Working Group Minutes/MWG 2019-02-22

From OpenStreetMap Foundation


  • Paul Norman (pnorman)
  • Guillaume Rischard (Stereo)
  • Steve Friedl (SJFriedl)
  • Michael Spreng (datendelphin)
  • Thomas Barris (Thomas)

Open issues

Withdrawal of memberships

There was an offer from GlobalLogic to withdraw the memberships. The MWG will handle the withdrawal together with the board. The MWG will independently produce a list of memberships likely to be associated with the GlobalLogic sign up, and cross check the list provided by them to avoid revoking unrelated memberships. The concerned members will be informed and given a few weeks to react.

Recommendations for changes to avoid such situations in the future

The issue: a lot of members, related to a single entity, not in balance with the community at large, signing up for the OSMF and getting a lot of potential influence with it. The MWG tries to come up with measures to avoid or discourage such actions. But it is clear that specific action needs to be confirmed, if not shaped from the beginning, by the community. In a first round we gathered following ides:

  • section 15 of the AoA: We see that 7 days is unworkable. The MWG recommends an extension of that period to the board.
  • Make the OSM user name an explicit opt-out for signing up for the membership. It seems not clear to prospective members what their advantage is in giving their user name, but it gives us a lot of information about the applicant which can be consulted by the board (for making decisions to accept or reject memberships in suspicious cases). Getting the membership badge could be an incentive for members to provide their osm user name.
  • Record members affiliation. This could give us a chance to report large influx from a single entity and improve transparency. We started by simply providing an optional "company" field in the sign up form. This would work best if it was compulsory to some degree, giving grounds to invalidate memberships in case a company signs up all their employees without being open about it. However, that will need a lot more discussion and checking if it is feasible.

Improving the Membership Working Group page.

Some text was added.

osmf-talk list moderation

The MWG will take on moderation for the osmf-list. Actions will always be discussed in the MWG first.

Full transcript

[ due to datendelphin and Stereo being late, there was some more or less informal discussion previous to the official start of the meeting, which might make reading the log of the meeting a bit confiusing ]

