Working Group Minutes/SWG 2011-05-20

From OpenStreetMap Foundation


IRC Name Present Apologies
_chrisfl Chris Fleming y
Eugene Eugene Usvitsky y
Firefishy Grant Slater y
apmon Kai Krueger y
mkl Mikel Maron y
RichardF Richard Fairhurst y
samlarsen1 Sam Larsen y
stevenfeldman Steven Feldman y
toffehoff Henk Hoff y
TomH Tom Hughes y
wonderchook Kate Chapman y

Also attending
IRC handle Name
mackerski Dermot

Minutes (draft)

13th May 2011 Minutes approved

Old business

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


  • OSMF Articles of Association Update
  • List etiquette
  • Front page

List etiquette

  • List statuses have been updated by TomH. A link to the List Etiquette page has been added to all of the generic list web pages, links to be added to the country specific lists
  • We need to referesh some of the list Admins and Moderators who are no longer active
    • How do we get new moderators? Call for volunteers or invite
    • Agreed that Mikel would summarise our discussions and seek guidance from OSMF Board Action - Mikel

Articles of Association

No meeting held this week. The AoA Review page has been updated to reflect current discussion topics. Of particular note are the sections on Hostile takeovers and Membership.

Question asked as to whether there were any gaps in the AoA that might be a cause for concern to funding bodies?

Broader question whether we were missing anything in the scope of our AoA should be checked by seeking advice from similar bodies


  • Mikel to make enquiries with hivos & osi
  • Chris to contact Wikipedia UK
  • Steven to contact Map Action
  • Kate to contact Apache

OSM Front page

The blog post by Patrick Weber was noted (he will be presenting at SoTM eu) Agreed to try moving search to top of the page and reduce the number of tabs so that more of the existing user functionality is grouped under a single tab to create the space for the search. Action - Dermot

Discussion about the role of the front page. Is it to explain the project to visitors, recruit and support new members or provide access to tools for more experienced mappers? There has already been quite a lot of discussion about this topic in various fora, it was agreed that it would be helpful if all of the threads could be pulled together in one place. Action - Dermot

