[Incubator] Info on the Old OSGeo Labs

Stephen Woodbridge woodbri at swoodbridge.com
Wed Mar 16 15:04:28 PDT 2016


As one person speaking for the pgRouting project, I think one of the key 
points you just made is "small". pgRouting has been around for many 
years, but the development community is small and the overall community 
small and somewhat transient, as people need a solution and come to us 
but move on to other things. Getting continuity over the long term is 
very hard for pgRouting, because you can not easily build a business 
model on routing. It is an essential part of the ecosystem, but not a 
central part of it.

I really think something along the line of "A Community Projects in 
Support of OSGeo" really captures the ideas we have been discussing. 
Using "Community Projects" clearly differentiates it as not an "OSGeo 
Project" and "in Support of OSGeo" makes it's intention clear.

Separate from the possibility that pgRouting may or may not make it 
through incubation, one of the big stumbling block for small projects 
that develop key niche pieces of technology is that small projects do 
not have the critical mass of community, especially if the technology is 
not main stream. Sure, everyone needs maps to display data, and GIS 
tools to create and manipulate data, but routing?, geocoding?, reverse 
geocoding?, etc these are not main stream and they tend to come with 
pretty high data requirements. The OSM family of tools are built around 
OSM, but not everyone can use OSM.

So whatever we call it there is clearly a need for it and all projects 
might not be small, but some aspect of them is probably small or lacking 
in the ability to make it though incubation.


On 3/16/2016 5:10 PM, Jody Garnett wrote:
> Excellent discussion Bruce, thank you. I agree with the general feel
> here, that we are on a scale  of "Community" (minimal) to "Project"
> (showcase best practice).
> The miss assumption is "starting out" or "immature" - projects like
> pgRouting, GeoWebCache, proj4js are simply "small". We would like an
> opportunity as a foundation to support these projects and include them
> in our organization.
> The downside to Hatch and Nurture is that they assume that a project
> will proceed towards graduation. While we may be able to capture this as
> a "staged" incubation process (as per Bob's suggestion) it also suffers
> from this perspective that the projects are "not ready yet".
> I wonder if we could take this conversation in the other direction,
> contact projects like pgRouting and asking what would appeal (rather
> than guessing at this end what would be attractive).
> * As a uDig lead I was dissuaded from joining OSGeo by being unable to
> meet the various incubation viability requirements (the project was too
> small).
> * In prior conversations with Kevin Smith from GeoWebCache there is
> simply not a business driver to moving from labs to incubation - the
> project is not attracting enough committers to qualify. Indeed any
> available time to work on the project is put into the project directly.
> --
> Jody Garnett
> On 16 March 2016 at 00:08, Bruce Bannerman
> <bruce.bannerman.osgeo at gmail.com
> <mailto:bruce.bannerman.osgeo at gmail.com>> wrote:
>     Perhaps this is where we need to start.
>     What is it that we're trying to establish, together with the
>     rationale. We can sort a name from there, rather than assuming that
>     everyone is familiar with what the old 'Labs' were intended for.
>     In response to your question:
>     Assumption by me:  The 'thing' is intended to support projects and
>     their communities that are small, immature, or just starting out.
>     These projects are not ready to begin graduation, or perhaps do not
>     want to go through the process at this stage.
>     Therefore, we want to find a way to encourage them into the OSGeo
>     Community, Principles and way of working. Projects may or may not
>     wish to enter graduation as they evolve.
>     Therefore, I saw that we could have a nurturing role for these
>     projects, to provide them with basic infrastructure for web
>     presence, project governance and code repositories. If projects
>     express an interest we could introduce them to some of the concepts
>     required of an OSGeo Project in graduation. This is heading in the
>     direction that Bob Basques suggested for staged graduation.
>     I see this as potentially a nuturing role, hence the two terms:
>     OSGeo Hatch (as in hatchery for new projects)
>     OSGeo Nurture.
>     I hope this helps.
>     If my assumption as to the intent of this 'thing' is incorrect, then
>     perhaps we could clarify as a starting point.
>     Bruce
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