Working Group Minutes/SWG 2011-05-13

From OpenStreetMap Foundation


IRC Name Present Apologies
_chrisfl Chris Fleming yes
Eugene Eugene Usvitsky yes (23)
Firefishy Grant Slater yes
apmon Kai Krueger yes
mkl Mikel Maron yes
RichardF Richard Fairhurst yes
samlarsen1 Sam Larsen yes
stevenfeldman Steven Feldman yes
toffehoff Henk Hoff yes
TomH Tom Hughes yes
wonderchook Kate Chapman yes
Also attending
IRC handle Name
blackadder Andy Robinson

Minutes (draft)

29 April 2011 Minutes approved

6 May 2011 Minutes approved

Agreed that in future minutes would be approved by default (as IRC log is attached as record of meeting discussions) unless there is a specific objection.

Old business

Outstanding matters were covered in the following agenda items, which continued previous discussions


  • OSMF Articles of Association Update
  • List etiquette
  • Front page
  • Revised meeting time

AoA Update

Group met on 9/5 and are working on a proposal to open up for discussion and comment. The 1st step is to clean up the list of issues which can be viewed at AoA Review

It is planned to present a list of the key issues with current AoA and some recommendations for discussion at SoTM eu and Denver (other channels will be used to encourage participation). Once some consensus has been reached the AoA group will work with the legal adviser to redraft.

List etiquette

Mikel summarised previous discussion and options:

1) set a better example on lists. dampen down trolling when it happens.
2) have well known guidelines posted and distributed
3) deputize list owners to take action, if they have to
4) open up more thinking on other ways to communicate
  • Connect with Communications Working Group to check if they have any activity underway in this regard - Action Henk Hoff
  • The current Etiquette page should be made more visible to list participants by linking from list pages and in the welcome message that is automatically sent when joining a list - Action Grant Slater to explore and report back
  • We need to check that all lists have an active list owner and moderator (not necessarily the same person) - Action Tom Hughes

