[OSGeo-Standards] In what ways do you feel you are restricted from working with OGC today?

Jody Garnett jgarnett at refractions.net
Tue Aug 21 21:09:31 EDT 2007

There are a couple of restrictions:
- pay to play
- hard to see when a standard is being worked on
- hard to see when a standard is DEAD

Until very recently I did not have any "above the table" access to ISO 
Specifications. So I spent my time coding against GeoAPI interfaces, 
teasing meaning out of OGC interpretations of ISO standards and sifting 
through summaries provided by others on the email list. Tiring. Whenever 
"under the table" access was presented as an option I always said no - 
wanting to be sure that the interfaces and work I was doing was 

Is this OGC problem? Nope. They are starting to refer to ISO standards 
however; and the more they integrate the further the door closes to good 
open source implementations.  Making some geometry implementations to 
mirror GML for example is only happening *now*, even though GML is a 
nice open standard - without reference to ISO 19107 you have a hard time 
implementing it.

The other way my work is hindered with the OGC is the usual delay 
between releases. SLD 1.0 vanished into a black hole for years. It would 
be nice to contribute to a host of standards (SLD, WMS, FPS,WFS,WMC, OWC 
and so on) but not for $500 out of pocket, and even if my pocket is that 
deep we tend to play the open source game as collaborators - I cannot 
tax my development community with $500 each just to see what a working 
group is (or is not) up to.

Finally it is hard to recognize from outside when a standard is DEAD. We 
spent a lot of time on a "Grid Coverage Exchange" standard only to 
realize much later that it was dead. What was are hint? When other 
related standards (like WCS) started referring directly to the ISO 
document for coverages - dodging the OGC;s earlier attempt at the same 
ground. Oh wait was that was an  ISO number again - looks like a good 
coverage api will be delayed again.


Being an observer on a working group mailing list or some such was often 
*just* the right amount of involvement. It allowed both communities to 
profit from the relationship (we could see what was going on, and a 
working group could have us try out some of their wild ideas and get 
early feedback).


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