hosting to a single server (network):
> - harmonized look and feel ("branding" of the GFOSS projects to appear
>   as well established and cohesive suggestion to users and clients)
> - less work at our end of maintaining the infrastructure
> - possibility to easily redirect issues/bug reports across communities
> - if possible, compile farm to generate packages for various operating
>   systems
> - more...
> However, this will certainly take time and details have to be worked out.
> For now, a couple of projects were suggested to be initial projects in
> the new foundation:
> - Mapbender
> - MapBuilder
> - MapGuide
> The Mapserver project is currently doing a poll in their community
> (probably to avoid the November/December problems).
> Since copyrights are not touched, my suggestion is to get GRASS into
> the foundation. It plays an important role as the only complete free GIS.
> So it should become a visible part of the open source GIS product stack.
> Unless the question appears to move software/communication channels to a
> foundation infrastructure, not much will change for now. But GRASS will
> be recognized as key project in this initiative. This may be a good
> opportunity to get out of the niche. Cohesion and transparency are
> also desired to avoid parallel development of identical algorithms.
> I see a major advantage in improving the cohesion between the various
> GFOSS projects out there, the Saturday meeting changed my skeptical
> opinion into a favourable one. Since I was suggested and elected into
> the board, we'll have some influence to get things into the right
> direction.
> There are various blogs about the new foundation:
>  http://mappinghacks.com/index.cgi/2006/02/04#osgeo-foundation
>  http://www.perrygeo.net/wordpress/?p=27
>  http://www.directionsmag.com/article.php?article_id=2092&trv=1
>  http://spatialgalaxy.net/?cat=3
>  http://geotips.blogspot.com/2006/02/open-source-geospatial-foundation.html
>  ...and more...
> Images (for now still on the old server since the osgeo.org isn't set up
> yet):
>  http://www1.mapserverfoundation.org/chicago-pics/images.html
> Hoping for comments,
> best regards
>  Markus
> [1] http://logs.qgis.org/geofoundation/
>      -> #geofoundation.2006-02-04.log
>      -> [Community] [Funding] [Governance] [Legal]
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