Working Group Minutes/EWG 2011-12-12

From OpenStreetMap Foundation


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


  • Discussion of rewards/incentives for completing the Top Ten Tasks.
    • Encourage existing community to focus on these via communication, as much of the existing community won't be motivated by OSM-themed gifts.
    • OSM-themed gifts may encourage new contributors, which is a plus.
    • Perhaps too much focus on re-invention instead of improvement currently?
  • Budgeting / 2012 focus
    • Rewards/incentives: zere to find out what these might cost.
    • We can get through at least all ten of the TTTs, replacing with new tasks as we go.
    • zere to find out what 4 weeks of "quality" dev time might cost.
    • Discussion started on F2F costs, but time ran out.


18:01 < zere> minutes of the last meeting, for your perusal
18:01 < zere> as ever, have a look and let me know if there's anything objectionable in there.
18:02 < zere> the agenda for this meeting is: incentives, 2012 budgeting, anything final on the TTTs and communicating the TTTs.
18:04 < TomH> TTTs?
18:06 < apmon> Top Ten Tasks?
18:07 < TomH> ah rght
18:08 < zere> yup, sorry. now i'm a bureaucrat i have to create TLAs for everything.
18:08 < RichardF> or ETLAs.
18:09 < apmon> ETLAs? Extended TLAs?
18:09 < zere> RichardF: YATBAICMFP :-P
18:09 < RichardF> yep. Four-letter abbreviations ;)
18:09 < RichardF> zere: TB?
18:09 < RichardF> (Tony Blair?!)
18:10 < zere> could be...
18:13 < zere> anyway, i shall assume that the previous minutes are totally without objectionable content and move on to incentives!
18:13 < apmon> Yes, they seem fine
18:13 < RichardF> +1
18:14 < zere> now, we have a (small) budget for this year - $1000 - which we can choose to use (or not) to try and motivate / reward people for progress on the top ten tasks.
18:14 < zere> so the question is: what kinds of motivation do we think are appropriate and effective?
18:15 < zere> and also: is that the best use of any EWG budget?
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18:16 < RichardF> it's worth considering. I don't know whether it'll work, but we could try.
18:17 < RichardF> ideally it shouldn't have to be the case, but we don't have a great rush of people running to develop on as it is. And perhaps it'd be a way of helping to encourage some of our existing committers to focus on the top 10 - don't know
18:18 < apmon> Possibly one can reward them with some OSM merchandies, like a high Vis vest or a OSM mug
18:18  * RichardF has too many mugs already and would prefer to complete his Pantone set ;)
18:19 < apmon> Not really much of an incentive, but perhaps the biggest advantage of it is to give the impression that we care about those tasks and thus will help people implement them and support their effort 
18:19 < zere> apmon: exactly.
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18:21 < zere> i think it could be very helpful to get some good press around it as well. blog posts / tweets / etc... about people being sent a bag 'o goodies when they complete a TTT. maybe even an interview, if they and CWG are interested?
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18:21 < apmon> hmm, laptop just randomly shut down :-S So I might have missed a response
18:22 < RichardF> if there's something to publicise then I'm sure CWG would love to :)
18:24 < zere> ok. i think it would be worthwhile going ahead an getting some merch - t-shirts, hi-viz jackets, etc... with something suitably OSMy and EWGy printed on there.
18:24 < zere> does anyone have any other ideas? stuff we could try instead?
18:25 < RichardF> I dunno. I'd probably rather have £50 than £50's worth of goodies. But I may be atypical.
18:25 < RichardF> what would people here rather have?
18:28 < zere> is the recognition more important than any remuneration or other reward, then?
18:28 < apmon> Well, I might also prefer cache, but I am wondering if that might give the wrong idea. The incentives we will give are presumably no where close to "contracting out the feature"
18:28 < apmon> So hinting at that it is more of a "good will incentive" than payment might be helpful
18:29 < zere> my worry about cash would be that it's not a long-term motivator. i figure anyone who is motivated by cash is going to require more cash to motivate them a second time.