Next meeting

  • 27th May 15.00 UTC


(10:00:37) mkl: Hey folks
(10:00:42) chrisfl_: hi
(10:00:46) stevenfeldman: hey mkl
(10:00:55) wonderchook: hello! from bedtime in Jakarta
(10:00:55) wonderchook: :)
(10:01:12) mkl: Today's minutes:
(10:01:26) stevenfeldman: I can't minute today, too much multi tasking going on this end
(10:01:30) mkl: Last weeks:
(10:01:41) Eugene: Hi
(10:01:47) mkl: thanks stevenfeldman for stepping up the past two weeks
(10:01:54) mkl: who can minutes today?
(10:02:24) mkl: ping Firefishy, mackerski, RichardF, TomH, twain47
(10:02:29) mackerski: Hi
(10:02:33) RichardF: helloooo
(10:03:24) twain47: hi
(10:03:46) stevenfeldman: if someone logs I willl do my best to capture the other bits
(10:03:56) mkl: i'm logging
(10:04:02) chrisfl_: I'm logging
(10:04:05) stevenfeldman: let's go
(10:04:10) mkl: ok
(10:04:14) mkl: * AoA
(10:04:18) mkl: * list etiquette
(10:04:20) mkl: * front page
(10:05:02) mkl: start with etiquette?
(10:05:12) mkl: report back on actions?
(10:05:17) stevenfeldman: Minutes approved by default f no objections?
(10:05:24) TomH: pong
(10:05:37) mkl: stevenfeldman: yes :)
(10:06:05) Firefishy: pong
(10:06:12) mkl: TomH: were you able to check on status of list owners/moderators?
(10:06:32) TomH: see
(10:06:37) mkl: Firefishy: did you look into linking to Etiquette from list pages, and send automatically?
(10:06:42) TomH: I've done all the generic ones and started on the country lists
(10:07:39) mkl: TomH: great!
(10:08:20) mkl: can we indicate which lists are "orphaned"?
(10:08:22) TomH: I suspect the main issue is talk/dev/talk-gb which are all run by Mathew Newton who I don't think is very active these days
(10:09:13) mkl: So should we simply look to reassign?
(10:09:36) mkl: And contact him to tell him what's happening
(10:09:56) mkl: Would be a good moment too to communicate about etiquette and moderation
(10:10:41) TomH: finding volunteers to take them over, as least as co-admins would probably be a good first step
(10:11:06) chrisfl_: indeed
(10:11:20) apmon [] entered the room.
(10:11:28) chrisfl_: not sure who is going to volunteer for talk :)
(10:11:31) mkl: any thoughts on how we'd find volunteers for that?
(10:11:34) mkl: yea :)
(10:11:59) stevenfeldman: advertise on talk list?
(10:11:59) apmon: Sorry my network connection died, so I couldn't join earlier
(10:11:59) mkl: and any thoughts on how we'd involve more of the community, constructively, in this?
(10:12:06) mkl: welcome apmon
(10:12:22) wonderchook: grant them immunity? Or at least back them up in enforcing list rules
(10:12:33) wonderchook: though that won't really help with recruiting;)
(10:12:49) mkl: stevenfeldman: somehow that seems dangerous
(10:13:11) stevenfeldman: For etiquette don't we need moderators rather than admins? Or are they the same?
(10:13:37) TomH: no - mods have a subset of admin powers
(10:13:41) chrisfl_: same in this context
(10:13:43) chrisfl_: ?
(10:13:50) TomH: well than can approve held posts
(10:13:59) TomH: not sure if they can (for example) block people
(10:14:57) mkl: perhaps we're at a point where we should report to the Board, get some guidance
(10:14:57) apmon left the room (quit: Read error: Connection reset by peer).
(10:15:44) chrisfl_: Do we want to ask for volunteers OR ask some people to do the job?
(10:16:50) mkl: both seem fraught
(10:16:59) mkl: in either case, we need some guidelines for a selection
(10:17:00) RichardF: I'd be dubious about issuing a general call for volunteers. By definition, anyone who wants to do the job is probably unsuitable to do it. ;) That said, no, I don't know who I'd ask
(10:17:28) stevenfeldman: are the lists really so bad in terms of etiquette?
(10:17:52) mkl: you aren't subscribed to talk, i take it?
(10:17:54) RichardF: a small number are: principally talk, legal-talk, talk-au
(10:18:00) ***chrisfl_ volunteers RichardF
(10:18:36) RichardF: chrisfl_: ha. I'm already admin for a few (e.g. legal-talk and newbies) and might be prepared to consider moderating actively on those. But I don't have the time to do talk
(10:19:04) stevenfeldman: I think I am but I seem to be missing a lot in my digests from the sound of things
(10:19:12) RichardF: fsvo missing
(10:19:32) mkl: i suggest that we report so far to the Board. I think we can get some feedback, and maybe a resolution to these open questions
(10:19:51) stevenfeldman: is that the action/outcome to record?
(10:20:06) mkl: unless there are any other ideas
(10:20:40) mkl: silence is going to mean no :)
(10:21:01) mkl: ok, so I'll summarize everything, and email strategic@ and board@
(10:21:20) mkl: next, AoA update?
(10:21:27) mkl: toffehoff sent apologies
