Working Group Minutes/SWG 2011-05-27

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 McNally
twain47 Brian Quinion


20th May 2011 Minutes approved

Old business

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


  • Articles of Association Update
  • List Etiquette
  • Routing Update
  • Face to Face meeting at SoTM eu
  • Front Page

Articles of Association

Meeting held on 23 May, 2011. Minutes

More topics added, particularly:

    • Power of chairman. Rather than having a vote and then a casting vote, the chair should have no vote and then only vote in case of a draw.
    • Meetings can be adjourned when more people agree than disagree with adjourning. The Chairman can, at his own discretion, adjourn for a small period of time (half hour or so).
    • There is a quorum when 25% of votes are present and 10% of members are present (either in flesh or virtually).

Action Contacts with potential funders and simialr bodies for input on AoA still outstanding

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

List Etiquette

OSMF Board support expanding the authority/role/level of activity of moderators

SWG need to draft some guidance for moderators. The discussion recognised that moderation would have to be a combination of proactive and reactive depending upon level of traffic on list and moderator's availability.

  • Suggested that Talk should have 3 moderators to share load
  • Guidelines for Moderators
    • Try to keep participants on topic but do not be too heavy handed
    • Misinformation (not sure whether this should be in here)
    • Calm down or block aggressive or abusive behaviour
  • Process
    • Send polite mail
    • Robust mail
    • Temporary block
    • 2nd block for longer
    • 3rd block final?
  • If community is unhappy with moderation, option to mail Board who can decide to change moderator
  • Suggested that there is one list which is unmoderated. Not all members agreed with suggestion.
  • Possibility of making block decisions public


Board have accepted SWG recommendation and have requested TWG to submit a proposal for the hardware required and to decide on which software will be deployed.

Face to Face meeting of SWG at SoTM eu

Suggested that SoTM might be an opportunity for a Strategic WG face to face. It appears not many members will be there but could be an opportunity to meet up with other list followers. Action Steven to post on Strategic list

Front Page

Dermot has created an example of the search window moved to the top right of the map. There was general agreement that this was not the ideal location but most agreed that trialling different options was helpful. Dermot will try to move on top of the search results pane on LHS.

Dermot has pulled together the various strands of comment and suggestions for the Front Page. Action Further input is needed from SWG members

