[Incubator] Re: Is rasdaman suitable/ready for OSGeo incubation?

Cameron Shorter cameron.shorter at gmail.com
Wed Dec 8 06:22:36 EST 2010

On 08/12/10 21:14, Peter Baumann wrote:
> Cameron-
> you have suggested to remove all references to the commercial support 
> of rasdaman from the rasdaman.org site.
> How does this compare to PostGIS?
> - On the main page PostGIS states ". Ask us 
> <mailto:info at refractions.net> about consulting services 
> <http://www.refractions.net/products/postgis/> and implementing new 
> features."
> - On http://www.postgis.org/support/ 2 companies are listed as 
> commercial support providers.

I think Pieter mentioned drawing a line between commercial and open 
source projects.
I think that you will find it commonly accepted that commercial support 
for an Open Source project is seen as positive thing, and counts toward 
the maturity of the project.
As such, we specifically list a link to where users can find commercial 
support from marketing pages on the OSGeo-Live documentation. 

However there is a subtle difference between support and control.
In the postgis example, a number of companies offer commercial support, 
and generally they offer to enhance the product and return the 
enhancements back into the Open Source codebase. People welcome this 

Less favourable to the Open Source community is a company who writes 
proprietary extensions which are not shared.

On 08/12/10 21:15, Peter Baumann wrote:
> Cameron,
> yet another one: PostGIS is released under GPL 
> (http://www.opensource.org/licenses/gpl-2.0.php), just as rasdaman is. 
> Does OSGeo see any issue with GPL?

Many of the OSGeo projects are GPL. This is not a problem. I don't see 
there being a problem with you dual licencing the software either, so 
long as full functionality is provided in the GPL version. (People may 
wish to pay to have the software incorporated into a proprietary 
product, which requires a less restrictive license).