Outstanding Item to consider how we can involve more of the community

OSM Front page

Deferred to next meeting due to lack of time

Next meeting

  • Friday 20 May 2011 @ 1500UTC Note Time Change


(11:01:49) mkl1: about time...
(11:02:45) mkl1: who's taking minutes?
(11:02:48) mkl1:
(11:02:54) mkl1: and logging?
(11:02:56) mkl1: please :)
(11:03:08) stevenfeldman: If I volunteer again will someone else do next week?
(11:03:21) mkl1: nice
(11:03:42) stevenfeldman: can someone else log as i am not sure whether my irc logs properly?
(11:04:15) Blackadder: Mine is logging
(11:04:15) mkl1: i'm logging
(11:04:18) mkl1: cool
(11:04:20) stevenfeldman: can we get attendance so i don't mess up like last week
(11:04:33) mkl1: minutes from two weeks ago:
(11:04:44) mkl1: and minutes from last week:
(11:04:46) TomH: present!
(11:04:52) samlarsen1: ping
(11:05:16) stevenfeldman: present :)
(11:05:18) toffehoff: Hi
(11:05:43) chrisfl: hi
(11:05:45) apmon: hi
(11:05:58) ***Blackadder throws Baldrick out. Hi
(11:06:12) Firefishy: Hi
(11:06:22) mkl1: proposal/seconds on the minutes?
(11:06:40) wonderchook: hi!
(11:07:03) RichardF: hello, present too
(11:07:20) Firefishy: First up: SWG_2011-04-29: propose.
(11:07:30) mkl1: thanks Grant
(11:08:01) wonderchook: seconded:)
(11:08:35) mkl1: thanks Kate
(11:08:37) mkl1: and the next?
(11:09:04) stevenfeldman: can i propose as minute taker?
(11:09:05) toffehoff: propose 2011-05-06
(11:09:17) mkl1: stevenfeldman: better not to
(11:09:42) mkl1: thx Henk
(11:09:46) mkl1: we're almost there!
(11:10:44) mkl1: anyone?
(11:11:42) mkl1: ok while we're waiting for a second, the agenda today
(11:11:47) mkl1: * AoA update
(11:11:49) Firefishy: I propose we skip the propose/second in future, it's a bit unnecessary if we have an IRC record.
(11:12:13) stevenfeldman: firefishy +1
(11:12:29) mkl1: yea, how bout we just say they're ok, unless someone objects ;)
(11:12:38) mkl1: any objections?
(11:12:44) toffehoff: mkl1 +1
(11:12:49) Firefishy: mkl1 +1
(11:12:55) chrisfl: +1
(11:12:56) stevenfeldman: mkl1: +1111
(11:13:02) mkl1: lol
(11:13:19) mkl1: let's say that passed
(11:13:21) mkl1: onwards
(11:13:22) mkl1: agenda:
(11:13:25) mkl1: * AoA
(11:13:32) mkl1: * List Etiquette
(11:13:37) mkl1: * Front Page
(11:13:40) mkl1: * Meeting Timing
(11:13:45) mkl1: anything else?
(11:14:17) stevenfeldman: sotm board load discussion from mail list?
(11:15:17) mkl1: yea, that's brief .. we discussed at the Board meeting ... it really should be Board's problem :)
(11:15:43) mkl1: something we'll cover at the June meeting
(11:16:00) mkl1: ok AoA update? toffehoff?
(11:16:18) toffehoff: Had a good meeting monday.
(11:16:51) toffehoff: Working on a proposal.
(11:17:12) toffehoff: First step is cleaning up the issue list we have.
(11:17:43) toffehoff:
(11:18:14) stevenfeldman: toffehoff: willl you share issue list when cleaned up for input?
(11:18:38) ***chrisfl was delayed in tiding up the wikipage at due to a failed disk, should be done over the weekend
(11:18:41) toffehoff: It's already shared...
(11:19:30) toffehoff: The review-page will be our central page for the proposal and issues needing to be addressed.
(11:20:07) toffehoff: Still thinking of having a discussioin with community at SotM-EU
(11:20:19) toffehoff: Will need to have a proposal by then.
(11:20:46) wonderchook: I think doing it at SotM-EU is a bit exclusionary
(11:20:53) wonderchook: I realize most of the community is there
(11:20:56) toffehoff: Proposal: issues >> setting some alternatives and a recommended solution.
(11:21:00) wonderchook: but still is difficult
(11:21:18) stevenfeldman: wonderchook: where else?
(11:21:21) chrisfl: There will also be chance to comment online
(11:21:24) toffehoff: wonderchook: good point.
(11:21:25) mkl1: wonderchook: it's one forum for an in person discussion. wouldn't be the exclusive one
(11:21:36) wonderchook: yeah, I think it would just be important to have others
(11:21:53) toffehoff: It's not exclusively SotM-eu
