[Qgis-developer] Discussion on the QGIS grant proposals

Neumann, Andreas a.neumann at carto.net
Wed Sep 21 23:14:27 PDT 2016

Dear QGIS users, developers, voting members and user group

As you may have noticed, there is a first round of a QGIS grant program,
fueled by the donations and sponsorship money we received in the past
months. Tim Sutton, chair of the QGIS project, has publicized this
program repeatedly on several channels. 

The good thing is that we got some very good proposals. In total 18
proposals, adding up to a total grant sum of 101 k EUR. You can see all
proposals at

Please note that we can only spend 20k EUR in this first round. So there
are tough decisions to make. Note that proposals that can't make it in
the first round, can be kept in a waiting list and may apply again in
the next round of a grants program. If a proposal can't be accepted in
the first round, this doesn't mean it isn't valuable and useful to the
QGIS.ORG project. 

The QGIS PSC will honor the opinion of the voting members, the OSGEO
representative and the user group representatives on how to spend this
limited money wisely. Alltogether a group of currently 27 people (13
qgis user group represenatives, 13 community voting members, 1 OSGEO
representative). This is kind of the "parliament" of the QGIS project
when it comes to such decisions. 


Now comes my personal position/opinion - note that this is not the
official opinion of the QGIS.ORG board. 

I would personally welcome, if this round of the QGIS grants program
could focus on the QGIS 3.0 release. 

I personally also think that the QGIS grants program, at least at the
current time, should not pay for development of new features (at least
not features visible in the GUI for the users). These features can be
"relatively easy" funded by companies and government organizations out
there. So our limited QGIS.ORG funds should be rather spent a) to
community work or b) infrastructure work or c) development work in the
core of QGIS, such as API modifications, code redesign - stuff that
isn't really visible to the users, but essential for the success of the

Documentation and PyQT documentation work is already budgeted in our
annual budget. The money for 2016 hasn't even been spent for both items.
So I think we should first use the budgeted money for such work. I think
that user and developer documentation should be an ongoing effort and
should be supported every year, und budgeted every year as such. We can
increase the documentation budget positions next year, should it be
necessary. In reality, it was more a lack of people willing to do the
work, rather than a lack of funding. So, I am happy to see some
proposals around documentation and developer documentation - so it seems
that we have some volunteers. I just suggest that we consider
documentation work separately and do it anyway - regardless of the
outcome of the voting on these items. 

Several proposals have a very limited local focus, only useful to one
single country, or a very limited subset of our users. I suggest that
such proposals could best be financed by local user groups or interest
groups. It can't be the purpose of the QGIS grants program to finance
such projects. 


Here is my own personal list of priorities: 

​18)​ QGIS 3 ticket handling and API refactoring 

This is really time critical, and past discussions around QGIS 3.0 has
shown that there is a lack of project management work and coordination.
I regard this proposal as very useful for the QGIS 3.0 release. 

​11)​ Introduce everything necessary for QGIS3 to OSGeo4W 

The majority of our users are on Windows (like it or not). This is the
platform that matters most in our user base. The introduction of QGIS
3.0 means porting everything to newer libraries and means a lot of work.
This should be one of our main priorities. Jürgen does it works silently
in the background many days of work each year that go unnoticed. Jürgen
usually only hears complaints if something fails - maybe not so much
praise. Having Windows nightly builds and releases early on in the life
cycle of QGIS 3.x means that it can be well tested. So - also really
important to our project. 

​2)​ Implement a flexible properties framework in QGIS 

This is the kind of under-the-hood API changes and improvements I
mentioned above. Stuff that brings our project forward, but under the
hood - not visible for the user. This is the basis that later follow-up
work can than build upon and benefit from. Stuff that later can also be
funded by organizations/companies. Also time critical, to be done as
soon as possible. Early in the 3.x life cycle when API changes are still

​14)​ Project / Map layer registry refactoring 

Similar reasoning like item 2) above. Under the hood, necessary API
improvements. Also time critical, to be done as soon as possible. Early
in the 3.x life cycle when API changes are still possible. 


Now, the documentation items: 

​1)​ 2.16 Documentation 

​​16)​ PyQGIS Developer Cookbook update and maintenance 

15)​ PyQGIS Cookbook Review 

They add up in total to EUR 14k. I believe that all of the three 
deserve to be supported financially. We have budgeted 10k EUR in 2016
for documentation and PyQT documentation. 1.5k EUR have been spent so
far. So still 8.5k remaining. Together with the new 2017 budget I
believe that all of the three above items can be easily handled outside
of the QGIS grants program. Documentation should be an ongoing,
continuous and budgeted accordingly, outside of the grants program. 


What are your opinions? 



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