[Osmf-talk] Phasing out Google services

Ivo Stankov ivo at e-stankov.com
Thu Sep 19 18:51:31 UTC 2013

I welcome the general discussion about alternatives to all Google
products and fully agree that OSMF should move to open alternative
projects analogous to the OSM project itself.

Still, I think the most urgent issue is to switch the "normal users"
regisration form that collects the members' sensitive data away from
GDocs and towards any other online web-form solution.

On 19.09.2013 09:18, Frederik Ramm wrote:
> Hi,
> On 09/19/13 08:45, Oleksiy Muzalyev wrote:
>> Is there no other way to collect personal home addresses, but a Google
>> Document?
> "Use Google" is a knee-jerk reaction for many people even in OSM and
> OSMF. Google email, Google hangout, Google docs - all used pervasively
> in OSMF. The scarcest resource is usually volunteer time, so if someone
> says "I'll do this task" we usually allow them to use whatever means
> they feel they are most effective with, and we don't tell them "but you
> have to use sites A,B,C for that".
> For example, when we have a board meeting I still do the minutes in a
> Google doc before transferring them to the OSMF wiki later simply
> because that's what everyone is used to. I could dig out an alternative
> but do I want to force my fellow board members through yet another
> signup process, or to learn a new user interface, etc? There's usually
> enough other stuff to keep one busy.
> I agree that change is desirable here, and that we should wane the
> organisation off Google services. Personally I don't see the danger of
> real privacy incursions as the #1 reason, but the public message: How
> can we expect people to stop using Google Maps as their knee-jerk
> response to any Map project when at the same time we're not prepared to
> switch away from Google ourselves?
> (Hat tip to our sysadmins here who are doing their site analysis stuff
> with a self-hosted Piwik installation instead of Google Analytics as
> many other might have done.)
> I'm happy to hear suggestions about viable replacements for
> * Google docs - simple shared "live" word processing and spreadsheets;
> less frequently also the kind of email questionnaire that sparked this
> thread;
> * Google hangout - group voice or video chat that "just works" across a
> range of platforms including Linux
> * Google email - handling email (and management of aliases and groups)
> for a domain, either forwarding email to other systems or allowing
> direct imap or webmail access
> For all of these there's likely some sort of Open Source package that
> you can install and run, and it is not completely impossible that we'd
> to that (we are running our own wikis, for example, not some paid-for
> hosted wiki elsewhere) but we don't have a lot of manpower to spare - we
> can't have an admin on call just in case some working group member
> cannot find a document or so. Which means that we'd also consider
> commercial solutions that we have to pay for.
> Bye
> Frederik

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