(11:21:59) wonderchook: since for example with plane tickets being 1500 USD I doubt many people will be coming from North America
(11:22:02) toffehoff: It's a good deadline
(11:22:10) toffehoff: And a starting point for a discussion.
(11:22:21) toffehoff: Which can extend on mailinglist etc.
(11:22:24) wonderchook: toffehoff: understood. would be good to have irc and maybe a conference call discussion around that time
(11:22:32) stevenfeldman: someone could present at sotm denver, I'll volunteer if someone cover my exps :) travel hunger
(11:22:55) Eugene [~eugene@] entered the room.
(11:23:02) toffehoff: Our intention is to have a final version for acceptance ready by SotM-denver
(11:23:05) Blackadder: toffehoff: Has anyone commented upon the difference between the AoA and any formalised "Aims' of the Foundation.
(11:23:16) chrisfl: ideally we don't want too many changes during the AGM....
(11:23:41) chrisfl: We hope to include the Aims in the Memorandum and Articles
(11:23:57) Blackadder: that would be an unusual approach
(11:23:58) toffehoff: Blackadder: no. But Francis mentioned to have a look at this.
(11:24:15) Blackadder: AoA normally only includes the legal company related stuff
(11:24:32) stevenfeldman: if you separate the Aims from the AoA but refer to them in AoA it gives more flexibility to evolve without ore legals
(11:24:47) TomH: traditionally the Memorandum defined the aims and the Articles the more day to day stuff
(11:25:08) toffehoff: AoA needs to have the stuff in how we want ourselves to be governed.
(11:25:08) TomH: but latest companies act has made memo optional and you can now fold it all into the articles
(11:25:19) chrisfl: But we don't want them to be changed to easily. As toms says...
(11:25:29) toffehoff: Memorandum should have our aims of the foundation. Why do we excist.
(11:25:37) chrisfl: we hope that Francis will advise the best place to have things.
(11:25:52) toffehoff: TomH: right.
(11:26:06) chrisfl: we currently have Memorandum so it might be easier not to change that structure.
(11:26:14) stevenfeldman: chrisfl: +1 no point in having a dog and barking
(11:27:10) Blackadder: Standard model AoA (the default for new companies) Table A is here
(11:27:46) toffehoff: Blackadder: why not join in our weekly AoA meetings?
(11:27:48) Blackadder: Standard models are A to F. Companies House will want to see something that "fits" with the model
(11:28:04) Blackadder: toffehoff: If I can I will, I was out Monday
(11:28:19) toffehoff: We first want to make clear how we want our organisation to work.
(11:28:29) toffehoff: The legal text of the AoA is step 2
(11:28:49) chrisfl: But we do have flexibility to decide how we want to do things.
(11:29:41) toffehoff: My idea is not to have a new text for the AoA ready by SotM-eu.
(11:30:11) toffehoff: We first need to be clear on how we want to run our organisation.
(11:30:18) toffehoff: Which voting mechanism do we have.
(11:30:26) toffehoff: What kind of members do we have.
(11:30:31) toffehoff: that sort of thing.
(11:30:50) toffehoff: The wording in the AoA can be made after we're clear on those principles.
(11:31:36) apmon: A strong input from the community will be important in determining the principles
(11:31:45) toffehoff: Absolutely.
(11:31:47) RichardF: *eek*
(11:32:10) toffehoff: That's the reason to discuss these principles during SotM
(11:32:11) ***chrisfl hopes that we can get most of it right
(11:32:43) Blackadder: "A strong input from community" is a recipe for banging your head against the Companies House wall
(11:32:51) stevenfeldman: some geobeers might be useful when we discuss this at sotm eu
(11:33:13) chrisfl: I was thinking about something stronger....
(11:33:17) toffehoff: Blackadder: that's why I want to stay away from legal text for the moment.
(11:33:50) chrisfl: Plan is get the principes sorted out then with Francis help work out the legal text.
(11:34:04) stevenfeldman: toffehoff: even without legalese the discussion is going to be difficult to keep within reasonable bounds
