[Incubator] New Application: GeoToolkit

Frank Warmerdam warmerdam at pobox.com
Tue May 26 11:01:58 EDT 2009

Martin Desruisseaux wrote:
> Anyway back to the talk about Geotoolkit
> Given that this fork is a precedent, I understand Frank's questions as 
> definition of what would be the criterion OSGeo should apply in such 
> situation, both in the Geotoolkit case and (possibly) in future cases.


I raised points of personal interest and concern.  They are by no
means definitive or authoratative.

> So:
> 1) Does it really have a sufficient community to flourish for some time?
> Today it is Geomatys and a few parteners and institutions outside 
> Geomatys. I'm tempted to answer "yes", or "it will be", but this is 
> based on my own faith. Our hope is to get as much community as we can, 
> but maybe a different community than the GeoTools one. 

I think this point will take a bit of time to get a sense on.  As
things gel I think it will be helpful to be able to show a diversity
of interest and contribution.

> 2) Is it really going to be able to operate in a community based
>    manner or is it essentially a geomatys fork?
> Today it is a Geomatys initiative. However in order to answer the 
> question about how we would behave with the community, the most reliable 
> answer would be (like Adrian suggested) to look at the 7 years of emails 
> archive, especially the first 5 years before the discussions became more 
> difficult. To summarize I believe that I made a lot of effort on my own 
> free time for adressing Geoserver and uDig requests on referencing, and 
> for integrating community contributions (except the "threaded authority 
> factory" contract, but it would be an other discussion on its own).

Part of this is about personalities, part is about approach,
part is about governance model.  I'm not really sure how to evaluate
it, though it will be encouraging to see if some decisions get
made in favor of outside users at the expense of Geomatys priorities.

> 3) Does it have technical strengths that make it appropriate for
>    OSGeo to promote it?
> I'm well aware that this is a very prententious statement from me, but I 
> think that not many in the GeoTools community put as much effort on 
> documentation and rigor than me. I claim that Geotoolkit has the best 
> referencing module, with a long list of bugs fixed 
> (http://jira.codehaus.org/browse/GEOT-2117 contains only a fraction of 
> them) - some of those bug fixes are difficult enough that they can't be 
> fixed by the current GeoTools community unless someone is willing to 
> spend a lot of energy on them. I believe that it also have strenght of 
> metadata handling, coverage and renderer.

Indeed, to me it seems likely that the GeoToolkit georeferencing
(which I understand to be coordinate system transformation and some
additional functionality) is likely to be the gold standard for the
Java community.  For me, this alone could be a sufficient technical
strength to justify the project as one we would want to support and

> 4) Is it going to be able to work within a governance model that is
>    going fit with OSGeo's concept of prudent management?
> I'm not sure to understand what "prudent management" means?

We have obligation with regard to ensuring that contributions are
properly contributed - for instance by ensuring that all committers
sign a contribution agreement and are aware of their obligations.

I also expect project to be able to produce blessed releases which
they believe represent a reasonably solid and vetted level of readiness.

I expect a project to be able to make decisions as a project, and apply
them within the context of the project.

The reason I raise the issue is that I am still unclear on what
governance model is proposed.  I'm also not so clear what committer
means in the context of a DVCS or what a "blessed release" means in this

Best regards,
I set the clouds in motion - turn up   | Frank Warmerdam, warmerdam at pobox.com
light and sound - activate the windows | http://pobox.com/~warmerdam
and watch the world go round - Rush    | Geospatial Programmer for Rent

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