Working Group Minutes/EWG 2011-09-19

From OpenStreetMap Foundation


IRC nick Real name
zere Matt Amos
tomh Tom Hughes
RichardF Richard Fairhurst
apmon Kai Krueger
SteveSn_ Steve Singer


  • Thanks to SteveSn_ for adding keywords to loads of tickets, and apmon for re-componenting some tickets to the correct component.
  • Thanks to TomH for adding piwik, an analytics system, to the OSM page. This will be useful for the design group to get an idea of how the site is currently used.
  • There was some discussion of a new header that Mike Migurski wrote, following his feedback at SOTM. zere to deploy that before next meeting.
  • There was discussion of whether a build-farm / continuous integration servers for various OSM-related software would be helpful and practical. The consensus seemed to be against it.
  • There are several osm2pgsql-related tickets about build problems. apmon was to look at those with help, if necessary, from zere.
  • There was a small discussion about other OSM software which might be lacking a maintainer, including possibly Merkaartor.


18:03 <@zere> minutes of the last meeting for your enjoyment and perusal. let me know if there are any objections
18:04 < TomH> Outlook probably moved all your meeting to Denver time and left them there ;-)
18:04 < apmon> Did we not have a meeting on the 5th?
18:05 < TomH> no, because zere was on a plane or something
18:05 < SteveSn_> I thought we did
18:05 < TomH> hmm no I thought we had one two weeks ago
18:05 < TomH> just not last week
18:05 <@zere> it was the day after SOTM - looks like only TomH and RichardF turned up :-)
18:05 < apmon> TomH: Wasn't that the one on the 12th?
18:05 < TomH> yes, you're right
18:05 < TomH> 5th = yes, 12th = no
18:05 <@zere> argh.
18:05 < RichardF> evening!
18:06 <@zere> ok. apologies everyone - looks like i haven't put the latest minutes up.
18:06 <@zere> i will do that before the next meeting :-(
18:07 < apmon> what topics do we have for today?
18:07 <@zere> seeing as we don't have actions from the last minutes, does anyone want to talk about something they've done over the past week?
18:07 -!- Firefishy [] has joined #osm-ewg
18:08 < TomH> well we created rails-dev and moved the relevant tickets and components to it
18:08 < TomH> and SteveSn_ tagged loads of tickets yesterday
18:09 < SteveSn_> I added some keywords to a bunch of bugs.  A lot of the ones I tagged user_location probably need some user experience thought before we start implementing stuff
18:09 <@zere> awesome. thanks, SteveSn_ :-)
18:10 < apmon> I have moved a bunch of tickets to the new mod_tile and osm2pgsql components (and fixed two...)
18:10 < SteveSn_> a lot of the ones tagged gpx or api_errors could probably be tackled but I can't say what level of familiarity with the code would be required
18:10 < TomH> and I've also got piwik up and running (from the design list conversation) and am working on configuring some goals and things
18:11 <@zere> what sort of things does piwik pick up?
18:11 < TomH> well it does basic general analytics
18:11 < apmon> how does it differ to the awstats that are currently available?
18:11 < TomH> and you can configure goals, like what percentage of visitors sign up
18:12 < TomH> and I've got the funnel plugin so I can do funnels to see what percentage of people that start signing up complete the process
18:12 <@zere> should be more detailed than awstats, and track people properly behind NATs
18:12 < RichardF> much more configurable and the sort of whizzy presentation that marketing people like :) - seriously, it's a very nice package
18:12 < RichardF> yep
18:12 < TomH> and such like
18:12 < apmon> Ah, great, the signup completion tracking would be useful
18:12 <@zere> and difficult to type - i can't stop my fingers trying to type "pwiki"
18:13 < TomH> yes I should have that running soon - just waiting for to reappear so I can check the doco
18:13 < TomH> I also refreshed my rails3 branch and will send a message to rails-dev later with the current status of that
18:14 < apmon> Does anyone know if the rate of people editing at all to signups has increased?
18:15 < apmon> according to my analysis it is now at 43% of accounts have done a single edit. I thought it used to be lower
18:15 <@zere> there's this
18:15 < apmon> I guess, I should try and track that statistic through time
18:16 < apmon> That refers to "per month" and not "ever" though
18:16 <@zere> yep
18:18 -!- Firefishy [] has quit [Quit: Ex-Chat]
18:19 <@zere> one of the things that came up at SOTM was that the planet page is apparently confusing
18:19 <@zere> mike migurski came up with this alternative (and working code!)
18:19 < RichardF> on the wiki, or itself?
18:19 < TomH> I think I've been saying that for some time ;-)
18:20 < RichardF> that's nice.
18:20 < TomH> well that's better, but frankly I'd like to get rid of the gory list of files altogether, at least from the main interface
18:20 <@zere> this pushes it below the fold, at least
18:20 < TomH> what you want is just "here's the latest planet" and "here's where you get diffs"
18:22 < apmon> I guess very few people will need an old planet file
18:23 <@zere> i'm not sure if anyone even wants the diffs - isn't it better to send them to get osmosis and --rri?
18:23 < TomH> well sure, but you want some instructions like "use osmosis and here's the URL to give it"
18:24 < apmon> I have used the individual and daily diffs to manually test code changes in osm2pgsql.
18:24 < apmon> Also I have used them to do various analysis, in both cases I haven't used osmosis. So think they have value to link to in some way
18:25 <@zere> sure, i'm not saying they should be hidden, just that if someone is coming and hasn't totally understood what's going on then the place to start is osmosis, not the files themselves.
18:25 <@zere> so my "anyone" above should have said "anyone new"...