(11:34:20) Blackadder: yep, if the "community", whoever that is in the end, can decide on the issue the legals will explain what should be in the AoA and what should go elsewhere. I suspect much of what we want will be outside the AoA
(11:34:40) chrisfl: yup
(11:35:05) toffehoff: That's the thought.
(11:36:23) mkl1: i think we should get to the other items on the agenda
(11:36:49) mkl1: thx toffehoff. lots of issues but going well :)
(11:36:52) toffehoff: +1
(11:36:58) mkl1: what are we more hungry for?
(11:37:06) mkl1: list etiquette or usability?
(11:37:08) Blackadder: donuts
(11:37:21) stevenfeldman: single malt
(11:37:48) wonderchook: etiquette
(11:37:52) stevenfeldman: finish list etiquette, usability will over-run
(11:37:59) toffehoff: etiquette and how we can set an example?
(11:38:09) mkl1: ok
(11:38:19) mkl1: if i can summarize, there's a few parts
(11:38:43) mkl1: 1) set a better example on lists. dampen down trolling when it happens.
(11:39:12) mkl1: 2) have well known guidelines posted and distributed
(11:39:28) mkl1: 3) deputize list owners to take action, if they have to
(11:39:40) mkl1: 4) open up more thinking on other ways to communicate
(11:39:42) mkl1: ...
(11:40:09) RichardF: (and 3 implies "provide them with guidelines on what they're justly entitled to do")
(11:40:33) stevenfeldman: mkl1: does 4) include trialling an alternative to mail list?
(11:40:37) mkl1: basically, i think we, and others, can resolve to put effort into this. but we should also have something solid
(11:40:49) mkl1: RichardF: yes
(11:41:21) mkl1: stevenfeldman: you mean for SWG? i think TomH said he wouldn't be involved then :(
(11:41:53) RichardF: alternatives aren't necessarily exclusive. is an alternative to the lists but we haven't had to shut down newbies@.
(11:42:04) Blackadder: It would be helpful if on there was a starter for 10 of what is expected when posting to OSM mailing lists
(11:42:27) stevenfeldman: I wouldn't want to scare off TomH but is it not possible to have a way of combining forum and mail list depending on people's prefs/
(11:42:45) toffehoff: Isn't there a forum with rss capability?
(11:42:54) mkl1: there's also
(11:43:32) stevenfeldman: sums up some of the challenges of lists
(11:43:39) chrisfl: which is draft...
(11:43:44) Blackadder: mkl1: there ought to be a link to that page on then (and within each list)
(11:44:18) mkl1: Blackadder: and also, a message sent to all lists, announcing our new era of civility?
(11:44:32) mkl1: or is that going to just open season on trolling :)
(11:45:42) mkl1: i guess, is it enough for us here, and maybe a few other groups within osmf, to resolve to do this?
(11:45:52) stevenfeldman: I am going to search fro a troll hammer
(11:46:07) wonderchook: mkl1: I think that makes sense.
(11:46:12) chrisfl: I also wonder if having things related to specific issues or lists probably shouldn't be on the Etiquette page
(11:46:22) Blackadder: mkl1: good point, an announcement could be counter productive
(11:46:32) toffehoff: Since the analysis-page has been put by the communication WG. .... Should we check with them if they're doing stuff right now?
(11:46:38) mkl1: Firefishy, do you maintain can you add links as Blackadder suggests?
(11:47:10) mkl1: toffehoff: good point. anyone here also on CWG?
(11:47:14) Firefishy: It might be possible, I'd need to check.
(11:47:31) apmon: Blackadder: If there is a policy change, it has to be announced
(11:47:42) Blackadder: apmon: why?
(11:47:47) Firefishy: I think mailman can also send a 'welcome' message on joining a list.
(11:48:05) mkl1: apmon: i don't think this is a new policy
(11:48:07) stevenfeldman: surely observing list etiquette is not a change of policy?
(11:48:08) mkl1: just an effort
(11:49:04) toffehoff: if nobody is on CWG, I can check with them ....
(11:49:06) RichardF: two things:
(11:49:07) Blackadder: And we only need to target those who don't follow etiquette, not the whole list membership
(11:49:12) RichardF: firstly, we'll need new admins for some of the lists
