[OSM-talk] [Talk-us] Slack

Greg Morgan dr.kludge.gm at gmail.com
Sun Apr 3 05:14:25 UTC 2016

On Sat, Apr 2, 2016 at 3:52 AM, Dave F <davefoxfac63 at btinternet.com> wrote:

> There's an irony in these latest communication channels (loomio?) being
> called 'collaborative'. The more that are used within OSM the more
> fractured the communication becomes.
> It wouldn't be so bad if any conclusions were broadcast, but increasingly
> they're not.
> IRC, due to its exclusiveness does nothing to promote a "community" which
> many wish to attain.

HaHaHaHaHaHa!!!!  No I am not laughing at you or please I am not attacking
you.  I love history.  The problem is that most of this discussion lacks
the perspective of protocol wars waged over the years.  This is just World
War 25. (You and others may not even get that reference.  It is from an
Airplane Movie.)

I am not attacking the board.  If this problem is really messed up and as
usual, there are more directors than actors for a number of reasons[1],
then my recommendation earlier is that the Board needs another elected
volunteer member that handles all these channels of communication.  That
solution was looking at the problem with my business analyst hat on. In the
corporate world, this person on the C-Suite level is called the Public
Information Officer, PIO.  This person guards and coordinates the public
image of the corporation up to an including the logo and its placement on

In the early days of the Internet, a person could use the talk
protocol...blah, blah, blah under the webserver port 80.[2] One of these
protocols under port 80 was finger.  You could use the finger command to
see what office hours a person was keeping.  Then the bad guys came along.
In the Matrix movies somewhere there is a picture of good people using Nmap
to break into the bad people's computers.  Exactly,  Nmap was used to check
all these lower than port 80 numbers.  Just like your finger print, Nmap
could be used to figure out the type of computer as an attack vector.  All
those protocols and ports had to be turned off.

Irc rocked the world based on these other problems. If you are a touch
typist, there is no problem.  Yeah they taught typing on IBM typewriters
back then.  Enter mIRC[3].  Some kid imagined a world where we all could
Then there was ICQ and the cool kids on ICQ had a lower number than others.

Mush Mush Mush!--Means I don't recall all the details nor does the order of
existence of the protocol matter in these descriptions matter.  It all
happened in the big old Internet.

It seemed like there were three companies fighting a war.  These companies
would constantly touch protocols to break communication and trap customers
on platform. Pidgin and the like tried to bridge all these warring
protocols.  There was such madness that plugins were developed to manage
the changes.[4]

Mush Mush Mush!

Excite[4a] or what not created a protocol with an Icon.  I don't recall if
this cool new shinny hotness road on the back of the Irc protocol or not.
The use of IRC and mIRC raced to bottom feeder levels of today. Irc and
mIRC were the new hotness that ruled the worl.  There were none of these
questions of exclusiveness.  You were not promoting topic X without an IRC
presence of some kind.
Yahoo had other goodness.

Mush Mush Mush!

Some where in there world of communications Wikis rocked the world.  The
hate from encyclopedias was incredible.  LOL Expert data HaHaHaHa!  Note
the parallel to authoritative data and OSM data.  HaHaHaHa!!!!!  Britannica
what?  Encarta what?  Wikipedia smoked 'em all!

Mush Mush Mush!!!!!

Now the fans of new hotness protocol x, y, and z are at World War 25 with
statements like Google X is dead; Facebook fans say that Twitter is dead.
Then there is the next new hotness and the fans start a new round including
slack.  I am jaded enough that I think most of these new hotness tools are
a battle for lock in and not real open communication.  There are people on
this list that are passionate about this.  The message that I understand
from the anti closed hotness x is based on the brief history of time above.
How can we as OSM promoters scream about open data and then smack our
friends in the open source world by using a closed protocol?

