[Strategic] Tonight's meeting
frederik at remote.org
Fri Dec 16 15:51:13 GMT 2011
On 12/16/11 14:57, Dermot McNally wrote:
> My last two proposals, about community and goals, are geared directly
> at combatting some of the troublesome behaviours we have noted. Some
> mappers have taken the view that they do not need to answer questions
> from other mappers, to the extent of accusing them of sending spam. My
> proposed value intends to enshrine the principle of communication and
> attach it to the notion of operating in a community.
Indeed I have, in my role as an active DWG member, blocked people in the
past for stubbornly doing "their" thing without even answering questions
from other mappers. In at least one case this culminated in a rather
active mapper leaving the project after I said to him that community
comes first and data comes second, and if he isn't prepared to be part
of the community then we don't want his data.
> Notwithstanding the importance of our
> open source heritage, I'm attempting to suggest that, in the event of
> a tie, putting map data into peoples' hands wins out over principles
> we may hold dear.
I think that you have thrown the baby out with the bathwater here. What
"Our most important goal is to make excellent maps available as widely
as possible for free"
- misses the core of this project on two counts. The first is, we're
explicitly *not* about maps but about the data used to make them. This
has been iterated time and time again in endless discussions about the
front page and so on. We do sometimes reduce ourselves to maps when we
have explain OSM to first-timers but it would certainly not be right to
put that down as a core purpose or value.
We're not, for example, in the business of making nicely printed paper
maps or of offering free unlimited tile download to whoever might want
it, and the sloppy use of "making maps available" could be misunderstood
as meaning exactly that. (I still have the blocked tile downloaders'
"and you call yourself open???" whining in my ear.)
The second is, we're explicitly *not* about "for free" (=free as in beer
- even Google is 'for free'!) but about "under a free and open license".
So if you want to have a line in that fashion, it would have to read
"Our most important goal is to make excellent geodata available as
widely as possible under a free and open license."
But further dissecting this, it seems to contradict just what you said
in the beginning. If this were indeed the overriding goal, then we would
have to accept imports (which are more often than not detrimental to
community) and also edits by disruptive individuals as long as the data
quality is good. But we just said that we'd rather kick out an obnoxiuos
This suggests that the words "maintained by a vibrant community", or
"sustainable community" or something also need to go into the "most
important goal", or maybe into a second sentence that describes how we
aim to reach that goal. It must become clear that humans, not data, are
the heart of this project.
> My most specific point now goes to the "The software running..."
> point. I suggest "should be" rather than "is" open-source, simply
> because we can't predict what could happen in the future,
The idea of core values is, I believe, to say what one wants or
believes. If we think it is important to run open-source software then
that can be in the core values, and if future generations should think
otherwise, then they can change the core values. I think that it is very
important for our standing to be able to say "everyone can set up and
replicate our infrastructure" and therefore I think the commitment to
open source is good.
I think anything that one believes so little in that there's a desire to
water it down with "should"s should simply be left out of the core
values because obviously it isn't that much "core".
More information about the Strategic