(11:49:16) apmon: Blackadder: Courtest to the community for one. And second, it will just damage the reputation in the community further if OSMF just changes policy without telling people
(11:49:17) Blackadder: +1
(11:49:26) RichardF: AIUI, mcn is admin for several major lists and I don't think he's had any involvement in OSM for ages
(11:49:36) mkl1: who is mcn?
(11:49:39) RichardF: exactly!
(11:49:44) Blackadder: +1 to RichardF that is
(11:49:57) Blackadder: mcn is McNut?
(11:50:02) RichardF: no
(11:50:11) RichardF: Martin someone from Stoke-on-Trent IIRC? rides a motorbike?
(11:50:15) Firefishy: I get repeated calls to block 1 user on the wiki, someone who is quite 'vocal' on the mailinglists too.
(11:50:39) Blackadder: RichardF: Leicester uni chap
(11:50:44) RichardF: Newton
(11:50:47) apmon: Any blocking of users imho also needs to be clearly documented with reasons
(11:50:51) Blackadder: thats the one
(11:50:59) RichardF: Matthew Newton
(11:51:05) mkl1: Firefishy: is this an edit war?
(11:51:10) Blackadder: Bingo, give that man a donut
(11:51:12) mkl1: apmon: agreed, similar to blocks on the api
(11:51:27) RichardF: secondly, what do we do about lists where the majority of current members probably don't _want_ any moderation? thinking of talk-au in particular
(11:51:40) Firefishy: mkl1: Yup.
(11:51:58) Firefishy:
(11:52:01) Blackadder: RichardF: Its still a list run by the project. If they want their own rules they should run their own list
(11:52:10) apmon: mkl1: Yes, the API blocks seem like a reasonable system
(11:52:11) stevenfeldman: richardf: surely all lists under osm banner need some moderation?
(11:52:29) stevenfeldman: blackadder: +1
(11:52:40) RichardF: Blackadder, stevenfeldman: oh, I agree in principle. I'm just not sure how you'd achieve that in practice - may need to enforce a change of moderator
(11:52:42) chrisfl: The rules should help the community work; bad behaviour reflects on the project
(11:52:43) RichardF: which will be controversial
(11:52:54) Blackadder: RichardF: noted
(11:52:58) chrisfl: hard to start retrospecitivly though
(11:53:19) mkl1: we can take that one as a special case
(11:53:31) mkl1: hrm, so do we have actions coming out of this?
(11:53:45) mkl1: - connect with CWG
(11:53:47) stevenfeldman: mkl1 no need to make special case, just don't try too hard to get a new moderator
(11:53:50) Blackadder: If there is a means for any list user to register a complaint about a posting then a higher modertaor than those active on a list could take a view
(11:54:26) mkl1: yea, i guess we need a moderator-moderator ... cause there will be issues both with too active moderators
(11:54:26) TomH: one big problem is that the moderator several main lists (including talk) is completely inactive
(11:54:40) stevenfeldman: blackaddder: who will be the ultimate moderator of moderators? :)
(11:54:45) mkl1: TomH: then we should look to reassign
(11:54:55) TomH: lists can have multiple moderators
(11:54:58) mkl1: let's make that an action
(11:55:12) TomH: and there is a master password, though that lets the person that has it do any admin action at all to any list
(11:55:16) stevenfeldman: mkl1 can you summarise actions from this discussion pls
(11:55:35) mkl1: - get status of moderators on all lists, see where a replacement is needed
(11:55:39) apmon: Can we have a poll to see how the community stands on moderation?
(11:55:51) mkl1: - connect with CWG
(11:55:59) TomH: I can take an action to make a list of all the list owners/moderators
(11:56:25) mkl1: thx TomH
(11:56:28) Blackadder: apmon: nothing stopping you running a poll, but personally I'm not sure what that would gain other than lots of trolling
(11:56:43) toffehoff: I've already offered to get in touch with CWG.
(11:56:54) stevenfeldman: is toffehoff connecting with CWG?
(11:56:55) toffehoff: Blackadder: +1
(11:56:57) TomH: only thing is where to send it/put it - is revealing all the emails publically going to be a problem?
(11:56:58) apmon: an "official" poll in the name of SWG?
(11:57:05) mkl1: apmon: i see what you're getting at, but we need to be really skillful in how to involve greater input