(10:21:33) mkl: Eugene?
(10:22:13) chrisfl_: we didn't meet this week.
(10:22:28) chrisfl_: But have been adding lots to our wiki page:
(10:22:46) chrisfl_:
(10:23:01) chrisfl_: so it should now cover everything we've talked about,
(10:23:19) chrisfl_: Especially the Membership and hostile takeover section
(10:23:22) apmon [] entered the room.
(10:24:07) apmon left the room (quit: Read error: Connection reset by peer).
(10:24:10) Eugene: mkl, Chris covered everything what we did (and what we didn't) pretty well
(10:24:17) chrisfl_: I've had 2 hard disk failures this week so have mostly been rebuilding my laptop :(
(10:24:25) mkl: ok
(10:24:27) mkl: good times!
(10:24:49) chrisfl_: One wider question is there anything that we need to cover that isn't currently listed?
(10:24:52) wonderchook left the room (quit: Read error: Connection reset by peer).
(10:25:05) wonderchook [~wondercho@] entered the room.
(10:25:17) mkl: chrisfl_: nothing jumps out at me. this would be a good point to bring in osmf members to discuss
(10:25:18) chrisfl_: for mkl I'm especially wondering if there is anything funders would look for
(10:25:45) wonderchook: you mean other than us actually trying to seek funding?;)
(10:25:50) chrisfl_: we have e-mailed osmf members and have only had 2 responses
(10:25:57) stevenfeldman: Never thought of hostile takeover until you mentioned so now wonder what else we may not have thought of :(
(10:25:58) mkl: chrisfl_: i can ask a couple for their opinion
(10:26:11) mkl: my suspicion is that they aren't too concerned, as long as it works :)
(10:26:37) mackerski: mkl: Probably, but remember how that played out with the licence change
(10:26:39) chrisfl_: Well a theatre group I used to work with ended up adding some clauses that funders were looking for, so I thought it was worth check. Just in case.
(10:26:45) mkl: stevenfeldman: that's been a possible issue for a while, not a surprise to me
(10:27:01) mkl: chrisfl_: i'll ping them about it
(10:27:29) chrisfl_: thanks.
(10:27:49) stevenfeldman: mkl it's inevitably the stuff we haven't thought of that will cause problems in the future
(10:27:53) wonderchook: stevenfeldman: yeah, there was election drama a little bit at one oint about it
(10:28:18) mkl: i guess that's why it's the future :)
(10:28:31) wonderchook: yeah, I think really the AoA have to provide a firm base and then there is flexibility in adjusting in other aspects as needed
(10:28:33) mkl: well we also have an experienced lawyer working with us
(10:29:26) stevenfeldman: wonderchook: problem with flexibility is that it can work against us as well as for
(10:29:48) mkl: i think outside experienced eyes on this could help
(10:29:58) mkl: so i'm willing to ping a couple funders about it
(10:30:12) mkl: we can ping the board
(10:30:15) mkl: who else?
(10:30:25) wonderchook: stevenfeldman: well you need the firm base, but there are operating things that should be flexible is more what I'm saying
(10:30:34) stevenfeldman: knight foundation?
(10:30:42) wonderchook: mkl: what about people in other similar communities
(10:30:43) wonderchook: ?
(10:30:56) mkl: wikipedia is an obvious one
(10:31:40) wonderchook: mkl: yeah maybe apache
(10:31:58) mkl: do you know folks there?
(10:32:12) wonderchook: mkl: I know someone who would help
(10:32:17) wonderchook: or at least advise a little bit
(10:32:18) stevenfeldman: what about charities like mapaction
(10:32:29) mkl: anyone want to talk to wikipedia?
(10:32:37) mkl: stevenfeldman: good idea, do you know them?
(10:33:04) stevenfeldman: yes, I think I can get to talk to someone senior
(10:33:18) mkl: before we go too far: Eugene, chrisfl_, would this be helpful?
(10:33:41) chrisfl_: one of the osmf members who I've been e-mailing is on the wikipedia uk board
(10:33:58) Eugene: sure it will be helpful
(10:34:12) mkl: stevenfeldman: Nigel has been very helpful with advice to HOT
(10:34:25) chrisfl_: all feedback is great
(10:34:28) mkl: cool
(10:34:58) mkl: so let's do that. Eugene, chrisf_ : we can cc you on those emails?
(10:35:09) chrisfl_: sounds good
(10:35:10) stevenfeldman: OK I ill try to get a call in to MA next week. Question is about AoA's and any specific needs of potential funding bodies?
(10:35:21) mkl: i think rather
(10:35:45) mkl: the question is ... do they think we're considering all the appropriate issues?
(10:35:59) mkl: i can ask funders myself for input
(10:36:11) stevenfeldman: OK got that
(10:36:41) mkl: cool, so wonderchook takes apache, chrisfl_ wikipedia uk, stevenfeldman mapaction, me hivos and osi
(10:36:56) chrisfl_: great
(10:36:57) mkl: so now we come to front page
