[OSGeo-Board] Re: [VisCom] RE: [OSGeo-Board] Eleventh Board Meeting Agenda

Gary Lang gary.lang at autodesk.com
Fri May 26 12:52:07 EDT 2006

My feeling is that OSGeo needs to focus on promoting its own projects
first and foremost. Any other companies should get in line behind
committreed projects. To this end, I would very much like to see
MapServer, MapBender, GDAL, etc. get promotion time at Where 2.0. How
are we doing this?


-----Original Message-----
From: Tyler Mitchell (External) 
Sent: Friday, May 26, 2006 9:49 AM
To: dev at visibilitycommittee.osgeo.org
Cc: board at board.osgeo.org
Subject: [OSGeo-Board] Re: [VisCom] RE: [OSGeo-Board] Eleventh Board
Meeting Agenda

Arnulf's Intergeo situation seems a bit different than most we expect to
have - where OSGeo can help promote open source by providing an
opportunity for OS companies to promote specific products/ideas.  Is
this is a good summary, Arnulf?

If we have a booth area or opportunities for companies, then we need to
have clear processes for assessing and choosing who can have access to
it.  I don't think it needs to be too complex or potentially damaging,
just has to be clear and open.

The concept I immediately thought of was the typical "Request for
Expression of Interest" opportunities we get.  We could mimic that by
letting companies sign up or propose using a booth (much like the
Intergeo wiki page is doing).  We just have to post a clear explanation
of how they will be assessed or scored.  They would simply provide a
proposal/summary of how their company meets certain OSGeo objectives.
Take the first ones that qualify first, and tell the others why they
don't meet the standard.  For the most part, our standard is pretty

That is, unless we don't want OSGeo to ever provide opportunities for
3rd parties...

Arnulf, is this along the lines of what you were thinking?


----- Original Message -----
From: Gary Lang <gary.lang at autodesk.com>
Date: Friday, May 26, 2006 9:28 am
Subject: [VisCom] RE: [OSGeo-Board] Eleventh Board Meeting Agenda

> Arnulf,
> I think overt politicization and promotion of these issues doesn't
> necessarily serve the top priorities of OSGeo as the board has 
> thus far
> voted. But at the same time, I am not sure that what you suggest 
> reallythreatens any of the contingencies that Dave is worried 
> about. I too
> think a standard of open source integrity should be adhered to. I 
> thinkwe can just say that and move on, as we have from the 
> beginning from
> what I can tell.
> Sort of like Linux does, for example. Am I mistaken?
> Gary
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Arnulf Christl [mailto:arnulf.christl at ccgis.de] 
> Sent: Friday, May 26, 2006 7:10 AM
> To: board at board.osgeo.org
> Cc: dev at visibilitycommittee.osgeo.org
> Subject: Re: [OSGeo-Board] Eleventh Board Meeting Agenda
> Dave McIlhagga wrote:
> > Hi Arnulf,
> > 
> > Arnulf Christl wrote:
> >> Maybe it will be possible to have a chat - even if informal - 
> on IRC 
> >> because we have pressing issues regarding booth operation at 
> the 
> >> Intergeo exhibition. The plan is out and there is an Open 
> Source Park
> >> reserved and we need to fix who is going to do what and what 
> the role
> >> of the OSGeo could take on.
> >> Would the  OSGeo Foundation would consent at being the 
> >> judge/committee regarding which company is committed (enough) 
> to 
> >> doing Open Source
> >> ('trustworthy?') so that it can appear in the Open Source Park.
> > 
> > Hmmm - this sounds like very dangerous territory to me for OSGeo 
> to be
> > wandering into ... do we really want to be determining who is 
> more 
> > open source than another - or more deserving? If we look at 
> what's 
> > going on at Where 2.0 -- there is no issue, since the companies 
> have 
> > representatives attending and participating - but all wearing an 
> OSGeo
> > Hat (or is that a shirt?)
> Well, from our perspective this is exactly one of the jobs that the
> OSGeo will have to do (think about the certification discussion we had
> some time ago, this goes in the same direction). If the OSGeo 
> Foundationdoes not know how to separate serious OS supporters from 
> frauds who can?
> > It's very conceivable that some companies may use zero open 
> source 
> > themselves, but strategically want to be promoting adoption of 
> open 
> > source. I don't think we would want to discourage this -- any 
> and all 
> > support we can get for open source should and needs to be welcomed.
> Thats another issue that I am not so sure about. I do not think 
> that we
> need any and all support regardless of the price we have to pay. 
> Turn it
> the other way round and make OSGeo more interesting by making people
> have to crane their neck to get accepted. Look at the example of how
> Autodesk grew into the OSGeo community. The first try went bad. 
> Then it
> took a long time and getting to know each other until we really could
> trust but now we have a really good common foundation (basement) 
> of the
> Foundation. And this could only happen because the community exerted
> some pressure and did not submitted to the 800 pound gorilla right 
> away.
> We can actually help people understand our concepts - so maybe 
> only my
> wording was not well selected.
> We had this kind of discussion in different flavors before. I 
> think it
> suits us well ('us' being the Foundation) to pick those out who we 
> trustand who we know are trustworthy. Lets build up some pride - I 
> think the
> danger of becoming overly complacent is still very low (we'll have to
> watch out, no questions asked).
> Maybe by looking at the OSGeo Foundation as if it were an Open Source
> project this becomes more transparent. Any PSC will not just open the
> door (code repository) to anybody but will first want to get to 
> know who
> she is and how she could contribute in a meaningful way. Then it 
> will be
> a consensus decision as it always should be in an Open Source
> environment. One of the core interests of the foundation is to 
> focus on
> quality software and communities and not become the cemetery of 
> hundredsof zombie projects. In my opinion the same should apply to 
> the resources
> that support us - which will also be companies operating booths in the
> direct vicinity or even under the roof of the OSGeo Foundation. 
> And in
> some cases we should prefer quality over quantity.
> I definitely want to be able to throw in a veto whenever a company 
> thathas a record of not been trustworthy regarding Open Source 
> tries to
> sneak their way in. Being an avowing paranoid I know that I might be
> overly sensitive to this kind of issue but we have a fairly simple
> regulatory to sort my kind out. If I place a veto and can't back 
> it up
> within 3 days it turns void. If I am the only one objecting the 
> rest can
> vote me out. Its basically simple Open Source methodology.
> > Don't know if this helps as I"m not sure of the context of the 
> > question
> > -- but it seems like OSGeo should remain as neutral as possible 
> when 
> > it comes to 'endorsing' open sourceness of companies around it.
> > 
> > Dave
> Please help me out with 'endorsing' (especially what you mean with the
> single quotes).
> Oops, wikipedia don't really help me, look at this:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_endorsement
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endorsement_terrorism
> Which one do you mean?
> :-)
> Neutrality is definitely not what I understand the job of the 
> OSGeo to
> be. We are not going to be neutral regarding misusing Open Source
> wording, concepts and ideas - that would not make any sense. Maybe 
> I got
> you wrong, but we should further discuss this so that I am not
> completely on the wrong track.
> Best regards,
> Arnulf.
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