Working Group Minutes/EWG 2011-09-26

From OpenStreetMap Foundation


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


  • Thanks to apmon for looking through the old osm2pgsql build problem tickets on trac. It seems that none of them are valid any more.
  • Apmon has started to release some OSM tools in a PPA repo: [1].
  • There was discussion about how development resources are currently organised and provided. Seems that there might be some role for EWG to play in coordinating these resources, in cooperation with local chapters and OWG.
  • The wiki page for downloads [2] seemed to be confusing and potentially not up-to-date. RichardF volunteered to clean it up.
  • Need to reach out to developers. Apmon to go to talk-de.
  • Need to publicise the meetings more. Zere to draw up agenda & publicise.


18:04 <@zere> minutes of the last two meetings:
18:04 <@zere>
18:04 <@zere>
18:04 <@zere> as always, have a read and let me know if there's anything objectionable in there.
18:05 < RichardF> looks good to me.
18:06 <@zere> ok. from the actions of the last minutes, i was supposed to deploy mike's header. and i've (only just) done that ;-)
18:07 <@zere> the only other action i can see from last time was on apmon to look over those osm2pgsql build problem tickets. anything on that?
18:08 < apmon> zere: What is the status of the planet.osm.pbf?
18:08 < apmon> It would probably be better to use the pbf if at all possible. (Much smaller and faster)
18:08 < apmon> zere: I close some of those tickets
18:09 < apmon> It turns out a number of them were from 16 month ago. And about 13 month (or similiar), a move to autotools and a rewrite of the config happened
18:09 <@zere> any of them still open / needing attention?
18:10 < apmon> so I think those build bug reports are out dated. But I can't test them for a lack of access to those OSs
18:10 < apmon> I have asked the reporters to check if the bug still applies
18:10 < apmon> There are also a number of other old bugs, that I haven't verified
18:10 <@zere> cool, nice work :-)
18:11 < apmon> On the other hand, I have created a ubuntu launchpad PPA repository with osm2pgsql and mod_tile in it
18:11 <@zere> about the PBFs - yeah, they're there. not surfaced with the same prominence as the xml, but then it's not as widely used a format.
18:11 < apmon>
18:11 <@zere> oh, that's cool!
18:12 < apmon> For full planet use, I would guess (and hope) that pbf is by now the main format used
18:12 < apmon> I am still working on packaging the osm mapnik style sheet together with world boundaries and coastlines
18:13 < apmon> and creating a configuration package that takes care of setting up the database and creating the users
18:13 <@zere> is that going to be a scripted downloader package?
18:13 <@zere> for the boundaries / coastlines, i mean
18:13 < apmon> The actual stylesheet will be part of the package, but the bounderies / coastline will be a download script
18:14 < apmon> looks like it does most of it
18:14 <@zere> i guess the only problem then would be the versioning / update of the boundaries upstream...
18:15 <@zere> or rather, the lack thereod.
18:15 <@zere> /eod/eof/
18:16 < apmon> Yes, I haven't quite thought about that yet
18:20 < apmon> Do we have other things for today?
18:20 <@zere> that's a good question. :-) does anyone have anything else they want to discuss?
18:21 <@zere> i know there's only 4 of us here today. does anyone have any ideas for re-attracting some people back to EWG?
18:21 < apmon> Perhaps slightly off topic, but a thing I'd like to bring up is a discussion that came up on talk-de and Frederik's reply
18:22 < RichardF> we probably need to publicise the meetings more, with agenda ("this week we will be mostly talking about...")
18:22 < apmon> Google translate:
18:22 < apmon> Particularly the last section
18:22 <@zere> RichardF: yes, i certainly could plan these better... ok. action on me for next week.
18:22 < RichardF> apmon: that's SWG territory I think :)
18:23 < RichardF> but - possibly related - given the improvements to, is it worth discussing extracts, as per Mike Migurski's other suggestion and the thing he's doing?
18:23 < apmon> The last part talks about improving the devserver infrastructure and bringing donators and developers together
18:24 <@zere> apmon: i'm having trouble reading the google translation... any chance you could summarise?
18:24 < TomH> is there a problem with the dev server infrastructure?
18:24 < RichardF> i.e. should we continue to say that "extracts are provided elsewhere, here are some good places to get them", or should we provide them as part of the core planet service (maybe in 1° x 1° bboxes, or centred around cities as MM does...)
18:24 < TomH> I've h no complaints
18:25 < apmon> Osm is quite resource intense to do projects, so people often need help with server infrastructure
18:26 <@zere> RichardF: my feeling is that we should be a directory for those sort of things rather than provide them ourselves.
18:26 < apmon> Also there are a number of people who are willing to donate various Hardware. So there is a need to bring together those who can donate the hardware and those that need it to create projects
18:26 < apmon> currently there is no good organisational body to do that as OSMF doesn't want to get involved with it
18:27 < apmon> FOSSGIS has done it in the past and osm-fr has too
18:27 <@zere> is this something that local chapters should be handling?
18:27 < apmon> but it might be possible to coordinate this better
18:27 < RichardF> zere: I'd generally tend to agree that we needn't provide stuff if it's being provided adequately elsewhere. My one nagging suspicion is that anything we can do to make vector data more trivially available is one way to get people away from banging seven bells out of the tile servers
18:27 < apmon> And communicate it better to developers what resources are available
18:28 < RichardF> OSM is not particularly resource-intensive to do most projects. It's resource-intensive to do worldwide stuff. But most people don't want to do that.
18:28 <@zere> EWG could be a forum to hook up with developers... (we've only got 4 at the moment, though) ;-)
18:28 < RichardF> you can do something interesting on a national level with your home machine or a modest VM
18:29 < apmon> RichardF: Imho providing vector data is also the one thing we say we do. And so imho I would see extracts as a critical core service.
18:29 <@zere> there's only one critical core service and that's the API. extracts are way, way down the list.
18:29 < apmon> zere: Should people who contact the OSMF board (or through other means) offer to donate hardware be redirected to EWG?
18:31 <@zere> there are currently at least 2 organisations making extracts worldwide and now mike is doing some metro areas - this is all fantastic stuff and i think all we need to do is to make it easily findable.
18:31 <@zere> apmon: presumably via OWG in case it's something that can be used operationally.
18:32 < apmon> looks quite interesting for extracts too. I wasn't aware of it until recently
18:33 <@zere> interesting... what have they done to their PBF that has dropped 5GB out of it?
18:33 < apmon> zere: Perhaps could have a short paragraph with a contact address for hardware donations