(10:37:13) mkl: chrisfl_: sorry, anything else?
(10:37:23) chrisfl_: no
(10:37:44) mkl: ok been a few weeks since we've talked about front page
(10:38:48) mkl: this was published:
(10:38:53) mkl: and more to come i expect
(10:39:15) mkl: it would be great to build off this work
(10:39:38) RichardF: they're doing a project on OSM usability (how I hate that word) with a particular focus on editing and P2, I think
(10:39:44) stevenfeldman: He is presenting at sotm eu
(10:40:27) mkl: yea, it's not a very usable word actually!
(10:40:58) mkl: we all had homework to the same about a month ago ... test OSM with grandma
(10:41:32) mkl: and we all were going to try doing some stuff ... committing code, pulling together a design, something
(10:41:50) mkl: there's a bunch of resources collected already on the wiki
(10:42:14) stevenfeldman: Ahh yes I kept meaning to do that but it involved a sceance ;)
(10:42:36) mkl: some good discussion following the updates to changesets ... i'm still looking for some clever design work to improve the history page, but haven't gotten any substantial input
(10:43:00) mkl: anything else happening?
(10:43:01) wonderchook: mkl: yeah I've used it a bunch but i'm not sure exactly what it needs
(10:43:05) wonderchook: well minus the bots being gone
(10:43:12) wonderchook: or a checkbox or something
(10:43:23) mkl: how can we start to pull this all together?
(10:43:43) RichardF: history page is cool for now. Next stage is to get OWL-based "here's what's _really_ happening in your area" stuff behind it
(10:44:08) chrisfl_: agree
(10:44:13) RichardF: on the broader topic:
(10:44:18) RichardF: AIUI there are two separate issues
(10:44:25) RichardF: 1. what incremental changes do we want, for now?
(10:44:28) mkl: sure ... takes some infrastructure for that. and there's a lot to consider on hosting right now ... anyway ...
(10:44:40) RichardF: 2. longer-term, what does our ideal OSM homepage look like and do?
(10:44:46) RichardF: so "move the search box to the top right" is clearly 1
(10:45:15) RichardF: whereas the stuff about "Let's have a business search tab" is clearly 2
(10:45:16) mackerski: A big difficulty when we all individually try to work out what a better home page would looks like is the possible response: "That's not what the home page is for@
(10:45:28) mackerski: Has "What the home page is for" been documented?
(10:45:45) apmon [] entered the room.
(10:45:49) mkl: RichardF: i think the obvious fixes to the tabs, tools, and search should go up anytime
(10:45:54) mkl: who's willing to code that?
(10:46:33) mkl: mackerski: i remember we came up with a problem statement on it
(10:47:08) mackerski: It's an important question, because it underlies useful usability tests
(10:47:32) stevenfeldman: mackerski: There is some tension between "it's to encourage people to join the OSM community" and "it's a resource for the members of the community" IMHO
(10:47:47) mackerski: That's my recollection too
(10:47:50) mkl: one thing we said was " Any replacement front page should answer the basics of OSM - Who, What When, Where, Why, How? And it should direct various interest groups to further information that caters to their interests. Mappers, to how to map. Application developers to how to consume OSM data responsibly. Press to press contacts and reference material. Consumers to excellent examples of OSM data in use. Etc. "
(10:48:07) mackerski: I'll pitch in "should show what OSM can do"
(10:48:11) RichardF: "anything else, dear? would you like the building moved six inches to the left?"
(10:48:12) mkl: and
(10:48:13) mkl: "The frontpage fails to communicate what the project does and why it does it effectively. The controls are confusing for new users (lots of random tabs and sidebar). In addition, it totally fails to connect new users to others around them and thus create a community."
(10:48:53) stevenfeldman: mkl: where are you quoting from?
(10:48:54) wonderchook: +1 on the connection part
(10:48:54) apmon: mkl: where did that come from?
(10:49:09) mkl:
(10:49:13) mkl: SteveC's summary
(10:49:41) mkl: that focus is on new users. we do have to consider other groups too
(10:50:07) TomH: mkl: you say "the obvious changes" but if there were any that were obvious, non-contentious and non-problematic they would have been done long since
(10:50:15) mackerski: Once users are signed in we have a lot of flexibility in how they could see their world
(10:50:20) mackerski: They don't even all need to see the same one
(10:50:36) mackerski: So perhaps it's best if we do focus on the new users
