[Osmf-talk] SotM2011: What's next?

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Tue Jul 20 10:35:06 UTC 2010


Jonathan Harley wrote:
> So I see an important function of SotM going 
> forward as the place where the foundation can keep in touch with the 
> membership (particularly as the actual people on the board, and doing 
> the mapping, change over the years). I'd like to see the foundation's 
> AGM and working group meetings as central to SotM - not just scheduled 
> during a lunch break!

That's an interesting idea.

Bear in mind though that until now, OSMF has always tried not to be 
"central to OSM". OSMF has shouldered the burdens that needed to be 
shouldered by someone, but OSMF is not, and never wanted to be, the body 
that plots the future for OSM. The license debate is an unfortunate 
exception (not OSMF's fault, it's one of those things that needed to be 
shouldered), but other than that OSMF always tried to be marginal to the 
project. This was not a fault, it was by design.

This is also one reason why we don't have heated debates at the OSMF AGM 
and why we don't have lots of people vying for control of the board. 
This year, some contenders didn't even bother to put up a manifesto on 
the Wiki which again I don't see as a problem, it just shows that OSMF 
(and who's on the board) is not that important.

In making OSMF and its working groups central to SotM, you implicitly 
make OSMF more central to the project, would you not? And I don't know 
if that is good; it would surely change the situation.

At the moment, with very few exception, OSMF is just an organisation 
helping the OSM project. OSMF might help other projects as well, and 
indeed other organisations might similarly help OSM. OSMF is a bit 
special because it pays money for servers and owns the domain name, but 
other than that it never claimed exclusivity in any way.

In practice, of course, everyone perceives OSMF and OSM to be joined at 
the hip.


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