Next meeting

  • 3rd June 15.00 UTC


(09:59:51)mkl1:today's minutes:
(10:00:02)mkl1:last week's minutes:
(10:00:34)mkl1:can someone take minutes today?
(10:00:44)mkl1:let's let stevenfelmdan off the hook!
(10:00:47)***padded_mackerskipleads ipad
(10:01:02)padded_mackerski:Dunno when I'll see a real computer
(10:01:06)mkl1:poor ipad
(10:01:12)samlarsen1 [] entered the room.
(10:01:51)mkl1:ping: apmon, Firefishy, RichardF, samlarsen1, stevenfelman, TomH
(10:02:00)apmon:mkl1: Hi
(10:02:11)mkl1:we have apologies from toffehoff, wonderchook, _chrisfl
(10:03:39)mkl1:i'm logging
(10:03:46)mkl1:anyone for secretary?
(10:03:51)mkl1:* AoA
(10:03:55)mkl1:* list etiquette
(10:03:57)mkl1:* front page
(10:04:10)stevenfeldman:meeting at sotm eu?
(10:04:43)mkl1:* face to face at sotm eu / sotm
(10:05:21)mkl1:don't make do it!
(10:05:28)mkl1:don't make me do it!
(10:05:47)stevenfeldman:I'll do minutes agaaaaaiiiinnn
(10:06:07)padded_mackerski:I'll do them next time I'm at a real computer
(10:06:10)mkl1:stevenfeldman, you get the purple heart
(10:06:20)mkl1:thanks padded_mackerski
(10:06:22)Eugene:I'd like to add a small routing discussion to agenda - Nic Roets asked SWG to consider some his sugggestions
(10:06:34)stevenfeldman:I can't write code but I am getting to be a dab hand at minutes :(
(10:06:37)mkl1:Eugene: ok, routing
(10:06:58)mkl1:so first up AoA. is there anything to update, with two of the members absent anyway?
(10:07:42)Eugene:During our meeting we finished a list of possible ideas for discussion - it's located here
(10:08:02)Eugene:We discussed: - Power of chairman. Rather than having a vote and then a casting vote, the chair should have no vote and then only vote in case of a draw.
(10:08:24)Eugene:- Meetings can be adjourned when more people agree than disagree with adjourning. The Chairman can, at his own discretion, adjourn for a small period of time (half hour or so).
(10:08:33)Eugene:- There is a quorum when 25% of votes are present and 10% of members are present (either in flesh or virtually).
(10:08:37)Eugene:Nothing else.
(10:09:29)mkl1:ok, sounds like nitty gritty details
(10:09:45)mkl1:fwiw, i haven't heard anything back from the funders i pinged
(10:09:56)mkl1:we can try again in a week or two to get more feedback
(10:10:25)mkl1:any other comments on AoA?
(10:10:57)mkl1:that's a no
(10:11:06)mkl1:ok next item, list etiquette
(10:11:06)stevenfeldman:Any feedback from other reachouts on AoA, I have not got to MapAction yet
(10:11:14)samlarsen1:sorry - pong
(10:11:24)mkl1:hi samlarsen1
(10:11:55)mkl1:stevenfeldman: looks like not yet
(10:11:59)mkl1:so etiquette
(10:12:18)stevenfeldman:carry fwd as action then
(10:12:35)mkl1:we discussed at the Board meeting Wednesday. Board supports SWG recommendations, and is ok to expand powers of moderators on lists
(10:13:26)mkl1:we need to come up with a clear guidance on how moderators will act
(10:13:35)mkl1:that's SWGs job to come up with a recommendation
(10:14:05)mkl1:as well as continue to fix things like the etiquette wiki page linked from listinfo pages, and in welcome emails to new members
(10:14:39)mkl1:as far as moderators, volunteers are needed for talk and talk-gb, at least
(10:14:41)apmon:what were the powers given (should be given) to moderators?
(10:15:08)TomH:same ones they've always had I assume - whatever mailman allows
(10:15:09)mkl1:apmon, broadly, it should be reactive rather than proactive ... ie not screening every email
(10:15:38)stevenfeldman:perhaps we should start by suggesting that moderators are a little more active but use their own judgement and maybe share experiences (another list?) so we learn what works best
(10:16:20)mkl1:but can be able to communicate on and off list about issues, block messages, boot users ... in order of increasing effect and vastly decreasing frequesncy
(10:16:28)RichardF:do we need to provide an unmoderated list so that those who want to, can use it?
(10:16:50)RichardF:well, in effect yes :)
(10:16:51)padded_mackerski:If we don't somebody else is sure to
(10:16:54)stevenfeldman:richardf: why?
(10:17:06)mkl1:stevenfeldman: it will always be up to judgement, but some guidance should be easy enough to come up with
