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

Peter Baumann p.baumann at jacobs-university.de
Wed Dec 8 14:50:30 EST 2010

Hi Arnulf,

responses inline:

On 12/08/2010 08:09 PM, Seven (aka Arnulf) wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> 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.
>> Thanks for explaining,
>> Peter
> Peter,
> it is perfectly fine to reference commercially operating businesses who
> can provide services. I have no problem with this type of information
> showing up on the front page of the project.
> But I do have a bit of a problem with the naming. It is awkward that the
> name of the company is identical to that of the software project. The
> only differentiation is in the TLD extension org/com (but this is not
> worth a dime either since some of our friends use .org to do .com). It
> does not make things easier that rasdaman.org points to the longish
> university URL http://rasdaman.eecs.jacobs-university.de/trac/rasdaman

this has a technical reason; I could use frame-based forwarding (have 
done so earlier), but this has some ugly effects and generally is not 
considered a good practice. But "rasdaman" appearing so often in this 
URL it should not pose a problem beyond cosmetics :)

> The separation between software (as in deegree) and main contributing
> company (here: lat/lon) is well distinguishable. If you don't do this
> the name and brand of an otherwise perfectly Open Source project can end
> up in strange places (see MySQL).
> - From a maturity point of view it seems that the rasdaman *community*
> still needs some time to grow, including a more diverse set of
> developers. The bus-factor of rasdaman currently seems to be quite high.
> A reference ot the affiliation of the folks committing to the project
> can help to show the current status:
> http://rasdaman.eecs.jacobs-university.de/trac/rasdaman/wiki/Contributors

that's a splendid idea!

> One easy way to get more of this type of stats for other people to look
> into is by sticking rasdaman into http://www.ohloh.net/

wow, it took me quite some time to find out what this is about. This is 
interesting, but for the moment being too much extra overhead 
unfortunately. Patch shuffling and code production and maintaining 
external relations etc. But I will definitely keep this in mind, a good 


> Best regards,
> Arnulf.
>> 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
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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>> Incubator at lists.osgeo.org
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> - --
> Arnulf Christl
> Exploring Space, Time and Mind
> http://arnulf.us
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Dr. Peter Baumann
  - Professor of Computer Science, Jacobs University Bremen
    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)

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