My prior example [5] was trying to show how I saw one of our board members
running ragged.  I asked permission to do something because it solved a
problem for me and possibly others that may use the conference videos.
Here is the business problem. Each year when a new US conference is posted.
the old conference videos go missing so to speak.  I am working on
resolving the problem for 2015 with their permission. In addition, I
created the 2016 wiki page set.[6]  All of a sudden the committee and
Martijn have one less thing to worry about.  They are my boss.  If they
want to take the page set in a different direction, then I will assist
them.  They are the PIO with an important message to publish.  Oh! In this
case, Martijn drew the short straw. He was the first board member to answer
my email.

I am a perfect example of herding cats.[1]  The request to serve Martijn
and the organizing committee started 3/24/2016. I have not provided my
latest status report.[7] I am still not done as of 4/2/2016.  The hope was
sooner.  The plan is to regex the video data into just another index(an
import anyone?).  The existing section will be merged/conflated into the
final index.  However, until that is done existing wiki users work will be
carefully preserved page.  The grand scheme of things is to keep an
obviously boring pattern from year to year so that a mapper can find the
information quickly.

Which user is the real OSM US user and channel?[8]  I see an elected set of
volunteers trying to communicate.  I am thinking that they have to dash off
to their day job responsibilities or family duties. At times there are
three hours difference in the US. I am just counting the lower 48 states.
That obviously adds to the demand of the job.  I would love to arrange the
channel like TekThing or some other channel.[9]  US Board are the PIO at
this point.  They have to guard the message.  They would have to provide me
or another volunteer a level access that requires a tremendous level of

I made an attempt to look at the communication problem using two examples.
I am making an example of the regional conference suggestion.  All of this
is speculation on my part.  The idea was that the board may have had a
discussion about using regional US SOTMs verses one massive event.  I image
in their demanding hurried lives, they may have thought they communicated
via protocol X that everyone was reading. I think I already know the answer
as to why we have a 2016 conference but I have not heard the final
"official" verdict. Slack will not solve this communication issue if my
fictional account is true.  Slack will only add to the problem.

In my second example of the Harvard legal thing I made an attempt to look
at the issue in a positive way.  As before all of this is speculation on my
part. There may have been an attempt to explain the issue in a protocol.
By the time that the idea made it to this list or communication channels,
any attempt to present all the facts on either side was swept away.  Slack
will not solve this issue.  The obvious problem to me is that Slack would
add one more channel for the directors to tell the board what to do.

The double-sided sword is that we want to be open and support open projects
just like OpenStreetMap but in order to reach the current Internet
population with the message in the US Mission Statement, a number of media
need to broadcast the message including new hotness x.  As for me, I could
care less. The current state of the closed and semi-closed Internet is just
madness.  I can serve and support people in so many different ways.
Whereas I see this is madness and a waste of time, an 18 year old person
would see a great opportunity.  It is not that easy as every one says.
Then I look back...the current Slack debate sounds just like one of the
many talk/irc/mirc/icq/Yahoo blah blah blah debates of the past. Right O! I
have a natural distrust of one company trying to lock a project into a non
RFC open standard protocol.  Does that company have our best interest at

The broader question is how do we get the OSM US message out in this
fractured world?  There is no easy answer.  That is where the discussion
should focus.  As far as I am concerned, the US Board is my boss.  The
board is the PIO officer that gets to the final say on how the message is
crafted.  The PIO is what I have to answer to in my day job.  I don't think
that it is any different here!  Come on now!  Show Me. Talk is cheap! Show
me the code.  Please use your preferred new hotness x.  Consolidate all the
ideas here.[10]  Yes! Yes!  I use Vim and regex patterns to hack and whack
a wiki page into submission.  I am sure there are at least two people
creating Vim and Emacs plugins for Slack so that the Vim/Emacs editor war
can continue on to World War 100.  >>>:->>>>>


[1] https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/talk-us/2016-April/016114.html
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_TCP_and_UDP_port_numbers
[3] http://www.mirc.com/newsold.html
[4] https://developer.pidgin.im/wiki/ThirdPartyPlugins
[4a] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Excite
[5] https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/talk-us/2016-April/016107.html
[6] http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/State_Of_The_Map_U.S._2016
[8] https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQpS2iHNVR-_6nAxt87nwCw
[9] https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6sWaC11f4mxnizvOroOvkQ/featured
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