[talk-au] Going separate ways

Steve Coast steve at asklater.com
Mon Jul 11 02:55:11 BST 2011

On Jul 10, 2011, at 6:22 PM, David Murn wrote:
> I think the biggest problem people in .au had was that there were some
> issues which were specific to the Australian usage of OSM (imports of
> gov data, etc).  Those who sought to change the licence claimed to be
> listening to people, but when Australian mappers raised issues, we were
> simply told 'bad luck youre only a tiny percentage of the data'.

Can you point to that in any minutes or mailing list posts?

We looked around for all the people claiming that we've been ignoring them and can't actually find any posts by them on the legal lists or to the LWG for many of the people involved. Of course, with so many fake names being used it's hard to be sure they weren't raised under a different pseudonym. From what I've seen, the LWG took all of the concerns very seriously and spent an awful lot of time, on an individual basis, trying to resolve them. Nearmap of course being a good example.

>> So, I think, we need to get away from this idea that a fork is a bad 
>> thing. It isn't. There are two divergent communities, and it doesn't do 
>> either side any good to try and hold them together when they're so opposed.
> It doesnt do either side any good to cut ties and drift our separate
> ways either.  Just because you dont get along with someone on a desert
> island, it doesnt mean you isolate yourself on the other side, your
> strength together will be much more than your individual strength.

You're absolutely right, however the volunteers and democratically elected people who've tried to have rational discussions with most of the people here get shot down. Therefore Richard I think is expressing the view that we tried hard, we then tried to reconcile, we're still not getting anywhere, so what's the next step? Going our own ways in a suboptimal but available step.

I urge you to contrast and compare that with other countries/communities who also have derived from CC data or have imports that need relicensing and so on. Most of them have worked it out. What we're scratching our heads about is how -au is different. I think we've been thinking pretty hard and not come up with anything other than trolls taking over the sentiment of the community.

> The fact that you might lose 100 mappers, might not really affect the
> project, the fact of losing a whole country of consumers, might.


The question is, if you were a volunteer (and we all are) who's been working on this what would you do?

We could work on this imported data issue. Well, we have. We've asked multiple times for outlines of where the data is, who imported it and so on. To the best of my knowledge nobody has raised this substantially with the LWG, please correct me if I'm wrong. I don't attend every single meeting.

We could work on making the LWG meetings more accessible to people in the -au timezone. Well, we have. Several times we've shifted the meeting hours (for example to speak with nearmap) and tried other ways to engage.

We could spend time meeting in person. Well, we've tried a bit there though of course it's expensive and hard. The threat of violence hasn't made me want to come to -au despite having the means to do so, and we've made attempts to get people to come to SOTM.

We could work on making the mailing lists a better place to be. Well, we have. In fact we've approached people about moderating this list but one of them won't do it because - get this - the person fears for his job. They're worried that if they moderate this list the trolls will start phoning their employer. That's quite something. Clearly, things are very unhealthy. If you'd like to help moderate, please get in touch. We don't think an outsider should do it, or anyone who operates under a pseudonym or has been moderated off another list.

Of course we're not perfect. But I think we can say we're trying, even with people who traditionally we no longer have time for or who have been moderated off the main lists. You can jump in and say what we should have done in 2009 or something, and I'm sure we made mistakes. But without being personal, and understanding that everyone is a volunteer, what would you do in my position that's reasonable to change things? I'm sure if it was rational we'd attempt it.


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