18:26 < TomH> and a "click here for the raw files" link at the bottom of the page somewhere lets hard core users escape
18:26 <@zere> ok. i'll fix that up. hopefully we can deploy that before next meeting.
18:26 < apmon> sounds good
18:27 <@zere> haha... "deploy". it's not like its a big bit of code ;-)
18:29 <@zere> does anyone else have anything they want to discuss?
18:30 < apmon> Not directly rails related, but might be useful for EWG never the less:
18:30 < apmon> Would it be possible to set up a build farm
18:30 < apmon> to test various OSM tools on different operating systems?
18:30 < TomH> I don't think we really have the resources
18:31 < apmon> E.g. several of the osm2pgsql tickets are to do with compilation problems on different platforms
18:31 < SteveSn_> how about a setup where people can run buildfarm clients on there own machines and the results get reported to a OSM server
18:31 <@zere> is there any software available to coordinate that?
18:31 < TomH> do you have some software in mind? I'm not aware of anything
18:32 < TomH> and I'd be wary of using random user machines for it anyway
18:32 < SteveSn_> I've used buildbot for this type of thing in the past
18:32 < TomH> you really want known clean installs
18:32 < SteveSn_> The postgresql project has there are bulidfarm software for this type of thing as well
18:33 < apmon> I think the samba project has had that for quite some years too, but can't remember the details
18:33 < SteveSn_>
18:33 < TomH> oh there are loads of CI tools
18:33 < TomH> but that's not really what I understand by a build farm
18:34 < TomH> I was thinking more along the lines of what Fedora does with mock and clean buildroots
18:34 < apmon> You would probably want to run it in a virtual machine with clean installations
18:35 < TomH> are the main problems not windows and macos anyway?
18:35 <@zere> would it be possible to run windows virtualbox VMs on some of the idle G4Ps?
18:35 < TomH> most linux distros shouldn't be a major issue
18:35 < TomH> zere: well licences would be the first hurdle
18:35 < TomH> and finding somebody prepared to admin windows
18:36 < RichardF> didn't we consider at the first EWG meeting that producing VM images might be a better solution?
18:36 < TomH> and somebody prepared to admin a machine with virtualbox on
18:36 < TomH> now KVM I might accepts
18:36 <@zere> hmmm... virtualbox apparently supports mac os x as well... interesting.
18:38 < apmon> TomH: It isn't only windows and mac osx. For Osm2pgsql, there are the following tickets about build problems: #3194, #3299, #3505, #3040, #3878
18:38 < apmon> and those are only the ones that were reported
18:38 <@zere> RichardF: yes, that would reduce the need for cross-platform builds. but i suspect some people want it to work natively, at least for things like osm2pgsql
18:39 < RichardF> good point for osm2pgsql, yep. I wonder if for rails_port itself it may be more hassle than it's worth
18:39 < TomH> all those tickets show is that nobody is maintaining osm2pgsql
18:39 < TomH> half of them have patches it's just that nobody is doing anything with them
18:40 < apmon> Well, I could simply commit them, but I have no way to test if they are correct
18:41 < apmon> And the current changes with threading, memory management and forking, I am planning in osm2pgsql again have a reasonable risk on breaking some platforms, but I can't test it
18:41 <@zere> apmon: some of these seem to be for other unix/linux variants - would you install a VM to test if they work?
18:42 < apmon> Yes, I could, but it is a hassle and so it would just be easier if not every maintainer of a peace of osm software would have to do it for all different variants
18:42 < TomH> well mostly you work by (a) reading the patch to see if it makes sense (b) seeing if it fixes the reporter's problem and (c) checking that it sill works on your machine
18:42 < TomH> or at least that is what I would do
18:43 < RichardF> we could always appeal on dev@ for a Windows user to be regular tester for osm2pgsql. there seem to be enough crazy Americans out there running OSM on unsuitable stacks
18:43 < RichardF> (says a Mac user)
18:44 <@zere> i guess the larger problem is that (as TomH said) no-one wants to maintain osm2pgsql
18:44  * RichardF nominates apmon
18:44 < apmon> Well, I am sort of trying to do it where I can
18:45 <@zere> and imposm isn't (imho) feature-mature enough to replace osm2pgsql yet
18:46 <@zere> apmon: could you go through the tickets you mentioned earlier and, if they're simple (like 3194 - seems obviously correct to me) then merge them, please? i'm happy to field questions if the patch is more complex.
18:47 < apmon> Yes, I can do that
18:48 <@zere> thanks :-)
18:50 <@zere> are there any other bits of OSM software lacking a maintainer?
18:52 < RichardF> slightly off-topic perhaps but I'm not sure what the situation currently is with Merkaartor - certainly there have been suggestions that it's pretty much fallen into abeyance
18:53 <@zere> has chris browet stopped developing it?
18:54 < RichardF> that's what's been suggested, yes -
18:54 <@zere> first message this month is.... RichardF beat me to it.
18:56 <@zere> in general, what's to be done? i'm sure other projects must have encountered the same problem. the only things i've seen happen in the past is that maintainership gets passed to a new person, or the active community forks.
18:56 <@zere> both of which require someone to step up to be a new maintainer
18:58 <@zere> i hesistate to say publicise it - what if chris is just having a bad few months?
18:58 <@zere> anyone know him well enough to ask?
18:58 < RichardF> I don't really know how the Merkaartor community works. JonathanB might know.
19:00 <@zere> ok. cool. any other business, as they say?
19:03 < RichardF> not from me
19:03 < TomH> nor me
19:08 <@zere> ok, thanks to everyone!