21:44 < datendelphin> Well then, let's start?
21:44 < Stereo> Ah, you're presiding then datendelphin :)
21:45 < datendelphin> Someone has to do it. at least I make minutes ;)
21:45 < datendelphin> So we skip the minutes of last time
21:45 < Stereo> +1
21:46 < datendelphin> And go to the topic already in debate [which was GlobalLogic and the withdrawal of memberships]
21:46 < SJFriedl> +1
21:46 < Stereo> What's on the agenda for today?
21:46 < datendelphin> apart from globallogic? The new wiki
21:46 < SJFriedl> anybody have a hard stop today? :-)
21:47 < datendelphin> improving the mwg page
21:47 < Thomas> it is still on my agenda
21:48 < datendelphin> and suggestions for change of rules to avoid similar issues with mass sign ups of a party
21:48 < Stereo> We also have an application to join MWG from Nakaner
21:48 < Stereo> And I'd like to tweak some things in CiviCRM
21:49 < Stereo> And the suggestions we got from the French community mostly, on how to get more pepole to provide their 
osm username
21:51 < datendelphin> so quite a few topics
21:52 < datendelphin> But first is the withdrawal/exclusion of the members from globallogic. 
21:53 < Stereo> The proposed workflow on the pad looks good. Thanks SJFriedl 
21:53 < SJFriedl> Hmm, just thought of something.
21:53 < SJFriedl> Once we get the list from GL to crossmatch with ours, we email everybody: At request of GL you have be
en removed. You are free to sign up on your own anytime.
21:53 < SJFriedl> and not leave them the option of staying on.
21:53 < SJFriedl> does this run afoul of AoS issues?
21:54 < SJFriedl> or better to give ~2 weeks to let them say "I wanna stay" ?
21:54 < Thomas> rejoin would require them to pay again?
21:54 < Stereo> We can do either, really. Easier for us to kick them out.
21:55 < SJFriedl> If we kick all out, all get refund. Rejoining would cost again.
21:55 < SJFriedl> OR the original approach was to refun only those who did not want to stay
21:55 < pnorman> I think it's better AoA-wise to say unless you say otherwise, we will close the membership
21:55 < Stereo> But I'm afraid it's not a very good precedent to trust anything GL tells us without double checking :)
21:56 < SJFriedl> Ok, I'm fine w/ original plan.  We need to get list of email+name from GL; that should be somebody on 
the board who's been talking to them, right? Or should MWG chat with them?
21:56 < datendelphin> I would go with asking them
21:56 < pnorman> To kick them out using the AoA procedure would start a fairly specific process that becomes somewhat of
 a pain.
21:57 < datendelphin> Whoever usually had contact with GL should continue the communication
21:57 < SJFriedl> Heather or Joost?
21:57 < SJFriedl> I've actually had a brief Telegram chat w/ Raghu.  
21:57 < Stereo> MWG hasn't officially had contact with GL, really. It's the board that's been in touch.
21:58 < Stereo> We also have no idea what the board and GL said to each other, so they should take care of that.
21:58 < pnorman> Let's ask the board to request the list of people from GL for continuity of communication reasons.
21:58 < Stereo> I'm also very happy for the board to tell us 'please mark those memberships as cancelled in civicrm' and
 they take care of the rest.
21:58 < Stereo> Yeah
21:58 < datendelphin> Should we vote on the proposed workflow? Does anyone want any of the objections mentioned above to
 be formulated into a voting point?
21:58 < SJFriedl> do we need to vote on it?
21:58 < Stereo> If we vote on it we need a vote to change it.
21:59 < Stereo> We can say there's consensus on it.
21:59 < SJFriedl> I think we're going to have changes just as things come up, and unless there are actual opposing views
, this is just part of daily work.
21:59 < Stereo> It's a proposed workflow, not something to be statically compiled.
22:00 < datendelphin> ok, but there were a few objections. We deem them all withdrawn
22:00 < Stereo> Objections?
22:00 < pnorman> And we can go back to the board saying "we believe we need you to make this resolution to continue with
 the GL membership"
22:01 < pnorman> (if we need to)
22:01 < Stereo> If MWG can just start revoking memberships like that, it might give us ideas :)
22:02 < SJFriedl> the board accepted the offer to do this, so I think the rest we can just handle.
22:02 < pnorman> This is clearly an unusual situation
22:02 < SJFriedl> very
22:03 < Stereo> So we've covered this for now, and adapt as we go along?
22:03 < datendelphin> yes
22:03 < pnorman> Are there any AoA changes we can recommend out of this? I was thinking we could recommend the 7 days to
 reject a membership be changed to a longer time, since we've proved 7 isn't enough
22:03 < datendelphin> that sounds like a good idea
22:04 < Stereo> I think this needs a wider debate in the membership. Survey of members, asking for ideas.
22:04 < datendelphin> really, the board handling that would be so much easier than making up contrieved rules against it
22:04 < Stereo> Something like having more than 7 days is certainly a good idea.
