[Osmf-talk] Running

Henk Hoff henk.hoff at osmfoundation.org
Sat Oct 25 10:08:56 UTC 2014

Hi Sarah,

Thanks for the opportunity to clarify my comments

-----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
Van: Sarah Hoffmann [mailto:lonvia at denofr.de] 

On Fri, Oct 24, 2014 at 01:22:51AM +0200, Henk Hoff wrote:
>> I've been silent because I'm pretty busy with work at the moment and some
other stuff I need to do.

>I understand and sympathise with that. Maybe in the future it would be
possible to drop a short mail ala 'I'm busy, will answer later' just to
avoid giving the impression that you are trying to simply sit out a
difficult question?

I could have done that. Apologies.

> I'm normally a person who does not get angry or mad quickly. But Frederik
(no reason to not mention his name, because you would have guessed it
anyways) is one of the very few persons who has gotten me really furious.

> It pains me to see such unconsolable differences between two board
>From what I have read from you two so far, they seem to be largely
differences in personality which ultimately is something  you two have to
work out among yourselves. I don't think it helps to have that discussion in

I agree with our that I'd rather not have that discussion in public. But
since my actions in the board have been questioned on this mailinglist I
feel the need to describe the context. 

I have been trying to work it out on several occasions. For instance the
example I described about getting together. Another example: More than a
year ago, the situation in the board was highly explosive. I've stepped in
and ordered everyone to hold their mails. I then spend about 1 hour with
each board member on the phone and I had even a 4 hour call with Simon. I've
send a short summary of the talks I had to the board with a proposal to end
the stand off.

> However, there are two points regarding board operations there where it
would be helpful if you could clarify them for me:

>> - A couple of months in he complained that I was doing way too much and
that other board members please take over some work from me.

> From the tone of this mail I understand that you are extremely busy. In
that case, wouldn't it be a rather sensible suggestion to offload some of
this work? I think we are all aware that each of the board members is doing
their work in their spare time and I think every board member deserves a
live next to OSM. I always thought that the board is so large so that the
work load on each single board member remains reasonable.

It's true that I'd like to keep myself busy. Please keep in mind the
situation I described was 1.5 years ago. About 3 months after Frederik
joined the board. The situation was quite different. I had more time
available and I was more than happy to spend it on OSMF work. And as far as
I know, I had not indicated that I was too busy, nor there were other
indications I could not handle the tasks at hand at that time.

>> - When I helped Steve setup the first OSMplus, I did that to keep OSMplus
complementary to the OSMF so we would not end up with competing
organisations. I got greeted with that I immediately needed to resign, that
there was a grave conflict of interest, I was not defending the interests of
the OSMF.

>Are you saying that you do not see any conflict of interested in working
for an organisation that competes for membership with OSMF while being the
only board member with direct access to the membership database, and more
importantly, the first person to see new membership applications?

Like I said, I helped because I wanted to keep OSMplus complementary to the
OSMF. I do promote initiatives to make the project better. It's great to see
initiatives like MapBox acquiring a grant from the Knight Foundation in
order to make the iD editor happen. It's great to see an initiative to
create a platform where businesses can get together and see how they
collectively help the project grow.
As OSMF we should embrace these initiatives. Together we can really make a

Talking about conflict of interest: I'm one of the few people in the board
who has no link with OSM in their day-to-day work. I have nothing to gain
(financially) by either the OSMF nor OSMplus. 

>> In order to get the board functioning in some kind of decent way, we need
to work on the human factor. We all have our unique qualities. And we all
want to move the project forward. Let's try to take advantage of that. 
>> And really, I don't think we're miles apart within the board on issues. 

> I'm glad to hear that.

> Unfortunately, you seem to have overseen the direct question I posted for
you in the mail that started this discussion, so let me repeat it:
why do you deem it necessary to withhold direct access to the member
database from other board members?

When Frederik asked me for the membership list I've asked him where he
wanted to use it for. The most clear answer I've ever gotten was "board
stuff". I still don't know what that means. I've asked whether he wanted
certain statistics (like geographical spread, female vs male, age, etc). No
answer, other than "I want the list" and "we should not have secrets for
each other". 
Since that discussion I have send the register of member and the register of
associate members to the other board members on multiple occasions. So they
do have access to the list. So if you've gotten the impression that other
board members still have no access to the list, your impression is


More information about the osmf-talk mailing list