18:30 < zere> and then it's just simpler to pay someone to do it.
18:30 < RichardF> zere: I'm sure you're right. I'm just wondering whether it might be a good way to 'suck in' some of the people around the edges of the OSM dev community.
18:30 < apmon> Which is why something OSM related might be good.
18:31 < zere> hopefully it's possible to motivate or reward people in such a way as to be able to use other rewards to always entice in *new* people, with the old people pretty much staying motivated.
18:31 < zere> do we think that such a thing is possible / feasible?
18:33 < apmon> Well, I do think there probably are enough developers in the OSM community who could help on the top ten. And they would hopefully not need much of an incentive other than realize it is useful and appreciated to work on the main page too
18:34 < RichardF> there are certainly enough developers out there with a connection to OSM. But we've never been able to get many of them to work on I'm scratching my head as to what we can do to fix that, and am rather annoyed not to be able to find a simple answer...
18:35 < zere> could it be that promoting the TTTs is enough?
18:35 < apmon> I am not sure how much that is an issue, but I always get the impression people rather start a new project from scratch than to work on an existing one
18:36 < apmon> So people keep on re-inventing things and older projects die out
18:36 < RichardF> apmon: you're exactly right.
18:37 < RichardF> clickable POIs is a good example - Komzpa has come up with a very nice implementation of it... but for, not for And it's cool to have it on, but it'd be much cooler to have it on
18:37 < zere> it's always easier that way with OSS, right? easier to work in isolation than with others... the issue is how to overcome that?
18:39 < zere> or, in other words, would being sent a t-shirt encourage komzpa to contribute his clickable implementation back into the rails_port code base?
18:39 < apmon> We should ask him... ;-)
18:40 < apmon> One possible cause is that it is hard to guess a-priory which features are acceptable to and which ones aren't. The Top Ten tasks will hopefully help with that respect
18:42 < RichardF> that's true.
18:45 < zere> so it seems that the t-shirt is popular (with a sample size of 1), and that making the TTTs list more widely known is more important.
18:48 < zere> meanwhile, a technical discussion starts on #osm-dev, i think we're agreed on something (e.g: t-shirt, hi-viz vest) as a reward, and...
18:48 < zere> RichardF: how can CWG help us out with promoting the TTTs?
18:49 < zere> or T^3s :-)
18:49 < RichardF> zere: we can make a big push via the usual channels. Would you like me to raise it?
18:50  * apmon thinks there are too many different languages and libraries in the OSM universe.
18:50 < apmon> Everytime one wants to do something one first needs to learn a new language and or library before doing something that should be relatively easy...
18:51 < zere> ja! muessen wir alle deutsch sprechen!
18:51 < RichardF> that's very true.
18:51  * RichardF e-mails CWG.
18:51 < zere> thanks :-)
18:52 < zere> shall we move on to 2012 budgeting?
18:52 < apmon> RichardF: emailing CWG with respect to moving everything to German... ;-)
18:52 < zere> the question here is: what do we want a budget for in 2012?
18:52 < RichardF> bwahaha
18:52 < apmon> Do we have anything we need to spend things on?
18:53 < zere> i think, within reason, we can ask for anything. at the end of the day, the worst that can happen is that it's turned down.
18:53 < apmon> Things that I could think of would presumably fall into the OWG buget
18:53 < zere> well, if we think that the t-shirts will be useful, then continue with that.
18:53 < apmon> Well, the incentives aside
18:54 < zere> if we think that we'll need to spend money on some of the TTTs that no-one wants to do voluntarily.
18:54 < zere> if we want to have a face-to-face meeting (as the board says).
18:55 < apmon> zere: Imho face to face meetings are not worth the money...
18:56 < zere> could be quite cheap if we're all attending SOTM?
