[OSM-talk] Funding of iD Development and Maintenance

Mikel Maron mikel.maron at gmail.com
Sun Aug 2 11:46:01 UTC 2020


The OSMF board is working to make OSM's core software and infrastructure more stable and sustainable by supporting paid roles for priority needs, such as the Senior Site Reliability role (https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/osmf-talk/2020-July/006973.html), and the pilot to fund "OSM Infrastructure" projects (https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/osmf-talk/2020-August/006987.html).

As part of this focus, we want to organise coordinated funding to support continued maintenance and development of the iD editor, as iD's strong continuous development over the past several years has served the OSM community well. Quincy Morgan is iD's maintainer and lead developer. Unfortunately, full-time support of his work recently ended. He'd very much like to continue, and the OSMF Board wants to see that happen. He has written up this proposal (https://github.com/quincylvania/quincylvania.com/blob/main/resources/Morgan%20iD%20work%20proposal%207_27.pdf) with his ideal plans for iD over the next year, along with notes about how he'll organise, grow the developer base, communicate, and set priorities, and make iD better. The final priorities for the year will be made in consultation with the community.

To help fund this project, as well as the SSRE role, we're looking at earmarked donations from companies, chapters and organisations. Administratively, we believe this is easier than other methods of pooled funding, as the OSMF is already in most companies' procurement systems, and it would limit paperwork to one contract for iD. Initial contract would be for 1 year, and that's what the OSMF would look to raise now.

With the OSMF holding the contract, the Board would take a key accountability role, reviewing work done on the contract and assessing progress on the plans Quincy develops for the project. Additionally, the OSMF is working in cooperation with Quincy to establish a formal appeal process (https://blog.openstreetmap.org/2020/06/08/toward-resolution-of-controversies-related-to-id/) for the relatively rare community issues iD cannot resolve itself.

The OSMF would not see its role as a traditional "boss", instructing iD to focus on this or that feature. We would not be prescriptive about priorities. This does not mean work in a vacuum. Our expectation is that Quincy, in addition to following our hiring framework's principles for transparent service to the community, would regularly convene stakeholders from the community to share their priorities and feedback. Quincy would assess all priorities holistically as he decides on a workable plan for the project.

Over the course of the year, we'll evaluate and learn from how the arrangement is working for all, as we look towards year 2 and beyond. For future years, we are looking at developing an overall plan for long-term support for all parts of the OSMF infrastructure. We want to be able to offer similar support to other OSM editors. Our early focus on iD is to ensure continued development.

We want to find out what you, the OSM community, think. Do you have any feedback?

If you know of an organisation that might want to fund this, please feel free to ask them to contact the OSMF Board.

-Mikel, for the OSMF Board

* Mikel Maron * +14152835207 @mikel s:mikelmaron

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