[OSGeo-Standards] Re: [Board] Open Source and Open StandardsWhite
creed at opengeospatial.org
Thu Apr 14 21:26:17 EDT 2011
Thanks for the comments, Cameron. Much appreciated.
Also, I understand that a new license type is developing for use with Open
Data. Hurricane Coast discussed this during the GITA meetings this week.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Cameron Shorter" <cameron.shorter at gmail.com>
To: "Seven (aka Arnulf)" <seven at arnulf.us>
Cc: "OSGeo Discussions" <discuss at lists.osgeo.org>;
<standards at lists.osgeo.org>; "OSGeo Board" <board at lists.osgeo.org>; "Lance
McKee" <lmckee at opengeospatial.org>
Sent: Thursday, April 14, 2011 6:29 PM
Subject: Re: [OSGeo-Standards] Re: [Board] Open Source and Open
> Sorry for the delayed review, and rather messy use of email in applying my
> review comments:
> I assume that the target audience for this white paper is:
> * People who don't understand the difference between "Standards" and "Open
> * People who don't understand the difference between "Proprietary
> Software", "Freeware", "Open Source"
> * People who may understand the terms "Open Source" and "Open Standards"
> but don't appreciate the strengths (and weaknesses) of these models over
> the alternatives.
> As a general comment, I feel that much of this paper uses terms which are
> only understood by seasoned developers who already understand what Open
> Source and Open Standards are, and as such I feel that the paper is
> "preaching to the converted". For instance, there are concepts which are
> introduced, like the Open Sourced development practices, which are left
> hanging without an explanation. A reader not familiar with Open Source
> will be left wondering "so why should I care about these practices". I
> suggest that if these concepts are introduced they need to be expanded
> upon and describe why they are important.
> Further are some more specific comments:
> * 1st Introduction paragraph:
> This should be concise, and describe what the white paper is about. It is
> not the place to reference source material. It needs to include a sentence
> or two describing what the OGC and OSGeo organisations are.
> Of note: I have been at many geospatial trade shows and almost always talk
> to a few people who don't know what the OGC is, or what OSGeo is.
> * Under "Open Standards":
> ** I feel the first few paragraphs should define what an Open Standard is
> in the first paragraph before expanding.
> ** I feel that the section "OGC's position regarding Open Source Software"
> does a better job of describing importance of standards than this section.
> ** The list of criteria for a standard is good. I'd like to see each one
> of these points expanded on, and provide a description of why that
> criteria is important. In particular, I suggest that a counter example
> will usually benefit the description. Eg: Explain the limitations with a
> company publishing an API then calling it a standard?
> ** After reading this section, someone should understand why it is
> important to use Open Standards. I'd expect to see discussion of
> Inter-Operability, Reduced cost of data processing, Reduced long term
> maintenance cost, reduced risk due to obsolescence of products, reduced
> risk of vendor lock in.
> ** I've recently been refuting claims (at a National Government Policy
> level) that the ESRI REST API is an Open Standard because REST is an open
> standard. While I don't suggest picking on this as an example, it would be
> valuable if the reader can understand the difference between extensions to
> a base standard, and an overlying API.
> * In "Proprietary Software", I suggest that you don't pull out "java" as a
> specific example. It is too "down in the the weeds" for this type of high
> level document, and will likely confuse rather than help readers. If the
> java issues are to be explained, then much more detail should be included
> about the specific java case, and I don't think that is appropriate here.
> * In "Open Data", I think this section requires a stronger statement about
> what Open Data is. We should state what we believe "Open Data" to mean.
> The Creative Commons licence should be mentioned, and note how it is
> applicable to documents with just a few authors. We should note how Open
> Street Map is moving away from Creative Commons due to the practical
> limitations associated with crediting thousands or millions of authors, as
> is often the case with geospatial data sets.
> * In "Similarities and differences":
> ** terms such as “benevolent dictator” and “rough consensus” should be
> explained if they are to be used.
> ** IPR accronym should be expanded.
> ** I feel the discussion of the OGC "Reference Architecture" is
> wishy-washy. We have some very clear guidelines about what is Open Source
> and what is not (as explained above). Either say that the Reference
> Architecture is Open Source, or don't mention it.
> * OSGeo's position regarding Open Standards:
> ** Re: "... ideally simply [standards] because they are good." "good"
> needs to be expanded if this statement is to be made. Why are simple
> standards good? I think this statement should be dropped, or else it needs
> a paragraph or two discussing the pros of a comprehensive standard vs the
> pros of a simple standard. I think the answer to this question is more
> than "simple is the best version of a standard in all cases". I think it
> would be closer to "it is preferable that all standards, even complex
> standards, include a simple mandatory core version of the standard which
> is easy to implement which leads to widespread adoption of the standard."
> * Memorandum of Understanding:
> ** I assume the 6 OGC memberships are for "OSGeo members"? If so, this
> should be mentioned.
> * Please be consistent with capitalisation: Either ("open source" and
> "open standards") or ("Open Source" and "Open Standards").
> On 15/04/2011 4:55 AM, Seven (aka Arnulf) wrote:
>> please be so kind and give this paper a moment of your attention:
>> There is still a lot of confusion in people as to what an Open Standard
>> is and what Open Source is. Even within the educated community of OSGeo
>> there are very different positions wrt to standards and what an Open
>> Standards should be. It ranges from "standards suck and prevent
>> innovation" to "standards are the only way out of the misery of the data
>> The same is true to what the educated part of the OGC community thinks
>> about Open Source ranging from... well you know. No need to repeat here.
>> Therefore OGC and OSGeo are interested to find a common position on Open
>> standards and Open Source and if we don't disagree too badly this will
>> become a joint white paper. Please give it a pass and comment if you
>> think something is seriously wrong.
>> On 04/13/2011 09:42 PM, Markus Neteler wrote:
>>> On Wed, Apr 13, 2011 at 9:02 PM, Seven (aka Arnulf)<seven at arnulf.us>
>>>> as discussed on IRC we have further developed the article on Open
>>>> Source and
>>>> Open Standards:
>>>> It would be great if you could give it a pass
>>> I have done a few edits (see history).
>> Thanks Markus,
>> anyone else from the board with comments? The page had 100 views in the
>> past two days and if no one else follows up with comments I consider this
>> to be generally accepted.
>> Best regards,
>> I am sure that as soon as we publish it the usual die hards will start to
>> scream at the top of their lungs :-) but we can probably not do much more
>> than we did, can we?
> Cameron Shorter
> Geospatial Solutions Manager
> Tel: +61 (0)2 8570 5050
> Mob: +61 (0)419 142 254
> Think Globally, Fix Locally
> Geospatial Solutions enhanced with Open Standards and Open Source
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> Board at lists.osgeo.org
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