[Osmf-talk] Funding of three infrastructure projects : Nominatim, osm2pgsql, Potlatch 2

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Sat Aug 1 23:40:39 UTC 2020


nice to see you rescue a few worthwhile things that have fallen through
the cracks of the Microgrant programme.

> During the Microgrants process, there were proposals that didn’t make
> it, but would together be a good pilot for a “OSM infrastructure”
> process, 

Are you planning to take the funds for these projects out of the
"Pineapple Grant" money, or out of the regular budget?

> The OSMF Board wants to fund a limited number of projects proposed by
> trusted long-term volunteers whose work we know and enjoy. 

I think that "trusted long-term volunteers" is key here, and somewhat of
a weak point at the same time.

I notice that all three proposals are very short on hard deliverables;
what they mostly promise is working a certain number of hours on a
certain thing but there is no guarantee that, or to what extent, the
thing is going to be achieved. Richard's proposal is the clearest here
("The result will be a version of Potlatch 2 that can be run on Mac and
Windows laptops"), whereas Jochen and Sarah only commit to working on
something, not to actually achieving it. This means we'll pay them no
matter what.

Now this is all fine because we have reason to believe that every one of
the three proposals will be a good investment and even if a goal could
not be achieved, the money would at least land with people who have done
a lot of volunteer stuff for OSM in the past. But the criteria are fuzzy
- why do we trust these three people that if we give them money to work
on something it will be worth it? Assume someone came along saying wait
a minute, I can do the same for half the money! And then we would say,
err, umm, sorry, no, we don't trust you in the same way we trust these
"trusted long-term volunteers".

Looking forward, it might become necessary to define deliverables more
clearly and make payment conditional on results having been achieved,
rather on time having been spent. But if you're lucky...

> In the long term, we want to re-activate the Engineering Working Group
> (EWG) by making it a place for decision making, project guidance and
> budget management for such projects.

... the EWG can take over that job ;)


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

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