Choosing the Choosers

Paul Ramsey pramsey at REFRACTIONS.NET
Fri Dec 16 18:05:35 EST 2005


You may have noticed that things have been relatively quiet since the  
initial Mapserver Foundation open letter, and associated flurry of  
response.  One of the reasons is that the folks behind the open  
letter are a little shell shocked and trying to figure out how to  
move forward in a way that is both inclusive and not hopelessly  

The big question they are wrestling with is:  Who can make decisions  
on matters regarding the future of Mapserver?

It is not an easy problem, because among the questions that have to  
be answered are:

- Should Mapserver join a 'Foundation' at all?
- If so, under what terms of membership?
- If so, under what name?

I would put to you, the 'community at large' the proposition that  
Mapserver already has a good decision making body that has the  
interests of Mapserver at heart: the Mapserver Technical Steering  
Committee.  The MTSC can make the final decisions on all of the above  
questions quite capably providing they:

- Take the temperature of the overall community before making big  
- Hold their discussions in an open forum so all viewpoints get a  

The MTSC might want to add some advisory members, so they feel that  
their voting numbers reflect a broader community, and I think that is  
reasonable too, again, as long as they first put the names out for a  
public hearing and make sure there are no substantive objections to  
their choices.

So, I put the question to you, do you feel comfortable with the MTSC  
making some 'big decisions' for Mapserver over the next few months,  
providing that they make their decisions within an open framework of  

For the record, the current members of the MTSC are: Steve Lime  
(Chair), Daniel Morissette, Frank Warmerdam, Sean Gilles, Assefa  
Yewondwossen, Howard Butler and Perry Nacionales.


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