[Incubator] New Application: GeoToolkit

Martin Desruisseaux martin.desruisseaux at geomatys.fr
Tue May 26 16:08:29 EDT 2009

Christopher Schmidt a écrit :
> On Tue, May 26, 2009 at 07:47:13PM +0200, Martin Desruisseaux wrote:
>> The thing that can scare Geomatys to the point of staying out of 
>> OSGeo would be that someone else takes Geotoolkit code and push their 
>> modified flavor of it as if they were the main author (they don't need to 
>> said that explicitly - I have meet last automn developers of the gvSig 
>> project who were convinced that the GeoTools referencing module has been 
>> wrote by an other compagny), getting contract at the expense of Geomatys.
> Again, how does OSGeo play or not play a role here? That can happen
> without a project being an OSGeo project, and the choice of tools and
> governance model seems to encourage it to some extent. With dictatorial
> style source code control and community governance, you are seeking to
> excercise strict control over the codebase. This is reasonable, but is
> likely to encourage companies who wish to invest to seek other avenues
> for their investment -- whether that's forking or not.  

Our concerns are based on past experiences. The credit received outside a small 
circle of developers is often more a factor of communication power than work 
effectively done. This is part of the rules of Open Source, but I was thinking 
about something slightly different. Could OSGeo play the role of someone that 
"equilibrate the power" between the projects that it host? What I try to express 
by "equilibrating" is to make sure that, if someone ask for an improvement in 
one particular area of a project, OSGeo know and take in account the fact that 
this area of project "A" actually come from project "B". It doesn't mean to give 
automatically the contract to "B", but to avoid the situation were that fact was 
simply unknown.

To be really frank, my sentence was worded like a general case scenario but my 
real concern was specifically about the GeoTools - Geotoolkit relationship. It 
may be me who is not yet appeased as I should - and my concern is not about 
preventing GeoTools from recycling code (quite the opposite I would feel honored 
if it happen). It is about consciensiousness that we don't have the same 
marketing power, that (I believe) we can be recognized on the merit of the 
library itself, but this effort can be vanished if our work is absorbed by 
GeoTools to the point of making us invisible.

> If you're really worried about someone forking your code and being more
> successful with it than you are, then it might be that you're doing
> something wrong -- but I don't see how being an OSGeo project would
> affect it in either direction. 

I will answer this question in a private email, not because it is impolite in 
any way but because it involve strategic concerns on our side.



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