(10:17:08)apmon:RichardF: +1
(10:17:14)padded_mackerski:So it's down to whether we want to keep it close enough to keep an eye on
(10:17:18)RichardF:because there'll be the usual calls of "blah blah censorship blah blah OSMF conspiracy", and though it's all nonsense, that sort of talk can poison the atmosphere
(10:17:34)RichardF:cc ODbL where people have managed somehow to frame it as "OSMF is evil and wants to control your data"
(10:17:38)RichardF:cf, I mean, not cc
(10:17:43)padded_mackerski:RichardF: it'll probably happen anyway
(10:18:06)apmon:RichardF: Talk-general ;-)
(10:18:30)padded_mackerski:Thing is, the other lists aren't becoming moderated in the usually understood sense
(10:18:48)padded_mackerski:Usually it's in cases of pre-moderated message lists that you also find an unmoderated one
(10:19:04)mkl1:Board doesn't want a pre-moderated list
(10:19:10)padded_mackerski:Nor do I
(10:19:15)mkl1:but wants the moderators to be able to act if necessary
(10:19:42)padded_mackerski:Yeah - so would we actually have a list where we publicly announce that we will never ever police it in any way?
(10:19:50)stevenfeldman:Do our lists explain the current moderation policies when people sign up?
(10:20:03)mkl1:stevenfeldman: no, and we need to fix that
(10:20:05)TomH:We'd have to have a moderation policy first
(10:20:29)TomH:but any list admin that has chosen to have one will have been able to configure a welcome message yes
(10:20:41)mkl1:why would we have a list that's a free for all?
(10:20:57)mkl1:we're not talking about content, it's about etiquette
(10:20:58)TomH:note that it won't be easy to do any sort of bulk setting of a welcome message for all lists
(10:21:20)apmon:as a vent, in case people feel the moderation is to stringent and too biased
(10:21:28)stevenfeldman:padded_mackerski: so we have a list called osm_sewer for the robust only with no moderation?
(10:21:58)mkl1:apmon: if moderation ever became too stringent or biased, then we need new moderators
(10:22:09)TomH:that's really insane - that's just saying to newcomers "our community is full of arseholes"
(10:22:10)padded_mackerski:If we have any kind of "unmoderated" list, that seems to be the only possible kind, yes
(10:22:10)stevenfeldman:mkl1 +1
(10:22:28)TomH:advertising that you have a forum where people can do any crazy shit is just mad
(10:22:38)mkl1:i don't even expect the moderator would need to act often, if at all
(10:22:45)samlarsen1:surely a note on the bottom of each post to 'report abusive content' or similar will act to keep moderators in control & satisfy those who don't like the abuse
(10:23:17)stevenfeldman:Surely we don't have to pander to the conspiracy theorists and the rude or intimidating?
(10:23:32)RichardF:do we think we'll actually be able to get (suitable) volunteer moderators for all these lists?
(10:23:41)mkl1:specifically on talk@, i'm suggesting a group of 3
(10:24:07)mkl1:russ nelson volunteered. i'm going to volunteer. we need a third
(10:24:20)mkl1:RichardF: for legal-talk, i understand you're currently moderator?
(10:24:59)TomH:russ nelson?!?! presumably he'd start by banning himself?
(10:25:25)mkl1:if he's not appropriate, we need to find someone else
(10:25:29)apmon:What is the procedure for "voting a moderator out of office" if the community is not happy the way they moderate?
(10:25:32)mkl1:it would be up to Board to approve
(10:26:08)stevenfeldman:What is the process for moderating, do you have to read every mail on the list or are we waiting for someone to complain or a combi?
(10:26:20)RichardF:mkl1: I'm currently admin of legal-talk, yes. I'm not sure whether I'd have the time to actively moderate it
(10:26:41)RichardF:it is possibly the hardest one to moderate of all ;)
(10:26:54)mkl1:stevenfeldman: i don't think it requires to read every mail. some balance of monitoring and receiving complaints
(10:27:38)mkl1:the other person who volunteered to moderate talk@ is SteveC, which also seems complicated :)
(10:28:19)mkl1:apmon: I think it has to be up to Board. Or maybe CWG?