18:33 <@zere> oops. it says down the bottom of the page...
18:33 <@zere> (about the PBF that is)
18:34 <@zere> do we need to clean up ?
18:34 <@zere> how up-to-date is the information there?
18:35 <@zere> and, to be fair, how easy is it to actually *use* the information in that mirrors section? looks like a mess to me...
18:36 < apmon> From a quick sample, it looks like it is reasonably up-to-date
18:37 <@zere> should we split it between full mirrors and extracts?
18:37 < apmon> Would be sensible
18:37 <@zere> anyone volunteering for that?
18:37 <@zere> RichardF, perhaps?
18:40 <@zere> ok. i guess not. i'll take that one too :-)
18:41 <@zere> remarkable how quiet it gets in here whenever i ask for volunteers :-P
18:43 < apmon> :-)
18:43 < RichardF> sorry, was briefly afk. Yes, happy to split it between mirrors and extracts if you like
18:43 <@zere> cool, ta RichardF.
18:44 <@zere> is there more to discuss about planets and/or hardware donations?
18:45 <@zere> regarding the contact email, i'd hate to make that the board or OWG, but there's no formal address for EWG either.
18:45 < RichardF> I'll just delete the offline ones - people can reinstate them if they come back online
18:45 <@zere> i guess what i'd like to see is people contact their local chapters. but i have no idea how well-developed the local chapters are (i know we don't have one in the UK, for example)
18:46 <@zere> RichardF: yep.
18:46 < apmon> Perhaps we should open the discussion up a bit and post a mail to dev and talk to ask what people see as biggest hinderences and if there is something where EWG can help?
18:46 <@zere> the biggest hinderances to donating hardware?
18:47 < apmon> zere: development in general
18:47 < apmon> Kind of ask for a whishlist for developers and then filter out if any of them are feasible 
18:48 <@zere> i dunno... it seems to me that we'd be swamped with a large amount of nonsense...
18:49 <@zere> what's the question that you'd ask?
18:49 <@zere> "what's the biggest single thing stopping you developing with OSM data?"
18:49 < apmon> something like that.
18:50 < apmon> One can introduce EWG at that point again and that it tries to make life easier for developers and so it is gathering ideas of where people see the problems
18:51 < apmon> I could try and do that on the german communications channels and gauge the response
18:52 <@zere> it's worth a try. dunno if talk@ is really the right forum for it. unles we want a 100+ page response.
18:53 <@zere> do you want to write something like that (maybe use doodle? it seems to be popular and hip) and send it to dev@?
18:55 < apmon> I'll probably go for talk-de and the german forum for now. There are a bunch of developers on that list, and I don't think EWG was ever introduced there
18:55 <@zere> ok. cool.
18:58 <@zere> anything else?
19:02 <@zere> i guess not. thanks to everyone for coming!