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

Arnulf Christl arnulf.christl at ccgis.de
Sat May 27 11:26:03 EDT 2006

On Fri, May 26, 2006 18:49, Tyler Mitchell wrote:
> 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?

It reads like I was doing things on my own which is certainly not what I
want to do... My *idea* was that the OSGeo provides for the common roof of
presenting 'its own' projects (currently 8) + friend projects (GeoServer,
PostGIS, deegree, etc.). As we have no budget to spend and will need some
time to work out how that should work this would have to work with OSGeo
not spending any money but just volunteers (...lets 'spend' some
volunteers :-) This funding of the 'Open Source Park' (not 'OSGeo Park' -
yet?) therefore has to be done by companies. Those companies in one way or
another have to be selected. Jan suggested to have two kinds of
promotional opportunities for companies:
* Info Point (just a table with notebook and some flyers)
* Booth (full fledged with posters, notebooks, taqbles, etc.)

The OSGeo projects (software and others) are presented in the OSGeo
section(?) booth(?) - name it - probably similar to the above mentioned
'Info Points'. They provide for information on how the project is run, how
you can join contributing, developing, how the community works, etc. One
'Info Point' is dedicated to OSGeo in general (or detail).

As all of this is just at an idea stage that Jan an me developed we need
more input. One way will be to set up a mailing list at VisCom in German
lang so that the project members and potential sponsoring companies can
express their ideas. We would then communicate what we have come up with
to VisCom and the board.  Then we need some more dicussions and approval
by the board.

Preceding all this we had to decide whether to do it at all or just appear
as in the last years - meaning that the companies have their separate
booths and the projects do not really appear at all.

> 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.

We will just continue that discussion in the Wiki.

> 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 simple.


> 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?

Yes, thanks for the summary. Maybe you could explain what you mean with
"...bit different than most we expect to have". Again we will have to
define who is 'we' and what 'our' (again) expectations are. This point of
view is taken from the perspective of the company, exhibitor and OSGeo
VisCom, developed by Jan-Oliver and Arnulf. It is a lot harder to learn
ybout the perspectives of the OSGeo members, project developers and those
who we address. All of these views have to be taken into account somehow.


> Tyler
> ----- 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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Arnulf Christl

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