(10:28:30)stevenfeldman:mkl1: then moderation is about off topic, misinformation or abusive/aggressive content? Send polite mail, then robust mail, then temporary block, 2nd block longer, 3rd block final?
(10:29:10)mkl1:stevenfeldman: yes, something like this
(10:29:55)stevenfeldman:I will offer to give it a try, I won't know what they are talking about or what their history is so I will probs screw up a bit but I will learn a bit
(10:30:41)mkl1:first step is to devise the moderation policy
(10:30:51)stevenfeldman:shall I minute my summary of moderation process as suggestion?
(10:31:03)mkl1:are there any objections to this?
(10:31:57)apmon:+1, although it will probably need a bit more detail
(10:32:15)mkl1:can someone take on action to draft the policy?
(10:32:58)apmon:Also ofd-topic and misinformation are a little tricky and will probably need some checks and balances to prevent bias from creeping in
(10:33:23)stevenfeldman:I'll draft something within minutes as a suggestion for approval next week
(10:33:42)mkl1:definitely this is going to take fine tuning
(10:34:04)mkl1:Board is expecting that we can put everything in place by the face to face June 11-12
(10:34:12)mkl1:thx stevenfeldman
(10:34:37)mkl1:anything more on list etiquette?
(10:35:35)mkl1:Front Page :)
(10:36:39)mkl1:we're having a good list discussion. i also agree, dev@ should be involved.
(10:36:40)apmon:may I suggest we pull the other two items ahead of front page design
(10:36:49)stevenfeldman:Great stuff from padded_mackerski 2 actions completed
(10:36:57)mkl1:suppose front page could go on
(10:36:59)padded_mackerski:Not really completed...
(10:37:02)mkl1:so sure
(10:37:07)mkl1:let's take care of those quickly?
(10:37:13)padded_mackerski:But let's hold it, sure
(10:37:26)mkl1:First, on Routing, Board has accepted SWG suggestions
(10:37:43)twain47 [] entered the room.
(10:37:43)mode (+o twain47) by ChanServ
(10:37:48)mkl1:and has asked TWG to make recommendation on hardware and software
(10:38:01)mkl1:so it's on their plate
(10:38:39)mkl1:I'd suggest that anyone who has an interest in it have some patience, while it's being investigated
(10:39:07)apmon:I have been communicating a bit with nic and frederik about who and how we can push the software development forward to get a workable patch
(10:39:12)TomH:(that goes especially if your initials are NR by the way)
(10:39:28)TomH:apmon: FFS would you tlak to me instead of getting them involved!
(10:40:13)apmon:TomH: Why what is wrong with trying to get people to write patches?!
(10:40:33)TomH:well I haven't reviewed it yet to see what if anything is needed
(10:40:34)apmon:But yes, I'd like to here your opinion too
(10:40:44)stevenfeldman:is this strategic now in hands of TWG?
(10:40:52)TomH:I thought you were just reviewing it and trying to fix the big bug
(10:40:55)apmon:TomH: For Frederiks patch, quite a bit actually. It is not yet finished
(10:40:57)mkl1:it's now in the hands of TWG
(10:41:29)TomH:and experience tells me there is no point asking Nic anyway
(10:41:31)apmon:it doesn't do half of the things that nics patch does
(10:41:50)TomH:it is however a real patch unlike the fake thing Nic tried to pass off
(10:42:23)TomH:or rather didn't because he never actually submitted anything for consideration, yet is surprised we haven't adopted yet what he didn't actually sunbmit
(10:43:36)mkl1:so basically, TomH is saying that's he's going to look at it, properly, and everyone needs to give him the space for that
(10:44:09)mkl1:I don't think there's anything more to discuss here
(10:44:18)TomH:well if apmon thinks it needs a lot of work before it is suitable for deplyoment then I guess it should go to somebody to work on, but I have serious reservations about Nic being that someone
(10:44:30)apmon:So any development on the main page has to be done by TomH?
(10:44:36)TomH:if it's just lacking features which could be added later then I say we try and integrate what is there and update it later
(10:45:06)Firefishy:apmon: Tom's branch is here: you want to fork it before Tom has a chance to refactor.
(10:45:21)TomH:he knows where it is
(10:45:29)mkl1:apmon: not development itself, but TWG needs to decide what to deploy
(10:45:33)TomH:and I knew he was looking at it for me
