From OpenStreetMap Foundation

Draft minutes

OpenStreetMap Foundation, Operations Meeting* - Agenda & Minutes
Friday May 22nd 2020, 18:00 London time
Location: Video room at https://osmvideo.cloud68.co

  • Please note that this was not strictly an OWG meeting.



Minutes by Dorothea.

Topics were reordered during meeting.


Previous minutes



Action items
<link to be added>

Open Ops Tickets

Review open, what needs policy and what needs someone to help with.

Migrate help.openstreetmap.org from OSQA

OSQA currently used

  • inactive upstream for long time.
  • Python/Python2, which goes away.

1 - ASKBOT (OSQA fork)

  • Github not the most active. Not big number of contributors (1 in last year but more than question2answer).
  • Migration probably doable but might be an undertaking.
  • We did try to reach out to askbot dev (might have done through 3rd party).
  • Migration path probably more straight than question2answer.
  • Developer offers consulting.

2 - Question2answer

3 - Stack exchange/overflow

  • We'd lose account integration (3rd party control but something less to maintain).
  • We'd lose historical content.

Current/historical content

  • Existing curation reasonable.
  • URLs relatively sane for archiving purposes.


  • Separate issues of archiving old content and switching to new content.
    • Put current content on archive, preserve links (Fedora did something similar on ask.fedoraproject.org: was askbot, now Discourse on same url).
    • Archive in static form to be future-proof.


  • Will require some trust / anonymisation of database.
  • No passwords contained, as authentication via osm.org, but has email addresses. Will have to keep user iDs, scrap everything else (tokens).

Other points during discussion

  • Django community could help.
  • Michal suggested creating sandbox / site clone for testing purposes
    • Need root access to play with software.
    • Chef configuration existing.

Action items

  • Paul to check Askbot on Python 3.0 - can contact consulting and say we're considering to use it and would like to use Python 3.0.
  • Michal to look into archiving.

Closed topic

Not minuted due to security reasons.

Tile CDN

Squid / nginx / GeoDNS? Is the software right? Issues and improvement.
What experiments should we be doing to improve the network.

(carried over from April meeting)

  • Difficult to understand health of network.
    • Squid cache miss time indicates not healthy.
    • Median response time of multiple servers: up to 10s of seconds.

Under-powered machines - hard to get rid of them

  • Make sure we have the capacity elsewhere: ~ five machines serving a lot of traffic in Germany. If we turn off 1-2, the rest might not have the capacity to handle the traffic.
  • Donated machines.
    • We can stop using them - just say they "we've tried the donated machine you've offered but it is not working with our load".

On Fastly

  • If we don't arrange something with sponsored commercial CDN, we should look at getting some more powerful machines. We know hosting companies in FR and DE.
  • We should not be pinning everything on Fastly.

Any other business

New machines

4 up and running (2 in Oregon)

Machines running old software

  • Errol
  • OSQA
  • trac


  • Archiving necessary
  • Andy is in the process of going through website issues and cloding/redirecting them to Github.
  • Content has less value than help.osm.org
  • No one is filing new issues that they have any reasonable chance of being resolved on trac.
  • OSGEO was a big user and is moving away from it.


  • Not going anywhere as a technology.
  • Set date after which no new accounts will be created associated with it (no further support).
  • JOSM plugin developers are creating SVN accounts and using it as a CDN.
    • Commit not only the source code but also the built. JOSM then uses the SVN url to download the .jar for the plug-in during installation.
    • Migrating the JOSM community is a prerequisite for shutting SVN.
    • Page on JOSM wiki which lists the URL for each plug-in.
  • A bare-bones read-only SVN server is not so much of an administrative burden as one being used.

On fixing the failing CI tests


  • Firewall issue at UCL -where Github actions were hosted- with inbound connections at ports 1025/1026 were being blocked.
  • UCL put a rule for us and was fixed.

Github actions

  • Blog testing is failing randomly - tries to fetch all the blogs so if any has a problem, it fails.
    • Red and green alerts give inaccurate sense of how much is working versus not working.

Action item: Tom to make Chef ignore failures on blogs.osm.org - have to distinguish between runtime errors from more serious problems.