22:04 < pnorman> 28 or 30 would be consistent with notice periods for AGMs
22:05 < Stereo> I was asking Frederik yesterday about this. Apparently, before that was put into place, the board always
 needed to approve any memberships. But actually never did.
22:05 < Stereo> So the OSMF had three members in total, two of which had left on bad terms. None of the board members we
re actual members.
22:05 < Stereo> It was solved through sleigh of hand, really. The lawyer said that if everyone believed that this was ho
w it worked, then that's how it worked.
22:05 < pnorman> And yes, there are wider governance issues that need discussing, but on the specific issue of s. 15 of 
the AoA we've shown that 7 days is unworkable
22:06 < Stereo> 7 days is very tight. It was pure luck that I saw this.
22:06 < Stereo> I haven't checked civicrm for the last 7 days. I rarely do.
22:06 < datendelphin> another idea: how about making osm user names mandatory, or an explicit "opt out"
22:06 < Stereo> Let's discuss thin with the French ideas?
22:06 < Stereo> Or we can move on to that, really
22:07 < Stereo> So we got a lot of good suggestions from the French community, and only one from the Indian cohort, whic
h was to make the username mandatory.
22:07 < pnorman> Let's move on to that - are we okay with me sending an email recommending the board consider an AoA cha
nge to increase 7 days to a period that is more practical
22:07 < SJFriedl> +1
22:07 < datendelphin> yes
22:07 < Thomas> you mentioned an API, stereo. Would it help to have a bot count the membership daily and send a telegram
 message with the numbers
22:08 < Stereo> pnorman: yes
22:08 < SJFriedl> actually, -1 for now
22:08 < datendelphin> Well Thomas I hope your statistics will get automated
22:08 < SJFriedl> Why don't all these ideas get circulated to the membeship before anything gets sent to the board. A pu
blic discussion.
22:08 < datendelphin> so we can see such changes more graphically
22:08 < SJFriedl> "Improving OSMF governance"
22:08 < Stereo> Yeah, I prefer the SJFriedl way actually
22:09 < datendelphin> about the discussion, I think that is not exclusory
22:09 < pnorman> I think it's the board's job to do that, and probably to bundle it up with other changes. We're not mak
ing a secret recommendation, it'll appear in our minutes
22:09 < datendelphin> the membership can come up with action items in parallel
22:10 < datendelphin> but as you all have seen it needs a serious push
22:10 < datendelphin> there has been very little discussion about governance changes
22:11 < datendelphin> so I am totally ok with this extension of the initial period to run in parallel
22:11 < SJFriedl> ok, then +1 from me
22:12 < Stereo> are the French ideas
22:12 < Stereo> Well, the Indian at the top and the French then
22:13 < pnorman> I don't think we can *require* an OSM user name, but we can make it an explicit opt out
22:13 < Stereo> I'm putting little arrows next to the ones I'd like to discuss
22:14 < Stereo> The cost reduction I actually laughed when I saw it. I think it's a cool idea.
22:14 < Stereo> £15, and if you don't provide a valid osm active mapper name it's £16
22:15 < Stereo> Putting a link on the profile I like, I will suggest it to Andy this weekend.
22:15 < Stereo> He's in Karlsruhe too
22:16 < pnorman> There's some work done on that, talk to datendelphin too
22:16 < Stereo> Yup, coming to that :)
22:16 < Stereo> Log in through OAuth is, I believe, complicated. We can however validate the field easily through a civi
crm hook.
22:17 < Stereo> Which should (touch wood) survive updates
22:17 < Stereo> Explaining how this is useful is a very good suggestion, actually.
22:17 < pnorman> How about the easy solution right now of making it required unless you check a box for "Decline to prov
ide or no OSM account"
22:17 < Stereo> Yeah that's actually not trivial with civicrm but I think it can be done.
22:18 < Stereo> I'm maybe going to do a bit of civicrm hacking this weekend.
22:18 < Stereo> But yeah, a box that says "I do not want to provide an osm username" that makes the field non-mandatory
22:19 < Stereo> And the little badge that gets displayed on, last suggestion, is the thing datendelphin (mostly)
 and I (not much) did at a hack weekend a year ago at least; it's been sitting in a pull request since. We were saying we'd nag Andy about it.
22:19 < Stereo> So, what does everyone think?
22:20 < datendelphin> Well too many things, but I think most of them good
22:20 < datendelphin> I would really like to get the badge
22:20 < pnorman> +1 to the badge on and checkbox on the form
22:21 < datendelphin> because it will give members a reason to give their user name
22:21 < datendelphin> (and because I invested a few days in it ;)
22:21 < pnorman> I think there are other good ideas but let's start with the easy ones
22:21 < datendelphin> and I also like the "opt out"
22:21 < SJFriedl> "decline to state"
22:21 < Stereo> Validating the osm names is actually not too hard. I'll see if I can do that if no one minds.
22:21 < datendelphin> sure
