[Fwd: Re: [OSGeo-Standards] OGC name for a tile cache]

Christopher Schmidt crschmidt at metacarta.com
Sun Dec 16 13:52:26 EST 2007

On Tue, Dec 11, 2007 at 05:26:58AM -0500, creed at opengeospatial.org wrote:
> One of the OGC documents approved for public release is the Tiled WMS
> Discussion Paper. A Discussion Paper is not an official position of the
> OGC. A Discussion Paper is released for information, discussion, and
> comment. The Tiled WMS paper represents one proposal for how tiling should
> be handled when using a WMS. There are obviously other approaches, many of
> which have been discussed in the OGC WMS Revision Working Group.

Based on my understanding, the released Discussion Paper is not the most
recent effort in this direction, as Arnulf helpfully pointed out.
The lack of information that a followup discussion paper is being worked
on makes it difficult for groups to put together any serious coment had
I written comments based on the released discussion paper, they would
likely have been useless, since the more recent effort ('r3') pursues a
different direction for solving a similar problem.

The date on the 'r3' draft is 2007-11-13. My calendar shows it to be
more than a month later than that -- and still, there has been no
information published that I can find about the "OpenGIS® Web Map Tiling
Service Discussion Paper" other than through Arnulf posting to this
mailing list and sharing it with us directly on IRC. :)

The 'r3' draft -- again, provided by Arnulf, not OGC --  is actually
relatively comprehensive, but there are a number of points that I would
find it useful to discuss with the authors and the community at large.
However, I see no indication that there is a place to discuss or offer
feedback to the OGC -- only the authors emails are in either draft, so
far as I can tell. Without a feedback mechanism that is shared, community
feedback on a spec is likely to be limited at best. I seldom spend time
on email related to standards or open source development that isn't
shared: users who email me directly for assistance with OpenLayers, for
example, are redirected to the mailing list, where I will help them. 

These type of things limit the feedback that the open source community
offers to the OGC developments. Perhaps this is acceptable to OGC:
since the paper is only a discussion paper, and not a specification,
perhaps community feedback is not being sought at this time. However,
not involving interested parties early and often is likely to cause pain
at some point along the line, and I think that it is important for the
OGC to recognize this, and seek to involve the community -- both open
source and proprietary -- at every step along the way in order to
develop the best specification possible.

When will the *current* tiled WMS work be released? That's what I'm
really interested in, more than anything else, at this point -- that,
and a mechanism by which comments can be submitted to it. The paper
itself says "It is distributed for review and comment." -- hopefully
such comments can be shared in a way that benefits all when possible.

Note that none of this is a direct critique of this Discussion Paper.
The comments in this email represent my frustration with OGC process as
I understand it -- and since I'm not an OGC member, the only vantage
point I have is from far outside the OGC community. Hopefully it will
just turn out that I'm misinformed, and that this is all a lot of
unneccesary chatter because I can't use Google. :) 

Christopher Schmidt

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