18:56 < RichardF> we do have face-to-face meetings of course - hack weekends :)
18:57 < zere> good point - i'd like to see more international hack weekends. they may not have facilities available from OSM-supporting employers.
18:57 < zere> i think that would be very goof to budget for
18:57 < RichardF> yes.
19:00 < zere> ok. four items so far: rewards/incentives; outsourcing; f2f; hack weekends. anything else?
19:00 < RichardF> a propos of discussion on �#osm-dev - do we want to take the (AFAICT fairly moribund) state of the Mapnik stylesheet development as an EWG matter at some point?
19:00 < zere> better to think of stuff now and put it in the budget than to regret not having money in 2012.
19:01 < zere> (said seb coe to boris johnson)
19:01 < RichardF> bwahaha
19:03 < zere> ok. let's go through these. first up: rewards/incentives - i'll look at the costs, but how many of these TTTs do you reckon we can get through in a year?
19:03 < RichardF> 10.
19:03 < zere> one has been done already - is that a good pace? 1/month?
19:03 < zere> or (hopefully) can we push that with good publicity to 2/month?
19:03 < RichardF> it ought to be. they're none of them that complex. if we can't get them all done within a year, we need to up our game.
19:04 < apmon> Yes, it seems like we really should aim to get through all the top ten in a year
19:05 < zere> ok. so i will budget for, let's say, 20 x reward/goody bag.
19:05 < zere> ?
19:06 < zere> ok
19:07 < zere> next up: outsourcing. if we reckon we can do all ten in a year, then do we want/need to also have an outsourcing budget for contracting work?
19:08 < apmon> If we would want to do outsourcing, I suspect that would be a pretty big chunk in the budget?
19:09 < zere> yes
19:09 < RichardF> yep. I wonder whether we should not budget for that but reserve the right to come back after six months if it's clear that volunteers aren't going to complete the 10.
19:09 < zere> i don't know what rates these things go for nowadays. for good work, obviously. anyone know?
19:10 < zere> RichardF: i think we should do it the other way around - budget assuming the worst-case and release it back after 6 months if we're doing well.
19:10 < TomH> I'd be astonshed if we can get much done (to any sort of quality) within the budget we have now
19:11 < apmon> I presume we are in this case taking about having a considerably larger budget than the automatic $1000 we have now?
19:11 < RichardF> zere: ask gravitystorm as a friendly local OSM freelancer?
19:12 < zere> apmon: yes - we can ask for whatever we want. there is always the possibility (probability, the more we ask for) that it will be turned down.
19:12 < RichardF> (sorry, have to head off now, but am enjoying the discussion and hope to catch up later)
19:14 < zere> there's a spectrum, though, of contractors, though. i don't have enough experience doing it myself to know where the floor of quality lies. (i.e: how little can you spend and get something well-written back)?
19:16 < zere> ok. shall we budget something like 4 weeks of time? i'll see how much that costs and tell you when my eyes stop watering.
19:17 < zere> next: face-to-face. apmon, you don't think it would be worthwhile? the cost would be i guess 400-700 gbp per person for flights, plus something similar for hotels. 
19:17 < zere> an overall cost of around 4k gbp? does that sound right?
19:17 < zere> i'm calculating on the back of a postage stamp here...
19:19 < apmon> Yes, imho 4k for flights and hotel would probably be better off spent on something like a development server or contracting out work or some such.
19:19 < apmon> imho has a greater potential to get stuff done than meeting face to face. But perhaps that is not true. I don't really know
19:20 < zere> maybe there is some other way of making it work - subsidised SOTM visits?
19:20 < zere> or, if there's a price at which it would work, setting that as a fund for a f2f and leave the details of how it gets apportioned for later?
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19:28 < zere> ok.... looks like this meeting has flatlined. i'm calling it: 19:28.
19:28 < zere> thanks for coming, and hopefully see you next week for the continuation of this discussion.