22:22 < SJFriedl> Add "Company" to the OSMF signup form: the field already exists in CiviCRM; it would be optional
22:22 < datendelphin> so is everyone in favor of making the osm user name a more important field?
22:23 < SJFriedl> YES
22:23 < Stereo> YES
22:23 < Thomas> yes
22:23 < pnorman> yes
22:23 < datendelphin> ah about company, that leads me to another proposal
22:23 < datendelphin> a further rule change I could imagine, is to provide a field for "affiliation" and requiring you t
o reveal the company you work for in case it is related to OSM.
22:23 < Stereo> So we provide the field now, and propose to make it legally compulsory?
22:24 < datendelphin> kind of, yes
22:24 < Stereo> Ok for me
22:24 < SJFriedl> We should start by just adding an optional field.
22:24 < datendelphin> the legally compulsury is sure to take long and be difficult to formulate
22:24 < Stereo> Yeah
22:25 < Stereo> Good
22:25 < SJFriedl> Let's say that i work for ESRI but nothing I do in OSM has anything to do with my day job (say, I run 
IT).  That's diff than if I am a commecial mapper
22:25 < Stereo> That's really something we'd need to discuss with the membership.
22:25 < pnorman> Yes, I'm iffy on that
22:25 < SJFriedl> I think just adding an optional field - without requirements - we can do now.
22:25 < SJFriedl> giving it greater meaning requires some thought
22:26 < datendelphin> yes but we want to know your affiliation in case ESRI wants to take over the next election
22:26 < SJFriedl> so implement this in phases.
22:26 < datendelphin> of course
22:26 < datendelphin> As I said, that is a very immature idea, but maybe something the community would like to implement
22:27 < Stereo> Does anyone else have ideas for things we could do now?
22:27 < SJFriedl> Phase 1 = add Company box and make it optional.
22:27 < Stereo> Do you want to do that SJFriedl?
22:28 < SJFriedl> I don't know how to do that. You said it was easy :-)
22:28 < Stereo> There's a place in civicrm where those forms are defined
22:28 < Stereo> Yeah
22:28 < Stereo> I think it's not too hard.
22:28 < SJFriedl> i'll look at it this weekend.
22:28 < Stereo> Oh, I'd also like to include a box: [ ] Subscribe to the osmf-talk discussion list
22:29 < Stereo> Then we somehow duct tape something to subscribe people only once
22:29 < SJFriedl> Do we do formal confirmation of the email address provided during membership signup?
22:29 < datendelphin> I will only approve of this box, if someone manages to get civicrm to send mails for new signups s
uch that we can handle them in otrs
22:29 < datendelphin> SJFriedl: no we don't
22:29 < datendelphin> absolutely not
22:29 < Stereo> No, but the osmf-talk thingie would, I guess
22:30 < Stereo> We'd just email a subscription request
22:30 < pnorman> can't do that, we'd have to do the add some interface and i'm not sure if that sends a confirmation or 
not. it might be an option
22:30 < SJFriedl> We should be affirmatively confirming these signups in CiviCRM. This might have made the recent unplea
santness more difficult for GL to have accomplished
22:31 < Stereo> It can be done through hooks, or by reading from the api from an external scripts. Technically, it's pos
sible, but not trivial.
22:31 < SJFriedl> that seems like a glaring omission for a wordpress-based product.
22:31 < Stereo> I'll see if it can confirm email addresses
22:32 < datendelphin> I would like to quickly hijack with another point: the osmf-talk mailing list
22:33 < datendelphin> I asked the current administrators, and all are ok with administration going to mwg@osmfoundation.
22:33 < datendelphin> so we will all get the mails for new subscription requests and (mostly spam) posts to it
22:33 < Stereo> Could we actually get them to otrs?
22:34 < datendelphin> The password is unfortunately shared, so please keep it safe even though I will mail it in plain t
22:34 < pnorman> Easily, just use membership@ instead, and it can automatically go to its own queue
22:34 < datendelphin> will be a lot of noise on otrs
22:34 < datendelphin> and the administration interface already keeps track of what was handled and what not
22:34 < Stereo> Yeah but this way we know if it's handled already
22:35 < Stereo> So we don't even need to click it
22:35 < datendelphin> you get a mail for every new sign up even, I don't know
22:35 < Stereo> Hmm
22:35 < Stereo> Let's have it in mwg@ for now
22:35 < Stereo> Ok?
22:36 < datendelphin> and can we close please?
22:36 < Stereo> Yup
22:36 < datendelphin> who can do that? pnorman?
22:37 < pnorman> ask admins. it was basically what mwg@ is now.
22:38 < pnorman> no clue what closing a list really means
22:38 < datendelphin> at least delist it from the main lists page
22:39 < datendelphin> Then improving the mwg page.
22:39 < datendelphin> I added some text. Corrections and expansion welcome
22:40 < datendelphin> also maybe a little discussion will be necessary how we see ourself and so on.
22:40 < Stereo> Oh, and before we close the civicrm chapter, I'd like to tweak the waiver page a bit. Show two fields, o
