[OSM-talk] Funding of three infrastructure projects : Nominatim, osm2pgsql, Potlatch 2

john whelan jwhelan0112 at gmail.com
Sun Aug 2 13:49:26 UTC 2020

If Air is proprietary and an Adobe product I strongly suggest avoiding it
purely from a security point of view.  Adobe does not have a good
reputation in the security world.  Comments certainly have been made about

I don't think we should be encouraging the installation of software that
could cause problems for our mappers.

I accept that for many who know potlatch well there is a cost of learning
something new and many are experienced editors who we'd like to see
continue but there are tradeoffs and I think security of the software we
are asking people to install should be taken into account.

Cheerio John

On Sun, Aug 2, 2020, 08:54 pangoSE <pangose at riseup.net> wrote:

> Is this the platform you are targeting?
> https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adobe_AIR
> Its proprietary which makes it prone to the same fate as Flash Player. Why
> even consider such a move?
> I never use nonfree software like flash so I never tried P2. What is so
> special about it? Is there something hindering adding that specialness (as
> a plugin perhaps) to JOSM?
> The JOSM devs seem very helpful, supporting and have a friendly culture.
> I suggest letting this code die as it lures people to install nonfree and
> therefore dangerous software. Alternatively that you team up with your 20
> mio edits-peers and port the code to something that does not require
> proprietary software.
> You did not present a single usecase that is not covered already by one of
> the other free software editors so I'm guessing you will have a hard time
> convincing your peers to team up around yet another editor, but I might be
> wrong.
> I don't care about your ROI arguments because they are based on the not
> outspoken premise that economics of software development is more important
> when making decisions than freedom, which is false IMO.
> If you had compared 2 free software projects like iD and JOSM that run
> without any proprietary code, then it might have been relevant.
> I suggest declining support of any software project that is or requires
> proprietary software to run.
> Cheers
> pangoSE
> PS I use 4 different editors to edit in the database: JOSM, OsmAnd,
> StreetComplete and rarely iD.
> Richard Fairhurst <richard at systemed.net> skrev: (2 augusti 2020 10:28:22
>> Skyler Hawthorne wrote:
>> > Sorry if this sounds harsh, but I think using any funds at all to
>> > continue support for a tool that 1% of editors use would be wasteful.
>> > Flash is, for all intents and purposes, a dead technology. This
>> > money is better spent on other uses.
>> The entire point is to move away from a dead technology (Flash Player) to
>> a supported one (AIR).
>> On the percentage stat, it's worth bearing in mind that the P2 project is
>> by a long chalk the smallest sum (€2500) of the three that OSMF is
>> proposing here. As a point of comparison, iD was initially developed with a
>> $575,000 grant from the Knight Foundation in 2012, so roughly $646,000 now.
>> Very conservatively estimating the cost of employing 1-2 developers to code
>> on iD since then, you get a development cost of roughly €0.004 per (2020)
>> changeset for iD vs $0.0002 for P2, which is kind of fun.
>> (I'm actually pleasantly surprised that P2 still has so many changesets -
>> 20 million last year, and I'm guessing high teens this year - given how
>> difficult it is to get Flash Player running in most browsers these days.
>> That suggests that P2's users are using it because they want to do so, not
>> because they are magically unaware of the existence of other editors. I
>> suspect if you could find another way of getting 20 million edits for €2500
>> then we would snap your hand off.)
>> Looking forward, and continuing the theme of ROI, the other benefit of
>> the project is that it enables development work to continue on P2. The
>> reason I have bid for funding for this, for the first time in 14 years of
>> developing editors for OpenStreetMap, is that it will take a solid chunk of
>> sustained work to do the AIR conversion and a bunch of other stuff I
>> believe will make P2 more sustainable into the future, and there is a hard
>> deadline for that sustained work (i.e. Flash Player switch-off at the end
>> of the year). It's not a project that can just be done in evenings here and
>> there. That enables further, unfunded developments in the future, and in
>> turn I hope the tradition of other editors taking inspiration from P2 can
>> continue - it's not for nothing that JOSM has a Potlatch 2 style and a
>> "Potlatch mode" for editing.
>> But you are, of course, welcome to develop and put forward a project to
>> OSMF which you believe will have more bang for the buck. "Other uses" is
>> easy to type but doesn't actually mean anything until you identify what
>> those uses are, and crucially, find someone who is prepared to do them.
>> Richard
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