[Osmf-talk] Candidacy: OSMF Board

Rafael Avila Coya ravilacoya at gmail.com
Sat Nov 25 12:55:14 UTC 2017

Hi all:

I have read all the messages in this thread, and I am quite surprised to 
see some people (like John Crowley or Joseph Reeves) talking about 
bullying in Séverin's email. Séverin's message would pass unadverted if 
he had sent a similar message to the one in this thread while John or 
Joseph were replying to a proposal of HOT US organization by Séverin and 
others back in 2014. Those messages were difficult and sad to read, but 
I can't recall telling how people have to express themselves in a 
mailing list. That's up to anyone, and I prefer to focus on the content, 
not the container.

If I would put a limit, that would be of avoiding racism, genre based 
attacks and the like. I don't see that in Séverin's email, nor bullying 
as some people say, however harsh his email is. Simon expressed it 
better than me:

"As you point out  Severin is in the mean time well known for his fairly 
aggressive critique of certain aspects of HOT Inc., but I didn't see 
name calling, threats, use of force or any other behaviour in the mail 
that would commonly be associated with bullying 
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullying) as Pete claims it was."

Another thing that counts is context. Yes: Séverin doesn't like Heather 
at all. If he didn't, I am sure his mail would be very different.

Of all what Séverin says, I find very important, in my honest opinion, 
that a candidate for the OpenStreetMap board should have shown a good 
score of mapping. We are mappers, aren't we? I don't say that we have to 
come with a million and a half edits behind, but at least a minimum 
experience in OSM editing is required, specially if you joined OSM in 
2011. It's my opinion, and the opinion of other very respected members 
of the OSM community (Frederik Ramm comes to my mind; correct me if I am 
not right).

To make things clear that this is not anything personal with Heather, I 
can say that I voted for her 2 times when she was candidate to the HOT 
US board (hoping that balance in the board of that org would make come 
together two different visions of how the org should be organized), but 
due to the clear lack of commitment on mapping herself during her 6 
years as OSM user I won't vote for her this time (maybe in the future). 
And it's a pity, because the board needs more genre balance, something 
that Séverin has pointed as necessary too. I obviously don't ask all 
members to agree with me, but it's my opinion and my free choice.

Code of Conduct: Personally I have never read a code of conduct. Not 
really interested. Code of conduct should be using common sense, but 
freedom of speech is way more important. Restrictions should be against 
insulting, bullying, racism, and the like. I haven't seen none in this 
thread, and it's probably extremely rare in the OSM mailing lists.

Séverin is not a candidate. But for those who don't know him, I can 
assure you he is among the most dedicated members of the OSM community 
I've ever known. You should see his commitment in helping local OSM 
communities around West Africa (Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Togo, Benin, 
etc.) organize themselves and grow as pure volunteer communities, 
something that at least for me looks almost like a miracle. It was an 
honor for me to be invited to attend a trainning meeting of 3 weeks last 
year in Bouaké (Côte d'Ivoire), where I met extraordinary and very 
active members, men and women, from those communities. Very inspiring!

And not to speak of his experience and hard work as a mapper, highly 
active in different mailing lists. Thank you Séverin for all of that, 
and I hope I will continue to learn from you.

As for what I want of OSM and OSMF, I will again quote Simon Poole here:

"To perhaps get back on topic (the OSMF elections), I believe you 
actually touch on one of the important themes, not just around Heather 
running for the board, but in general and which is one of the points 
that Severin has expressed too: historically the OSMF has spent little 
money and has more or less by design been kept small. One of the reasons 
for this has been to not to have to take in to consideration the wishes 
and demands of outside parties. To put it flippantly; so that we can do 
our own thing."

Have all a nice day,

Rafael (user: edvac).

On 23/11/17 19:18, Christoph Hormann wrote:
> On Thursday 23 November 2017, joost schouppe wrote:
>> This quote to me is the worst of the text:
>>> Seeking to join the board of the OSM Foundation with such a high
>>> OSM profile is really shameless
> Thanks.
> In German characterizing behaviour as shameless (schamlos) that you
> consider inappropriate or selfish in a very bold way is widely
> accepted - not only in everyday conversation between people but also in
> situations where a guarded and thoughtful formulation is usually
> expected.
> While this is considered a strong form of critique - someone is
> criticized not only for what they do but also for doing it in bold,
> excessive or ostentatious form with complete disregard for it being
> inappropriate - it is not generally considered demeaning or defamation
> because it is a critique of behaviour and not of character.  Referring
> to a person as 'schamlos' rather than to their specific actions can be
> different (depending on context) but this is very rare in German
> (except maybe as a hidden and slightly ironic compliment for boldness).
> Note this is not meant to say i agree with Severin's assessment.

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