ne explaining osm contribution and one explaining hardship. For the infrastructure waiver, include only qualifying count
ries in the drop-down.
22:40 < Stereo> I don't think it needs any kind of formal approval, but I just wanted to let everyone know.
22:40 < pnorman> I had some other mailing list stuff
22:40 < pnorman> I'd like to split the forms
22:41 < Stereo> Yeah, two forms, this lets us do stuff like that
22:41 < datendelphin> I already started the splitting
22:42 < datendelphin> But needs some more work and how to split up the text and so on
22:42 < Stereo> Good
22:42 < Stereo> pnorman: what did you have on the ML?
22:42 < pnorman> For the other mailing list stuff, there are times when it gets bad. It didn't really happen this electi
on, but I've been on the list mod for a long time and you get periods where the list gets very hostile, you get a flurry
 of unsubscribes, and it gives OSMF membership a bad name.
22:43 < pnorman> Do we see that part of list administration within our scope?
22:43 < datendelphin> Not in my scope
22:43 < Stereo> It's a very political hat. Who's doing it now?
22:44 < Stereo> datendelphin says no one is doing it 
22:44 < pnorman> No one
22:44 < Stereo> Ok
22:44 < SJFriedl> you mean osmf-talk admin?
22:44 < datendelphin> yes
22:44 < pnorman> Well, we're the admin, but we have nothing to do with any emails sent on the list.
22:44 < Stereo> Is there anything we could do about it that's not going to get us burned at the stake by some members?
22:45 < pnorman> all options including the status quo have us burned at the stake.
22:46 < Stereo> I move to have SJFriedl nominated as the official MWG scapegoat then.
22:46 < Stereo> You know, this might be a question we should ask on the list, actually.
22:47 < pnorman> I prefer a light hand with moderation, but *some* moderation is needed occasionally.
22:47 < Stereo> But it's going to be hard to ban a member from posting
22:47 < SJFriedl> not *technically* hard
22:48 < Stereo> Yeah, like the guy who called the weekly 'annoying' recently? Definitely.
22:48 < SJFriedl> Yah, that person would be hard to ban.
22:48 < Thomas> it made me smile :)
22:48 < SJFriedl> +1
22:49 < pnorman> Someone has to be responsible. I think it's a better fit with us because we do the rest of the list mod
eration work, and discussion is generally not about us so we're less likely to be involved in disputes.
22:50 < SJFriedl> what would constitute a bannable (or time-out) offense?
22:50 < Stereo> I help moderate a few communities on reddit. It's basically moderator discretion.
22:51 < SJFriedl> without naming specific people, have there been any ban-worthy posts on osmf-talk in 2019?
22:51 < SJFriedl> or are we speaking of other times that got much more heated?
22:51 < pnorman> Other times.
22:51 < Stereo> Certainly a few calls to order, but it was a lot worse other times.
22:51  * SJFriedl missed those times
22:51 < Stereo> You didn't miss anything, really.
22:52 < pnorman> I think there's been times where there should have been calls to order this year because the list had c
learly gotten unproductive and hostile
22:52 < pnorman> Ah, that gets into the details. But I wanted to address if we think it's even within our scope. I do, b
ecause we do the other moderation, and the list has an impact on growing the membership. I do think we need to bring it 
to the list itself, should I take that on?
22:52 < Stereo> It's a tough call to make. We can always take a straw poll here when things get heated.
22:53 < pnorman> Just the knowledge that there is moderation can make people think about what they're saying.
22:53 < SJFriedl> and having a few calmer heads doing the moderation would mean it's Not Just One Guy.
22:53 < Stereo> pnorman: +1, and say that we'd always discuss it internally
22:54 < Stereo> (low quorum, low timeout, quick reaction)
22:55 < Stereo> Ok, the last point I believe is Nakaner's membership?
[... offtopic personal things...]
22:56 < pnorman> I can't remember, are AoA matters within our scope?
22:56 < pnorman> I guess so if it pertains to "growing membership"
22:57 < SJFriedl> and better governance
22:57 < datendelphin> yes and somehow the cleanup of the GL mess lies also with us
22:57 < datendelphin> I mean, come up with rule changes to prevent further similar situations
22:58 < SJFriedl> datendelphin - you missed the first part of the mess, now's your chance to make it up to us :-)
22:58 < datendelphin> sure, that is why I put it on the agenda and presented a few ideas
22:58 < SJFriedl> good man :-)
[... more offtopic personal things...]
23:04 < Stereo> We're happy with the £1k that we got allocated? I think we could use it for a few ads.
23:06 < SJFriedl> I have no idea what we could use money for
23:06 < pnorman> I can't think of anything to spend money on outside 1k gbp which we might need for civicrm or otrs supp
23:06 < datendelphin> membership cards
23:06 < datendelphin> but no one does this, it's work
23:08 < datendelphin> Anyway, if there is no other business, the meeting is closed.