[OSGeo-Standards] Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] scale of FOSS projects

Arnulf Christl arnulf.christl at wheregroup.com
Sat May 17 06:37:38 EDT 2008

> There is this cultural pressure on "standards" to be marketing tools.
> Because of the government and military context for GIS, this pressure
> is particularly intense for us. It starts to loop back on itself somewhat
> like this, http://frot.org/on_standards/statements.html

Thanks for sharing the standards statements. Coming back to spatial - it
is a natural tendency for spatial data to come full circle because
allegedly (to this day I could not really prove this with my own bodily
sense organs) we are living on a ball. This creates a natural need to
overlap, overlay, unify, reuse and intersect its virtual representations.
Something much less natural to a written text (for a start we could try to
intersect an ODT with the latest ROA definition with a SOA definition
rendered in a DOCX and overlay them with a WSDL schema to extract the OGC
reference model) Hehe.

> This does have a countereffect on innovation in software and it also
> probably does prevent "bona fide" standards developing in a natural way. As
> well as creating this terrific and largely justified backlash against some
> of the in-a-vacuum work done by OGC, ISO. (GeoDRM anyone)

Yes - this is of utmost pain to me. Geospatial Restriction Management puts
the fences that we left behind in the real world when we moved to virtual
right back. And DRM is intensely tied to data that is only accessible with
one software - the one that exclusively implements the restricted access. 
This software needs legal protection because all technical protection is
always utterly worthless (thank Dog or whoever else signs responsible).
Hence the OGC *idea* must cringe and writhe in pain when only addressing
RM. The consortium seems to be taking it all right, but that is only the
worldly instance of the idea itself.

> However the process of working things out by rough consensus and running
> code takes longer, business process says, "first to market -> "natural
> monopoly| de facto standard".

I would like to add here that there might also be a natural need for de
jure standards - which brings us back to governments adopting standards.
Unfortunately we (humanity at large) are still so violently egoistic, self
centered, illiterate and uncivilized that there seems to be a need for
legal frameworks (consented - this is becoming a little broad...). What it
boils down to is that this creates a need for a stable, legal framework -
and I'd rather have it based on open formats instead of depending on a
certain software (regardless of whether it can be hacked or not). The
solution is to clearly separate data from software and model the data in a
fashion that makes it accessible. Did I day this before? Maybe I did.

Best regards,

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