(10:50:37) wonderchook: so I think new users and old users are different issues, the old users have figured it out. Though I think maybe logged in versus not logged in could be a big difference for example
(10:51:19) mkl: TomH: i think RichardF summarized it is as "move export, user diaries, and gps traces to a tools drop down" and move search to upper right
(10:51:31) stevenfeldman: Would a wiki page starting to set out the possible functions of front page be a starting point to capture all this. Or i can start a mindmap
(10:51:54) mkl: stevenfeldman: there are a couple wiki pages. could use some gardening
(10:52:10) RichardF: mkl, TomH: yeah, pretty much going on the principle that they're (a) lesser used, (b) not views onto the current bbox (ok, I know Export is a function that operates on the bbox but it's not a view on it)
(10:52:22) stevenfeldman: mkl: where?
(10:52:27) mkl:
(10:52:41) stevenfeldman: Isn't std search on top left?
(10:53:02) mkl: stevenfeldman: bottom left
(10:53:12) mkl: i think cause search used to suck :)
(10:53:54) stevenfeldman: mkl I know it is bottom left now, i thought the std that we should adopt is top left which seems to be where most others place
(10:54:11) mkl: it would be super easy to move it below the logo
(10:54:13) mackerski: stevenfeldman: wikipedia has it in the top left. As do many web browers
(10:54:15) RichardF: top right is pretty usual IMX - mediawiki, Guardian, wherever
(10:54:17) apmon: top right seems to be quite common as well
(10:54:18) mackerski: Sorry, top right
(10:54:56) Firefishy: Branding top left, search top right.
(10:54:56) wonderchook left the room (quit: Read error: Connection reset by peer).
(10:55:03) TomH: saving two tabs isn't going to make much space for search
(10:55:04) mkl: what would be good is if someone could implement RichardF's suggestion, and then throw it open for comment on dev@
(10:55:05) RichardF: oooooooh, do we get to brand people?
(10:55:10) ***RichardF finds the pitchfork
(10:55:12) wonderchook [~wondercho@] entered the room.
(10:55:26) stevenfeldman: so we all agree with top, now flip a coin for R or L
(10:55:32) wonderchook: sorry, I would not rank the internet at this 5 star hotel as 5 stars.
(10:55:40) TomH: given that (a) people are always asking for search to be longer and (b) the tabs already crash into the right hand links fairly often, especially in more verbose languages
(10:55:40) wonderchook: And yes the top I agree on
(10:55:40) mkl: TomH: may have to push down the map a tiny bit
(10:55:48) chrisfl_: ideally we would trial both and see which works best...
(10:55:59) mkl: Anyone willing to trial it?
(10:56:36) mkl: And anyone willing to bring some order to all this, through some wiki gardening, and inclusion of points from our ongoing discussion?
(10:56:41) apmon: On my 13" notebook, there is still plenty of space between the tabs and the links
(10:56:52) apmon: what kind of combination do you use where they clash?
(10:57:19) mkl: what do you mean, they clash?
(10:57:26) mkl: just 3 minutes to go...
(10:57:32) mkl: any takers on actions?
(10:57:59) wonderchook: apmon where they run into each other? on projectors usually for me
(10:58:04) apmon: mkl: TomH said " the tabs already crash into the right hand links fairly often"
(10:58:10) mackerski: mkl: I can try and bring order to the existing wiki stuff
(10:58:24) mackerski: If someone can feed me a full set of links
(10:58:39) mkl: mackerski: that email to strategic is a good starting point
(10:58:47) mackerski: Grand
(10:58:50) mkl: plus discussion from our minutes
(10:59:03) mkl: thx mackerski
(10:59:20) mkl: anyone? this is just a bit of html and css
(10:59:37) mkl: would really be great to have a working example to trial
(10:59:53) mackerski: I'll try to pick that up too
(11:00:02) mackerski: I keep threatening to play with this stuff anyway
(11:00:07) stevenfeldman: �mackerski is hero of the day
(11:00:11) mkl: mackerski: woo!
(11:00:14) mackerski: Wannabe hero
(11:00:19) mkl: do you happen to be at the hackathon?
(11:00:20) mackerski: You only get to be a hero by doing stuff
(11:00:28) mackerski: Nope. When and where is it?
(11:00:34) mkl: London, this weekend
(11:00:41) mkl: TomH, Firefishy, you'll be there?
(11:00:42) mackerski: Not gonna happen - wrong country
(11:00:53) mackerski: My sister is in London
(11:00:57) mackerski: Maybe I should send her
(11:01:06) mkl: would be good to connect with them anyway, suppose everyone is on #dev
(11:01:06) stevenfeldman: time gents and lady
(11:01:11) mkl: yup
(11:01:18) mackerski: I'll stay on #dev
(11:01:26) mkl: ok so, anything else?
(11:01:28) stevenfeldman: next meeting same time etc
(11:01:41) mkl: yup
(11:01:44) mkl: meeting closed