[OSGeo-Standards] [OSGeo-Discuss] OGC liaison memberships

Seven (aka Arnulf) seven at arnulf.us
Mon Jun 3 05:20:15 PDT 2013

Hash: SHA1

...moved from discuss to standards list

On 31.05.2013 15:45, Adrian Custer wrote:
> Hey all,
> On the front of becoming one of the liaison members, I would
> appreciate guidance on procedure. Do we generate a formal letter to
> me and the OGC or do we not yet have any procedure for this? I have
> just now asked Barbara Sherman of the OGC if she is aware of any
> procedure on her end. I would like to get this squared away quickly
> and easily.

as per the other mail your Individual Membership should be on the way
now. Please note that this role is *not* an OSGeo / OGC "liaison
member". We do not have anything like this in place. The Individual
Membership OGC ToU are described here:

> On the front of OSGeo building deeper ties with the OGC and,
> perhaps becoming a voting member someday, I think we should move
> forwards on a number of fronts jointly.

I am not sure whether it makes sense to make OSGeo a voting member of
the OGC at all. We put a lot of thought into this before coming up
with the MoU and 5 free membership slots. Our hopes were that having
people from broader OSGeo be able to actively contribute to the work
groups would be the right way forward. Voting is cheap. Work is hard.

Another option would have been to make OSGeo a regular member of OGC.
This would require OSGeo to have a regular membership - which we
don't. Plus it would belittle the role of OSGeo as yet another
organization that is an OGC member - instead of acting at eye height
with the OGC. I am not sure whether the one more vote or not in the TC
would make any change at all. Especially given that we would have to
somehow collate all the opinions of the broader OSGeo community (which
is not defined) into a common position. Ugh. Good luck with that. :-)

> The first is clearly discussion and openness, letting Carl, the
> head of the TC and Mark, the president of the OGC both know that
> this is something we are seeking and towards which we plan to
> work.

I guess that a word of dissent from me after you received so much
positive feedback for your latest activities should be in order.

Personally I do not like your form and style of communication. Calling
another's organization "sick" on a public mailing list is divisive and
unhelpful. It is cheap to call the OCG names. I would therefore also
strongly disagree to have you on an official role to represent OSGeo
in the OGC. As you know I personally appreciate your work and
analytical thinking. But you have not proven to be very constructive
and your thinking is much too polarized to represent a
broadest-possible-community umbrella as is the OSGeo. But I might be
wrong and if the OSGeo board supports creating a new "leading" role
for the OGC OSGeo liaison - so be it.

Having been active in the OGC for quite some time you should know that
it is thoroughly member driven. So there is not much use telling Carl
and Mark how to do things. They do not make the rules or the
standards, they just facilitate the process. If at all, then the TC
can come up with new ways of doing things. One role of the OAB is to
keep track of these things and recommend the TC to look into issues.
Right now I am trying to get a "new way of dealing with standards" on
the agenda. But this is an ongoing thing and a lot of work so no idea
whether or when it will come to fruition.

I am not sure whether OSGeo can come up with a common position towards
the OGC at all. Plus there is this total lack of support for the
bridges we have built so far. As soon as some real work needs to be
done everybody is busy with something else. If there is something to
criticize in OGC then everybody is vocal and supportive. Until
something really needs to be done. Personally this has been very
frustrating to me (which is not really important but may help explain
my lack of ecstasy wrt to the latest flames of activity).

> A second front might be to become more active on the Standards
> Front.

The five free OSGeo membership slots have so far never been put to
good use except by Volker Mische. I cannot see why this would now
change? Plus - if we disagree with the way OGC does things - then why
should we support that way of doing things? Michael put it together in
a concise and accurate mail here:

So if we (OSGeo as a whole, haha) believe that OGC needs to change
then we have to come up with a model that works. Just criticizing how
it works now without taking all factors into account is, well, not
really helpful, right?

Please don't get me wrong, I really appreciate your work and think
that you have a valuable perspective. This is more a word of caution
that things will not work out as easily as it may first appear
(speaking with the experience of a few years of frustration).


> There has been some recent interest in OSGeo taking on some
> Standards related activity, where certainly being vocal and
> offering productive critiques could be productive. It may also
> prove useful to do more. For example, I am planning to write up a
> number of format standards in the next six months and so it might
> make sense for me to develop some of them within OSGeo. The
> standards would require buy in from this community anyhow, so
> perhaps developing them here would give this community some more
> leverage in the Standards game. I'll do the bulk of the work first
> and then get back to you all on whether they make sense at OSGeo
> and how they could start life here. In the interim, OSGeo might 
> consider how it could host 'standards focused projects' rather
> than 'software focused projects' or 'community focused projects'.
> I'm not sure that requires more work than agreeing it should be
> allowed. It could be part of 'labs' to stay informal or some other
> procedure might be invented.
> cheers, ~adrian
> On 5/31/13 8:25 AM, Jeff McKenna wrote:
>> On 2013-05-30 5:57 PM, Michael Gerlek wrote:
>>> Adrian showed himself to be a level-headed and rational
>>> discoursant during the recent kerfuffle.
>>> If Adrian is willing, I'd support a motion to put him in charge
>>> of, or at least a member of, some sort of effort to engage with
>>> OGC to find out the Best Way Forward for our two
>>> organizations.
>>> I think Arnulf and I are the current gatekeepers of OGC things,
>>> such as it is; I'd of course be happy to continue to help here,
>>> and I'm sure Arnulf would too.
>> I strongly agree with this plan.  The recent happenings have
>> seemed to bring the OGC and OSGeo closer, and I feel Adrian can
>> really help us communicate.
>> -jeff
> _______________________________________________ Discuss mailing
> list Discuss at lists.osgeo.org 
> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss

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