[Osmf-talk] Welcome Mat for Organizations

Mikel Maron, OSM mikel at osmfoundation.org
Wed Nov 28 21:31:46 UTC 2018

> This is likely one  of the major reasons why people were and still are hesitant to contribute since it feels like this is a foreign object to the OSM community
I haven't seen any hesitation. Just today, there's been several PRs by members of the OSM community. Several good ideas on this email thread, that I'd love to see as a PR. So it's not foreign at all. Rather it may be harder to do some work on it, than talk about what should be done.
> the AB is ...
Let's stop making a bogeyman out of the AB. There's just not much happening there, so no reason to be concerned. Anything that does happen is reported out on monthly Board minutes. Yes, it would be great to see it more active, and develop process. Let's work on making the AB successful, rather than worrying what monster it could possibly be in our imaginations.
> "taking the lead"  
As I said earlier, don't read too much into this phrase that I personally typed into an email. This was not a useful phrase, in reflection. The reality is that I took the lead on making this happen, and I appreciate everyone who contributed far more than I (including Christoph) and will contribute to it, no matter who has ultimately responsibility for maintaining and growing it.
* Mikel Maron * +14152835207 @mikel s:mikelmaron 

    On Wednesday, November 28, 2018, 4:19:29 PM EST, Christoph Hormann <chris_hormann at gmx.de> wrote:  
 On Wednesday 28 November 2018, Mikel Maron wrote:
> I disagree. The people on the Advisory Board are part of the
> community, and have learned a lot about both what questions and
> surprises newcomers have to OSM, and what the community expects from
> its members. The AB were far from the only folks involved in content
> development. Further, all of the content on the Welcome Mat has been
> open to feedback and PRs, and have gone through multiple iterations
> based on that feedback. It is hardly represents a single point of
> view, but a collective view.

Collective point of view of who?

> > In terms of accountability and transparency the AB is weaker than
> > the average OSM body; there's a high danger of a dominant person or
> > group in the AB simply deciding what they want and the others
> > wouldn't even notice. As is indeed proven here where some people
> > say that the AB "took the lead on this" and others on the AB
> > weren't aware.
> This is a misrepresentation of what happened. I think we're reading
> way too much into a single phrase I wrote, and that could be better
> put.  The AB was asked to help with working on content. And not only
> the AB, but members of the Foundation.

Yes, but for completeness: The draft was only introduced to the OSMF 
members (and thereby the public) on July 20 this year when it was 
already pretty far ahead.  I joined the AB in March and it had already 
been introduced there before.  This development model with staged 
inclusion of different privileged groups is extremely unfamiliar for 
most in a community project like OSM where most stuff is open from the 
moment more than one person starts working on them.  This is likely one 
of the major reasons why people were and still are hesitant to 
contribute since it feels like this is a foreign object to the OSM 
community.  And this is the main reason why i suggested to put it into 
the hands of the CWG to develop it into an actual community project on 
the same level as other community projects we have in OSM.  The CWG 
would not necessarily have to invest much work in that - if there is 
sufficient community interest in developing this further the CWG would 
only need to supervise that changes that go live on the website do not 
contain major screwups.

I agree with Frederik that the AB is the least transparent and least 
open part of the OSMF that is not currently defined by any codified 
rules or is accountable to anyone.  Well - in a way it is of course 
accountable to the board of directors in so far as if the board does 
not like what the AB does it can either ignore it or dissolve it.

In fact i would say the AB hardly exists as a collective body because 
there are no governing rules that incite the members to work together.  
As a strictly advisory body for the board of directors this can work 
but as a group collectively "taking the lead" on something it cannot.  
Whenever someone says the advisory board did something that practically 
means someone or some people from the advisory board felt inclined to 
do something for some reason.

I was thinking about writing about my views on the advisory board 
recently but i decided to wait with that till after the elections not 
to mix up several important topics.

Christoph Hormann

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