(11:57:54) apmon: mkl1: definitely. It is not easy. But imho necessary.
(11:58:04) mkl1: TomH: is it a pain to obfuscate to OSM user name?
(11:58:05) stevenfeldman: surely lists all need a moderator but the moderator only needs to be active if there is any major trolling or other breach of etiquette?
(11:58:15) wonderchook: we just have a couple minutes left do we need to discuss a meeting time before things end? (not to interrupt)
(11:58:24) mkl1: ok let's finish up actions
(11:58:44) stevenfeldman: to poll or not to poll?
(11:58:58) mkl1: Firefishy, can you look at including links in listinfo pages, and in a welcome message to new sign ups?
(11:58:59) toffehoff: Poll won't help.
(11:59:11) mkl1: let's table on how to involve more community
(11:59:11) RichardF: toffehoff: +1
(11:59:12) Firefishy: mkl1: ok
(11:59:19) TomH: mkl1: well it may be impossible - all I will have is an email and unless it matches a user I won't know the OSM username
(11:59:22) mkl1: let's agree that it's important, but that we don't know how to do it yet
(11:59:27) RichardF: welcome message is trivial in mailman
(11:59:44) TomH: mkl1: links to what? there is no easy way to change listinfo AFAIK
(11:59:49) TomH: they are generated by mailman
(11:59:53) toffehoff: Is there also a standard footer?
(12:00:15) TomH: on the listinfo pages? maybe
(12:00:26) apmon: mkl1: +1
(12:00:28) toffehoff: ... that's been added to a message? >> we could add the link to the etiquette there....
(12:00:35) mkl1: TomH: check into it, and let us know what's possible
(12:00:43) TomH: toffehoff: list admins can probably set one up
(12:00:50) TomH: don't think many lists have one now
(12:00:59) TomH: a global one might be possible - would have to check
(12:01:09) stevenfeldman: is that no poll yet?
(12:01:26) mkl1: and on the list moderators ... i don't know ... gather the info on moderators, and then let's see how to handle that
(12:02:10) mkl1: stevenfeldman: no. homework is to think over how best to involve more folks in this, without encouraging more trolling! :)
(12:02:22) mkl1: ok let's finish with meeting times
(12:02:25) stevenfeldman: mkl1 gotcha
(12:02:31) samlarsen1: results of meeting time poll suggest 15:00 UTC Friday
(12:02:44) samlarsen1: sorry milo
(12:02:55) mkl1: is one hour earlier better for everybody?
(12:03:00) toffehoff: So that's one hour earlier...
(12:03:15) toffehoff: Well ... better ....
(12:03:16) samlarsen1: +1
(12:03:17) stevenfeldman: fine with me
(12:03:20) TomH: good for me
(12:03:24) chrisfl: The only problem I see with Friday, is it's the day that everyone thinks they are free; but often will be away.
(12:03:28) toffehoff: It's doable, not better :-)
(12:03:35) mkl1: second runner up is wednesday, hour earlier
(12:03:36) chrisfl: but looks by far the best from the poll
(12:03:51) mkl1: but that's not doable for toffehoff or stevenfeldman, right?
(12:03:57) mkl1: or possible guys?
(12:03:57) wonderchook: yeah, I think Friday is tough because often people have a long weekend
(12:04:12) toffehoff: Wednesday evening is already packed with OSM related stuff.
(12:04:14) stevenfeldman: only day I can make firm committment is Friday, calendar too flexed the other days
(12:04:29) wonderchook: yeah for me personally now, whenever is fine
(12:04:34) mkl1: toffehoff: that's why it's great for me :) put it all together
(12:04:36) ***Blackadder thinks Fridays works quite well because its usually less frantic that during the week
(12:04:44) wonderchook: as long as I'm not in a timezone where it is the middle of the night:)
(12:04:50) mkl1: ok, well let's go one hour earlier then, looks like consensus
(12:04:55) toffehoff: Wednesday is fine, but way earlier.
(12:05:04) toffehoff: I need some time between meetings....
(12:05:15) mkl1: Friday 1500 UTC for now then
(12:05:29) toffehoff: ok
(12:05:40) stevenfeldman: calendar changed
(12:05:47) mkl1: ok that's all. thanks everyone
(12:05:57) stevenfeldman: have a good weekend all
(12:05:57) mkl1: ** logging ends **