[Osmf-talk] [OSM-talk] Esri donation to OpenStreetMap Foundation

Oliver Kühn oliver.kuehn at skobbler.com
Wed Mar 21 08:54:42 UTC 2012


I fully support what Steve said here. If the community wants
decentralisation they have to accept the trade-offs that go along with it.

I have no clue why the amount was left out but I can confirm that there
are no "strings attached". I am also aware of the amount but won't
disclose it as the board has had no briefing on how the thing will be
communicated .


Am 21.03.2012 07:29, schrieb Steve Coast:
> Hi Fred and others
> The challenge we have here is that many people feel that OSMF should exist in a minimal way and that responsibility and decisions should be pushed down close to where they are made. And they actively work to make that happen, which is a good thing generally. Indeed in pushing the management team and working groups this way was one of my goals to make things more efficient and involve more people.
> The bug that you've found is that then making those same people accountable for their decisions or to coordinate with others can be problematic. There needs to be extremely good communication between the Board, the MT and then the working groups and that hasn't been happening to the extent that I personally would like.
> So when you ask the board to account for this secrecy we can't do so, because it wasn't our decision. Just as you and others have insisted that technical or design decisions aren't up to us, neither was this decision. In fact, I don't even know who made it.
> Perhaps this system of extreme decentralization will work but I have my doubts. But we should all be clear that your elected representatives on the board don't actually control many of the things that a reasonable outsider would generally expect.
> Steve
> On Mar 20, 2012, at 5:17 PM, Frederik Ramm wrote:
>> Hi,
>> On Tue, 20 Mar 2012 14:17:52 +0100
>> Guttorm Flatabø <post at guttormflatabo.com> wrote:
>>> one reason is that it is a "secret" and secrets are mostly
>>> undesirable in open, inclusive, democratic, non-profit organizations.
>> Yes. Secrets also lead to more secrets. If you get a secret amount of
>> money and then buy a new server for it, you cannot say how expensive
>> the server was. Which means that nobody can check if you maybe bought
>> overprived hardware from a shop run by a board member's uncle and got a
>> nice kickback for yourself, etc.
>> I don't intend to spoil the fun, and I'm sure the operations team is
>> going to be happy if they can spend more on servers (it might help to
>> tell them how much though!); with all the media coverage we had
>> recently, we may need that sooner than later.
>> But even so, I would like to point out the fact that keeping the details
>> about such a donation secret will cause problems - even more so if this
>> should become a standard mode of how we deal with money. It may sound
>> like a no-brainer at first ("hey, ESRI is offering us this wad of cash
>> on the condition that we don't say how much it was, anyone against?")
>> but if you think about the implications then this quickly becomes a
>> slippery slope that we don't want to be on. 
>> I would like to ask our board to explain to ESRI that it is important
>> for our community to be truthfully informed about important
>> developments in OSMF, and that if a donation is big enough to warrant
>> its own article on the OSMF blog then the community should be allowed
>> to know how big it was exactly. 
>> In the long run, it might be prudent to think about conditions under
>> which we can accept donations. I think such conditions already exist in
>> all our minds; if someone offered to give us money under the condition
>> that we make sure that their headquarters is made unmodifiable on the
>> map or that they always get priority access to our API then we would
>> all say "hoo, wait a minute, we're sorry but we can't do that". I
>> would suggest that a rule like "any donation in excess of (something
>> like) US$1000 will be individually accounted for" should be added.
>> As I said, it's great of ESRI to support us and eventually we will hear
>> whether this was to the tune of $5,000, $50,000, or $500,000 but
>> really, we shouldn't have such secrets.
>> Bye
>> Frederik
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