[Osmf-talk] A modest proposal for "spending some money"

Simon Poole simon at poole.ch
Thu Sep 29 11:14:09 UTC 2016

The following is nothing new, however tends to get lost in discussions
when people want end-user features on the OSM website, which we in
general consider out of scope in the current OSM business model.

The main purpose of openstreetmap.org is to support our contributors and
communities, and in a limited way serve as a marketing vehicle. However
since the last major redesign not all too much has happened outside of
contributions made during Google Summer of Code projects. Both the
changeset comment/discussion facility and the not yet integrated comment
moderating code stem from such projects.

While companies in OSMspace have been offering more and more in the way
of external tools, which is naturally very welcome, our core website has
not received a lot of love. MapBox is naturally still strongly engaged
in maintaining and expanding iD for which everybody is grateful, but
that is the exception not the rule.

The other side of this is that we currently don't have an active working
group that could drive any development and/or add some funds for such
development to the OSMF budget. I suspect work on the 2017 budget will
start soon (:-)) and as chair of the likely largest spender (ignoring
depreciation) of OSMF funds outside of the board.  I find it slightly
embarrassing that we are not at least investing the same amount in
improving the environment for our contributors.

The projects that come to my mind immediately for 2017 would be

- group messaging

- news dropdown (this was part of the original redesign proposal but
never got done)

naturally opinions may differ on these, but they would seem to be
reasonably non-controversial and not involve amounts of money that we
can't afford.


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