> cheers,
> Peter 

> On 12/06/2010 10:14 PM, Cameron Shorter wrote:
>> Thank you Pieter,
>> I think your comments are very valuable, especially as the path you 
>> followed is similar to what Peter is proposing. (Ie a business 
>> building an Open Source project from scratch, rather than an 
>> volunteers who convert a hobby project into a robust business model).
>> Peter, if Pieter is willing, I expect you would do well to pick his 
>> brain for ideas on building your our marketing strategy and business 
>> model. (Geomajas have done a great job with their marketing).
>> On 6/12/2010 6:31 PM, Pieter De Graef wrote:
>>> I believe your situation resembles mine a bit (2 years ago). When 
>>> Geosparc was founded to support the Open Source project Geomajas, 
>>> there where people from only 2 companies behind the project. We too 
>>> had it quite difficult in the beginning to attract people.
>>> I believe what you need to do is make the intentions of your company 
>>> as clear as possible, and make sure the Open Source project is a 
>>> stand-alone project.
>>> On the Geomajas website, you will have a hard time looking for the 
>>> Geosparc name. We made sure that the Geomajas website was 100% 
>>> community based, and even though in the beginning there hardly was 
>>> any community, now there is.
>>> It could be me, but when I see services etc on the main page, it 
>>> does not give me the impression of being a stand-alone project. 
>>> Although this is just an impression, don't forget perception is 
>>> king. Of course I'm known to be mistaken every now and then.
>>> Op 4/12/2010 4:30, Cameron Shorter schreef:
>>>> Peter,
>>>> The (possibly incorrect) understanding I have is that you, being 
>>>> one person, have been the central driver behind rasdaman, sometimes 
>>>> under the banner of the university and sometimes under your company.
>>>> However, my key concern from OSGeo's point of view is that the 
>>>> current link with a proprietary license will hinder growth of a 
>>>> robust community.
>>>> Other OSGeo Incubation members may suggest otherwise.
>>>> On 04/12/10 13:51, Baumann, Peter wrote:
>>>>> Cameron,
>>>>> thanks for all the effort and serious considerations put into your 
>>>>> looking at rasdaman. I am very grateful about our discussion - 
>>>>> among others, it has shown me that the description provided on 
>>>>> www.rasdaman.org needs refinement and clarification. I have 
>>>>> attempted to go into that immediately with the "feature matrix" as 
>>>>> a start, but other places will have to undergo a check as well.
>>>>> About the licensing, let me correct some false impression. The 
>>>>> open-source rasdaman code is _not_ maintained by a company, but by 
>>>>> a university. So the conclusion that further development of 
>>>>> rasdaman would depend on one company is wrong in two respects:
>>>>> - it is not one, but two entities supporting rasdaman
>>>>> - it is not a company which is the main promoter of open source 
>>>>> rasdaman, but a university
>>>>> Hope that helps to clarify situation a bit. I feel it very 
>>>>> fruitful that now we have come to a discussion, hope we can 
>>>>> continue this fruitful exchange.
>>>>> Regards,
>>>>> Peter
>>>>> ________________________________________
>>>>> From: Cameron Shorter [cameron.shorter at gmail.com]
>>>>> Sent: Saturday, December 04, 2010 12:40 AM
>>>>> To: Baumann, Peter; Bruce Bannerman; OSGeo-incubator
>>>>> Subject: Is rasdaman suitable/ready for OSGeo incubation?
>>>>> I had the pleasure this week of meeting Peter Baumann, the primary
>>>>> author behind rasdaman [1], a dual licensed raster processing
>>>>> application. Along with Bruce Bannerman, we discussed rasdaman's
>>>>> application for OSGeo application (initiated 18 months ago).
>>>>> Understandably, Peter noted some frustration by the lack of progress
>>>>> moving toward OSGeo Incubation.
>>>>> Since talking to Peter, I've looked at rasdaman further, and think 
>>>>> that
>>>>> rasdaman has some great functionality, but I'm concerned that the
>>>>> current dual license will hamper uptake from the open source 
>>>>> community.
>>>>> Radaman is provided via an open source community edition, and then 
>>>>> has
>>>>> extensions which are in a proprietary enterprise edition. [2] My 
>>>>> concern
>>>>> is the dual license will substantially reduce the number of 
>>>>> developers
>>>>> prepared to grow the rasdaman developer community, as there will be a
>>>>> feeling that the prime developer will only maintain and advance the
>>>>> enterprise version.
>>>>> One of the key goals for incubation is to build a robust developer
>>>>> community, with contributors from multiple organisations, and to have
>>>>> the project grow sustainably. As it stands, I think that rasdaman's
>>>>> licence model will make the project dependent upon the organisation
>>>>> offering the enterprise software, which is counter to some of OSGeo
>>>>> principles.
>>>>> Peter,
>>>>> I understand the challenge of finding a suitable business model and
>>>>> deciding whether to go down the proprietary or open source route. 
>>>>> Yes,
>>>>> with Open Source you do get significant marketing reach and having
>>>>> others share development costs. Alternatively, with proprietary, 
>>>>> you can
>>>>> charge for software. If you wish to try to achieve both, then you 
>>>>> will
>>>>> likely end up having to write most/all software yourself, which 
>>>>> doesn't
>>>>> align with OSGeo goals of building a robust developer community.
>>>>> This may be a reason why people on the incubation committee have not
>>>>> pushed rasdaman forward further.
>>>>> If you wish to continue with OSGeo incubation, I would suggest
>>>>> considering adjusting your licence model.
>>>>> [1] http://rasdaman.eecs.jacobs-university.de/trac/rasdaman
>>>>> [2] 
>>>>> http://rasdaman.eecs.jacobs-university.de/trac/rasdaman/wiki/Features
>>>>> -- 
>>>>> Cameron Shorter
>>>>> Geospatial Director
>>>>> Tel: +61 (0)2 8570 5050
>>>>> Mob: +61 (0)419 142 254
>>>>> Think Globally, Fix Locally
>>>>> Geospatial Solutions enhanced with Open Standards and Open Source
>>>>> http://www.lisasoft.com
> -- 
> Dr. Peter Baumann
>   - Professor of Computer Science, Jacobs University Bremen
>     www.faculty.jacobs-university.de/pbaumann
>     mail:p.baumann at jacobs-university.de
>     tel: +49-421-200-3178, fax: +49-421-200-493178
>   - Executive Director, rasdaman GmbH Bremen (HRB 147737)
>     www.rasdaman.com, mail:baumann at rasdaman.com
>     tel: 0800-rasdaman, fax: 0800-rasdafax, mobile: +49-173-5837882
> "Si forte in alienas manus oberraverit hec peregrina epistola incertis ventis dimissa, sed Deo commendata, precamur ut ei reddatur cui soli destinata, nec preripiat quisquam non sibi parata." (mail disclaimer, AD 1083)

Cameron Shorter
Geospatial Director
Tel: +61 (0)2 8570 5050
Mob: +61 (0)419 142 254

Think Globally, Fix Locally
Geospatial Solutions enhanced with Open Standards and Open Source

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