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

Michael P. Gerlek mpg at lizardtech.com
Wed Aug 22 14:53:36 EDT 2007

Thank you Allan, Landon, and Jody for posting your thoughts.  Almost
fourty people have subscribed to this list in only 24 hours, so clearly
it's a topic people are interested in...

I think Allan's on to something when he talks about OSGeo being a mashup
of a wide set of interest groups (my words there, mind you, not his).
This might be why earlier ideas about having a designated set of people
within OSGeo be "OGC members" for everyone else didn't seem quite right
to me: a fixed set of contacts points is insufficient for what
OSGeo-type people want.  There are just too many of us active in too
many different areas.

Let's see if we can break this down into a set of "personas" of OSGeo
people who would like to interact with the OGC world at some level:

[Headlines Person]  This person just wants to know the headlines or
executive summaries of what's going on inside OGC -- what new standard
ideas are being considered, what updates to existing standards have
occurred, etc.  She would be satisfied to just read~quarterly reports
from someone a designated liason who attends TC meetings.

[Information Junkie]  This person just wants to keep abreast of
everything that's going on in the world.  Much value is gained from
being able to lurk on 10 different mailing lists -- I think of it as
"background reading" -- he never knows what he might have read a year
ago that will spark an idea with him tomorrow.  The comms channel to
this person needs to be user-tunable; no liason, no matter how
well-intentioned, can provide the full, unfiltered info-stream he
craves.  This person might attend a TC meeting only if it happened to be

[Developer]  This person is actively implemented one or more OGC
standards for an open source project, e.g. WMS and MapServer.  She wants
to be kept informed about work going on in the working groups for the
specs she cares about, and she wants to be able to follow the change
request process.  She might be able to offer feedback and suggestions to
new proposals and changes.  She might attend a TC meeting now and again,
if there was something hot going on in her area of interest.

[Architect]  This person is involved -- or wants to be involved! -- with
the actual standards development process, to help to design the new APIs
and write the spec.  He's probably affiliated with an open source
project doing a reference implementation.  He's likely to want to attend
every other TC meeting or so, to get some in-person time with the others
in his working groups.  This person needs to know what's going on across
the rest of OGC, as well, to be sure that his WG can be aligned with
where others are going.

The persona names are lame, I admit; also, some people might fit more
than one of these personas simultaneously, but that's okay.



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