[Osmf-talk] Back to Earth, Back to basics

Michael Collinson mike at ayeltd.biz
Mon Nov 17 14:21:18 UTC 2014

I am using Jonathan's response below as a springboard for a new thread. 
He happens to coincide exactly with my personal thinking and the timing 
of his comment on "a clearly stated argument" was perfect, since I was 
in the middle of trying to write one.  The only thing I would add on the 
EGM thing is that there does remain an issue of unpredictability in the 
exact length of each individual's term. If we consider that to be 
important, it is easily resolvable thanks to Simon's push to generally 
clean-up the Articles of Association. We can take some time to think 
about the exact wording, and we can have it in place at or by next 
year's annual election. End of my comments as an individual OSMF member.

But to basics. I am the Management Team chair. The Management Team is 
well thought out, thanks in major part to Matt Amos [1]. But, well, in 
my English county of Yorkshire, we have a saying, "About as much use as 
a chocolate teapot".  That is an exaggeration, but we have had great 
trouble in successfully implementing it. In early October I began 
analyzing why. The final end result is a review of the OSMF, our 
successes and our problems:


The board have been presented with the document  for their meeting on 
Thursday 20th November.  At that meeting I shall tender my courtesy 
resignation and we'll see what happens.

The document itself is l-o-n-g. So if you want to know what I think is 
wrong, skip to the "General Operations" section.

I am still working on improving it based on some early feedback and the 
simple fact is that when I collate things, I start to see things I did 
not before. I have also managed to upset two of our hard-working and 
reliable working group members.

This is a review, not a plan and not a vision.  My core conclusion is 
that what IS wrong is quite simple: Too few people doing too many things.

If you feel there is some merit in my conclusions, then I think the 
board can go on to make a general operational plan with your help. To 
stimulate that process, I have added my current conclusions under "What 

I naturally welcome comments, will read everything and incorporate 
useful stuff.  But I will not likely respond, I have taken to much time 
out of my proffessional life already! I also work in fits and starts on 
OSMF matters.


[1] http://wiki.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Management_Team/Statutes

On 14/11/2014 14:34, Jonathan Harley wrote:
> Yes, of course anyone who takes the trouble to pay up and join the 
> OSMF cares about the OSMF. That's about 600 of us, then.
> Personally, I haven't contributed to the acrimonious debate about 
> board size and term limits partly because of the tone of the debate, 
> but mostly because I have absolutely no confidence that tinkering with 
> those details is going to fix the problems with OSMF.
> I've yet to even hear a clearly stated argument about what IS wrong 
> with OSMF, apart from Steve's suggestion that the board are "thinking 
> too small", which seems very plausible. I've heard no convincing 
> argument that reducing the board size or introducing term limits will 
> help, and obviously they would harm continuity, with the potential to 
> be disastrous if we reach the situation where nobody well qualified is 
> actually allowed to stand. So as it stands, I'm likely to vote against 
> any resolution at the EGM; I prefer the status quo, where I get to 
> vote for the best candidates available without limitation.
> Those are my reasons for not contributing; I can only guess that other 
> people's might very well be similar. People who prefer the status quo 
> often keep quiet.
> Jon.
> On 14/11/14 08:05, Andy Robinson wrote:
>> “It's possible that 90% of the OSMF membership don't care at all 
>> about the OSMF” Possible? no I doubt that very much. If one decides 
>> to be a member of the OSMF I believe one is likely to have a very 
>> caring interest, otherwise why bother?
>> Rather than a member of the choir from this outlook I’d say you were 
>> acting like the preacher.
>> Cheers
>> Andy

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