[Osmf-talk] Enough is enough: disinfecting OSM from poisonous people

Philip Shipley phil at barby.net
Wed Aug 11 12:59:17 UTC 2010

Hi Frederik,

Rereading Steve's mail, my response and the subsequent replies, I have
concluded you are right(ish).

Steves mail was about how the debate should be conducted and how to ensure
that everyone has their say, yet not allowing any one individual take
control and stopping any hectoring and abuses.  Normally this is done by a
moderator, someone anointed with the power to 'force' a party to behave and
ultimately exclude them from further participation.

However my reply was more my personal frustration that a particular debate
hasn't yet drawn to a close with a conclusion of the way forward.  The
current approach seems to be to keep talking until the community forms a
consensus that everyone can agree to, unfortunately it looks like this is
not achievable.  Normally in a debate, once all of the points of view have
had a fair hearing, the matter is put to the vote by the moderator.

So I do stand my proposal of requiring a 'Prime Minister', however I now
think 'moderator' would be a better term.  We need someone (a person or a
body), with a light touch, to ensure that debates are fairly and honestly
conducted, and to determine when the point is reached to bring the matter to
a conclusion.

That said, we have managed to get this far without needing such a role, a
boy have there been some humdingers in the past - however the community
managed to eventually move forward.  So why do we need one now?  Perhaps
it's as Oliver argues - we are growing up and consequently starting to
experiencing grown-up problems.

Regardless of the reason I do believe we need it - for example the licence
matter is a festering sore that is proving to be poisonous to the project.
 I don't think any new left to be said, the opposing parties are
clearly unreconcilable, it's time for the community to make a majority
decision and accept the consequence.  Some will accept/respect the decision,
others will feel they need to move on to other opportunities.  But someone
has to call time, please....

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