[OSM-talk] Toward resolution of controversies related to iD

Phil Wyatt phil at wyatt-family.com
Wed Jun 10 03:59:46 UTC 2020


Thanks  Mikel,

Johns talk from 2014 is great for a backgrounder on the ID project. Well worth watching and all the comments are equally true today as they were back in 2014.

Cheers - Phil

-----Original Message-----
From: Mikel Maron <mikel.maron at gmail.com> 
Sent: Wednesday, 10 June 2020 4:56 AM
To: talk at openstreetmap.org; ndrw6 at redhazel.co.uk
Subject: Re: [OSM-talk] Toward resolution of controversies related to iD

> Who owns the iD project now? What's happened after "nearly all of the original authors left Mapbox", has the project ownership been transferred from Mapbox to OSMF, or perhaps to current maintainers? Does Mapbox still retain the ownership rights to the project (even if they don't currently care about them)?

Ownership is a nebulous concept here. The original repo was hosted by RichardF under https://github.com/systemed/, and now is at https://github.com/openstreetmap/iD. 

Mapbox employees contributed under open source licensing terms, and have certainly been keenly involved in setting the initial project concept and direction. That was all done with a lot of intention within the OSM community. Launch blog from that time https://blog.mapbox.com/new-map-editor-launches-on-openstreetmap-org-13956033d0c9. 

And John Firebaugh's talk at OSM US 2014 is a great perspective on Mapbox's approach (and what it takes to do software development in OSM) https://2014.stateofthemap.us/session/implementing-change-in-openstreetmap/

Mapbox continued to support the development of iD with developer time, but not with a posture of setting direction as a company. The desire for Mapbox was and continues to be that iD continues to serve its purpose to provide a great mapping experience in OSM. 

So Mapbox never "owned" iD, and it's unclear if you can assign that concept. If you had to say who owns it, then it is OpenStreetMap, and that yes OSMF has the responsibility to make sure it has a healthy development and community environment.

-Mikel


* Mikel Maron * +14152835207 @mikel s:mikelmaron






On Tuesday, June 9, 2020, 12:06:21 PM EDT, <ndrw6 at redhazel.co.uk> wrote: 





On 09/06/2020 16:00, Simon Poole wrote:
> Nearly all of the original authors left Mapbox a long time ago, nobody 
> working on it today is an "original author". The grant that Mapbox 
> received at the time was clearly instrumental in allowing them to 
> start growing the company to its current size, so while we are 
> obviously thankful for the support that Mapbox has provided over the 
> years, it was clearly a win-win situation.

Who owns the iD project now? What's happened after "nearly all of the original authors left Mapbox", has the project ownership been transferred from Mapbox to OSMF, or perhaps to current maintainers? Does Mapbox still retain the ownership rights to the project (even if they don't currently care about them)?

The code license is very permissive so there is always an option of starting a new project based on it (forking). But the license and ownership of the project are not the same thing.


> Many would have argued that the OSMF should have received the half a 
> million dollars  and contracted the work out, maybe to Mapbox, but in 
> any case just because what actually happened was slightly different, 
> doesn't mean that the OSMF and the OSM community gave whoever happens 
> to be working on iD the licence to control the projects destiny forever.

Not saying that this shouldn't be the case, but clearly it wasn't, at least initially. And if it isn't ours we can't simply take it, even if we really, really want it.

>From my point of view - I am happy with the current project governance. 
It works well for iD, it works well for the OSM community. Controversies are all around minor issues and contributions - basically saying that the maintainers are doing their job.

Ndrw




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