[OSM-talk] Modus operandi of the board

Christoph Hormann chris_hormann at gmx.de
Wed Oct 22 13:53:29 UTC 2014

On Wednesday 22 October 2014, Kate Chapman wrote:
> One issue is we really have no idea what the OSMF membership wants.
> We know what some vocal people who write English well want. [...]

This is certainly something that would be much easier if there was more 
transparency on the work of the OSMF bodies.

As already widely mentioned the minutes are the only public 
documentation and as such extrememely sparse but beyond that they are 
published without the possibility to comment and ask questions.  IMO 
the only way the OSM community can interpret that is that input on the 
topics mentioned there by ordinary community members is not wanted.

I cannot really form a qualified opinion from the outside of course but 
to me the whole subject of transparency supports the impression Richard 
communicated that the OSMF board is inherently broken.  At least three 
current members of the board have expressed the opinion here that 
transparency is a major issue but yet improvements during the past year 
on this matter are marginal at best, at least from what is publicly 

To give a specific example how the current scarcity of public 
documentation of the work looks like:

At the beginning of the year the lack of attribution in uses of OSM data 
was subject in the board minutes and various decisions were made:


There is no follow-up on this subject in any of the later meetings this 
year according to the minutes.

There is mentioning in the LWG minutes from 


> The board has asked the LWG to follow up on the issue of insufficient
> attribution by larger OSM based service providers.

And then in the most recent minutes from the mangement team 


there is:

> No substantive action on being more aggressive on making sure that
> folks attribute us, (board request).

This is just an example - there are a lot of other similar case - but 
this seems particularly useful since it is an issue of potential 
interest to all OSM mappers and not just OSMF members.

Apart from the ambiguities and contradictions in what is written the 
impression you get here from the outside without having been in any of 
the meeting is that a topic has been discussed in at least three bodies 
of the OSMF (board, MT and LWG) with essentially no results beyond the 
initial statement.  Now i don't want to say everybody has been lazy or 
unproductive, esp. not the LWG who have done some great work on the 
community guidelines recently but the minutes certainly fail to meet 
their purpose as comprehensive documentation of the work of the OSMF 

Christoph Hormann

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