[Incubator] New Application: GeoToolkit

Arnulf Christl (OSGeo) arnulf at osgeo.org
Tue May 26 11:49:56 EDT 2009

Martin Desruisseaux schrieb:
> Hello all
> I was encouraged by the discussion started Saturday, and feel very sorry
> that it slipped recently... Adrian has exposed some general context. I
> will try to reply to a few questions that I saw on the archive (I just
> registered to the list a few minutes ago).

thanks for joining this list and taking time to talk this out.


> 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).

We have several projects that are dominated by one commercial entity,
this is a reality, whether we like that or not. Real world examples can
show how quick things can devolve without anythign going wrong inside
the project itself (MySQL -> Sun -> Oracle -> ?). So this is nothing
special to start with. But we need to keep it in mind and the general
intention is to keep project unencumbered by commercial interests. If
that works out as it does in the case Autodesk/MapGuide I am just fine
with it.

> 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.

>From the little that I understand GeoToolKit seems to have technical
strength. In case of a vote I would give GeoToolKit a +1 on this aspect.
But I am a high orbiter and may have to be corrected by more savvy folks.

> 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?
>     Best regards,
>         Martin

This loops back to the core of Free Software methodologies that OSGeo
adopts. Note that I explicitly do not say "*we* adopt" but *OSGeo
adopts* (that includes Adrian and Jody and Daniel and so on). This is
all about governance again... OSGeo set out to represent geospatial
software projects broadly. If we prescribe a certain governance model
maybe this is not true anymore - if FOSS can also be a viable option
under a different governance model.

We do believe that we know what it takes to make a project really Open
Source, there is plenty of information on the Wiki. We will have to
expand this.

Having one commercial entity in the lead *and* as a dictator on dev does
not go well with governance models that OSGeo has come up with. What
Frank calls "prudent management" is to make sure that what OSGeo has
come up with is actually followed by the projects. The other way is to
start working on the governance models that OSGeo can accept.

I would suggest to ask GeoToolKit to start as an OSGeo labs project.
Then we can figure out in the laboratory what aspects on governance this
will bring us. Maybe there are projects that do not need a strong,
formal PSC (which can always be taken over) but instead has such good
end results that people are happy to follow a single leader regardless
of the bus that may hit her and stop the project.

Best regards,

I just see that as usual Frank is way faster than me, so just take his
answer and ignore what I think he wanted to say...

Arnulf Christl
President OSGeo

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