[OSGeo-Standards] [Board] glossary discussion on osgeo-standards ....

Angelos Tzotsos gcpp.kalxas at gmail.com
Thu Oct 17 02:14:37 PDT 2019

Hi all,

Would someone be available to join our next board meeting to discuss 
this issue?


On 10/15/19 9:52 PM, Cameron Shorter wrote:
> OSGeo Board, OSGeo Discuss,
> I'd like to introduce you to this proposal that Ron and Reese have 
> been developing on the OSGeo Standards email list, which I think 
> should fit under the legal structure of an OSGeo Committee.
> I have vague recollections that setting up a committee requires board 
> approval? I've found some old tips on running a committee here: 
> https://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Committee_Guidelines
> Comments welcomed.
> On 15/10/19 4:47 pm, Ronald Tse wrote:
>> Hi Cameron,
>> Thank you for the suggestions! I have updated the proposal to reflect 
>> your comments below.
>> I would be honored to help with terminology management at OSGeo. 
>> Can’t speak for Reese but with his leadership in already doing 
>> terminology cleanup on Felicity’s sheet, he seems pretty committed 
>> already :-)
>> Ron
>> ———
>> Recommendations for OSGeo terminology management
>> 1. Establish a terminology management group in OSGeo.
>> ISO/TC 211, IEC Electropedia and OGC all have one for terminology 
>> management. The existence of this group is crucial to the success 
>> of the OSGeo terminology database. It will play two essential roles:
>> a) As the gatekeeper of terms to ensure quality checks of contributions
>> b) As the seat of central terminology knowledge for alignment of 
>> terms and concepts. To facilitate the flow of terminology knowledge 
>> to terminology authors and users.
>> It would be helpful to involve representation from ISO/TC 211 and OGC 
>> in this group, in order to leverage their experience in 
>> terminology. Such experience will be useful in situations such as 
>> alerting on cross-organization alignment of concepts or term 
>> duplication.
>> An email list shall be setup for this group for internal communication.
>> 2. Establish a terms of reference for terminology management.
>> For the terminology management group, a terms of reference should be 
>> produced so that the steps for approval and data quality requirements 
>> are clear. This should be openly shared with contributors so they are 
>> clear on acceptance criteria.
>> Contributors may propose changes to the terminology database at any 
>> time. The terminology management group shall discuss and approve or 
>> disapprove of the proposal within a reasonable timeframe. This 
>> practice is in-line with the open source, change-based, 
>> rapid iteration mantra, similar to OpenSSL.
>> For releases, the group shall convene periodically, such as every 4-6 
>> months, to discuss previously decided proposals, governance 
>> or technical issues related to terminology management.
>> The method of submitting change requests shall also be determined and 
>> announced so that contributors understand the necessary processes and 
>> timeline.
>> 3. Establish an online terminology database presence.
>> Terminology isn’t useful until people use them, which means people 
>> need to first know they exist and what they mean. Geolexica is 
>> an initiative that currently serves ISO/TC 211’s terminology 
>> management group in making its multi-lingual geographic information 
>> terminology available on the internet (https://www.geolexica.org). We 
>> propose to use https://osgeo.geolexica.org/ to serve OSGeo in 
>> managing its terminology database. Geolexica not only serves 
>> human-readable concepts and terms, but also serves in 
>> machine-readable JSON, allowing APIs to directly consume the content.
>> The structure of Geolexica is designed for efficiency with 
>> streamlined management and operations. Terms are stored in structured 
>> data (YAML) files, and are directly deployable to the website. The 
>> website operates according to best practices, and is served as a 
>> static website with dynamic search functionality. Security and 
>> performance have always been key considerations.
>> For terms that originate from other authoritative terminology 
>> databases, such as those from ISO or OGC, a linkage shall be 
>> established from the OSGeo terminology database back to the source.
>> 4. Use an issue tracker with source code management functionality as 
>> an open communication platform (e.g. GitHub).
>> The issue tracker is used to perform two-way communication between 
>> OSGeo members and the contributors. This requires every contributor 
>> to at least have an account, which helps minimize spam. The source 
>> code management functionality is used to manage terminology data in a 
>> machine-useable way.
>> There are generally two types of contributors:
>> a) those who suggest changes via textual description, and
>> b) those who suggest changes but can also format the desired content 
>> in the data format used by the terminology database.
>> People can easily help out with the former in formatting the changes 
>> into a proper data structure change. This allows the 
>> terminology management group to directly approve, merge and deploy 
>> the proposed term modifications (and creations, deletions), all made 
>> effective with a single click.
>> 5. Allow easy feedback from terminology users.
>> To minimize friction in the feedback process, for every term offered 
>> in the OSGeo terminology pages we can offer a “propose new term” and 
>> “propose changes to this term" buttons. This allows user to directly 
>> go to the issue platform (e.g. GitHub) to make the suggested changes.
>> A “contributors guide” document will greatly help these people make 
>> the proper suggestions and have them formatted correctly.
>> 6. Initial load and data cleanup.
>> The initial load of the terms will involve a bulk load from the 
>> cleaned terms and definitions that Felicity has compiled. Geolexica 
>> could easily handle the initial conversion from table format into the 
>> desired structured data format.
>> The cleanup process has already been started by Reese Plews, convenor 
>> of the TMG at ISO/TC 211.
>> _____________________________________
>> Ronald Tse
>> Ribose Inc.
>>> On Oct 10, 2019, at 3:34 PM, Cameron Shorter 
>>> <cameron.shorter at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Hi Ron,
>>> I really like your proposal. It looks very practical, should address 
>>> quality requirements, and should be relatively light weight to 
>>> manage. Some comments/suggestions:
>>> * You might want to mention the approach to your first load of 
>>> terms, which probably should involve a bulk load from a derivative 
>>> of the terms that Felicity has compiled.
>>> * I suggest we set up an email list to discuss terms. OSGeo can 
>>> provide that for us, and I can coordinate that, once we have agreed 
>>> on our approach.
>>> * I suggest that an updating the glossary be tied to a periodic 
>>> event, at least annually. I think we should tie in with the 
>>> OSGeoLive annual build cycle for this.
>>> * You haven't mentioned https://osgeo.geolexica.org/ 
>>> <https://osgeo.geolexica.org/> in your description. I assume that 
>>> would be part of the solution? If so, I suggest mentioning it.
>>> * Another project I'm helping start up is 
>>> https://thegooddocsproject.dev/ <https://thegooddocsproject.dev/> 
>>> (Writing templates to make good docs for open source projects). I 
>>> expect that the solution you are proposing would be valuable for a 
>>> wide variety of domains, and should be captured as best practices in 
>>> TheGoodDocsProject. At some point in the future, I'm hoping that you 
>>> might provide a generic version of your suggestions for others to 
>>> follow too.
>>> Feel free to add your ideas below into the wiki at: 
>>> https://trac.osgeo.org/osgeolive/wiki/Glossary%20terms
>>> (Maybe add "DRAFT" at the top, until we have the process set up.)
>>> * Ron and Reese, I'm hoping that you both will continue to provide 
>>> the leadership and stewardship of the community as it grows? Your 
>>> advice has been great to date.
>>> Warm regards, Cameron
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Angelos Tzotsos, PhD
Charter Member
Open Source Geospatial Foundation

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