(10:45:34)apmon:Firefishy: I know and I have been looking at it to see what needs fixing and what needs to be doing to get it up to speed
(10:46:37)mkl1:apmon: what they're saying sounds reasonable to me
(10:47:33)mkl1:ok, let's move on
(10:47:36)Firefishy:apmon: Respectfully. If you want to work on redesign on home page do it, but I am happy with Tom being quality control and the person with final decision over 'trunk'.
(10:48:23)mkl1:yup that's a given in OSMF right now
(10:48:25)mkl1:ok done
(10:48:38)mkl1:now other issue is a Strategic face to face
(10:48:44)mkl1:stevenfeldman ?
(10:49:20)stevenfeldman:just thought if most of SWG going to Vienna it might be good to ahve a face to face before main ebvent
(10:49:41)stevenfeldman:or during if people not arriving before Friday
(10:50:11)mkl1:i won't be there but sounds good anyway
(10:50:17)TomH:I arrive later (like 11pm or something) on thursday
(10:50:59)stevenfeldman:who else going?
(10:51:14)***padded_mackerskiis only an SWG groupie but will be there. No travel plans yet.
(10:51:23)apmon:I won't be in Vienna, but that shouldn't stop anyone
(10:52:34)mkl1:stevenfeldman: maybe try to schedule something on the mailing list
(10:53:10)stevenfeldman:OK will send out a message to startegic, should I copy to talk?
(10:54:10)mkl1:ok with five minutes left
(10:54:18)mkl1:apettite for front page?
(10:54:29)stevenfeldman:I thought the wider one if we want more people involved, or maybe not on 2nd thoughts :)
(10:55:03)mkl1:padded_mackerski: maybe some thoughts on what's next?
(10:55:20)padded_mackerski:You've seen my comments on the good and bad of what I did
(10:55:36)padded_mackerski:TomH points out validly that overlaying it on the map isn't ideal
(10:55:51)padded_mackerski:I prefer getting it above the map
(10:55:57)padded_mackerski:That also allows it go to wider
(10:56:09)padded_mackerski:At least one of the mockups we've had has search in a second bar.
(10:56:18)TomH:it also works better with results on left if we don't want to change that at the moment
(10:56:19)padded_mackerski:But I've an idea a lot of folk didn't go for that.
(10:56:38)padded_mackerski:TomH: The whole-width bar? If so, yes, agreed.
(10:56:45)mkl1:it couldn't hurt to try it out?
(10:57:05)mkl1:RichardF also had suggestions about cleaning about the tabs
(10:57:07)padded_mackerski:And SteveC's suggestion to have grey prompting text in the text field is easier to do well with more width
(10:57:21)padded_mackerski:Yeah, I wimped out on the tabs, but am happy to try a few ideas
(10:57:36)padded_mackerski:They will reflect my personal tab priorities, though ;(
(10:57:57)padded_mackerski:I'm tempted to suggest that we may need to move towards customisable tabs based on user preference
(10:58:10)padded_mackerski:But I won't go near that until we can make search a bit nicer
(10:58:11)mkl1:I also take the point that dev@ needs to be involved in this stuff
(10:58:21)stevenfeldman:any chance that we can make the results of a search a bit smarter, when I searched for Dublin I got back somewhere in ohio as first result
(10:58:41)padded_mackerski:I didn't set out to do it in secret - we just decided last week that we'd like to see how it looks
(10:58:54)mkl1:yea, totally. just an oversight
(10:58:57)padded_mackerski:And I've certainly come to some useful conclusions having seen it
(10:58:58)TomH:stevenfeldman: talk to Brian - nothing we can do
(10:59:06)TomH:I copied him on that email
(10:59:25)mkl1:we're at an hour
(10:59:25)stevenfeldman:thx tomh - for a non insdier, who is brian?
(10:59:47)mkl1:generally on Front Page, I do think we need to put together a bigger plan as well
(10:59:47)TomH:Brian Quinion, aka twain47, aka the guy who wrote and maintains nominatim
(10:59:49)padded_mackerski:I'll continue to play with what I have. Others should feel free to do likewise
(11:00:00)mkl1:would welcome those thoughts for next week
(11:00:05)padded_mackerski:There is a good outcome to be had on this, I'm sure of it
(11:00:12)mkl1:padded_mackerski: awesome
(11:00:13)stevenfeldman:thx tomh
(11:00:34)mkl1:anything more before close?
(11:01:08)mkl1:ok thanks everyone
(11:01:12)mkl1:good weekend!