[talk-au] Active Australian OSM contributors in light of CT/license changes
mattwhite at iinet.com.au
Sat Jul 9 04:29:14 BST 2011
<snip> A whole lot of angst </snip>
I don't often email the list, but I've been kicking around OSM for maybe
four years, and done a bit of mapping here and there, as well as
generating the odd Garmin map for people to use. This email is a bit
rambly, so I apologise in advance.
To be honest, I'm over it. People have been beating each other over the
head with CC-by and ODbL for so long now that we've all been pretty much
brain damaged. All the posts degenerate into slanging matches inside of
three replies, and the level of discourse as plummeted.
So, here's my take on this: Mapping (both creating and using the maps)
should be fun. But the fun has gone for me. The license debate has
unfortunately slowly destroyed the community feel of the project,
pissing off a lot of existing contributors, and no doubt making it less
welcoming for new ones. The talk-AU list is dominated by a handful of
people with very strong opinions, which is intimidating to any new
comers, and off putting to the rest. That's not to say that the opinions
expressed are wrong, but they do tend toward the 'fanatic' end of the
spectrum. The silent majority who subscribe but don't post must wonder
where the fun went. And everything just muddies the water.
I've accepted the new CT's, but that's probably a bit moot as I haven't
contributed much recently. Personally, I think the license debate is a
bit of a furphy - contracts and licenses are important from a moral
standpoint, but only practically worthwhile if you are prepared to
police and enforce them. It's not really about license enforcement, it's
about respect for the project. Any project that expends all its energy
trying the control the usage of the project, rather than actually
improving the content of the project, will eventually fall of a cliff as
people move on.
I guess my question is 'what is the goal of OSM?', and also 'what are
the goals of the contributors?'. Weren't we trying to make a map that
people could use in many and varied ways? Have we now lost sight of that
goal - to make OSM accessible to all - and turned on ourselves and
started eating our young? I don't care about attribution for my
contributions - that's not why I was mapping in the first place. I just
wanted a map I could use, and a project that was both enjoyable to
contribute, and fun to be a part of.
The license has changed, and I'm not sure what that means for the garmin
maps I make - do I have to change the attribution, or do different
things to meet the license requirements? I don't know, and to be honest
I don't care. If I'm doing something wrong or incorrectly, maybe I'll
get round to fixing it, maybe I won't.
But the problem is I've become disillusioned - the fun and community has
And that's the sad part about the whole thing.
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