Working Group Minutes/SWG 2011-08-05

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
stevenfeldman Steven Feldman
toffehoff Henk Hoff y
TomH Tom Hughes y
wonderchook Kate Chapman y

wonderchook is on yet another island this week.


No objections on previous minutes.


  • Discussion about community feedback / decisions
  • Articles of Association
  • Front page
  • OSMF Structure

OSMF Structure

  • The Management Committee have started to meet, but are not "Up and Running" yet.
  • How does Community feedback work? Do we need community feedback.
  • Some discussion on the technical aspects of working groups. Need to get Software Working group up and running, to make the technical aspects of working on site software easier.
  • Need to get people UX people involved as well (mkl and wonderchook to let TomH know)
  • wonderchook, apmon, chrisfl, RichardF all happy to help get some kind of software working group off the ground.

Articles of Association

  • Francis does not have time in August to write one up.
  • Will make a less legal proposal presented at the AGM during SoTM with an EGM to follow.

Discussion about community feedback / decisions


  • mkl and wonderchook to let TomH know details of interested UX designers.
  • Do we want charitable status? Big advantage is an asset lock which means that If the charity ceases to exists, the assets defined in the asset lock should be transfered to an organisation with simiral goals as ours?" so if OSMF went bust the liquidator couldn't just sell the database to google.
  • Other option is a community interest company -

Next weeks agenda

  • Discussion about community feedback / decisions
  • Articles of Association
  • Front page
  • OSMF Structure

Next meeting

Next meeting 12th August 15.00 UTC - wonderchook sends apologies.


chrisfl_ is glad we're not working on a project called opentimezonemap
[14:57] wonderchook: and can the record note I'm once again on a different island for this meeting?;)
[14:59] mkl1: duly noted
[15:00] mkl1: which brings up ... who's keeping the record?
[15:00] mkl1: was this the last meeting?
[15:00] mkl1:
[15:01] mkl1: big apologies from me ... i hadn't foreseen the problems Shabbat would throw at Strategic
[15:02] chrisfl_: Whenever I've been to Israel I've always flown out on Thursday afternoon 
[15:02] wonderchook: I think there was a meeting last week, was that not the case?  I know I missed it
[15:03] mkl1: well perhaps we should start fresh!
[15:03] mkl1: it's been a while for sure
[15:03] mkl1: what's on our agendas?
[15:03] chrisfl_: I think we did have a get together, there were only a few of us….
[15:03] mkl1: looking at july 1, there's
[15:04] mkl1:  Discussion about community feedback / decisions.  Articles of Association.  List etiquette.  Front page
[15:04] mkl1: List Etiquette we can thankfully retire from the agenda
[15:04] chrisfl_: we chatted about the proposals for the updated working groups and some AoA stuff last week
[15:04] mkl1: I can report it's going fine now 
[15:04] mkl1: ok
[15:04] mkl1: yea, the Board is going to start discussion over the new structure soon
[15:05] mkl1: are the terms for Strategic ok?
[15:05] mkl1: we sketched that out in June, in London
[15:05] wonderchook: where are the terms for strategic?
[15:05] wonderchook: also is someone logging this?
[15:05] mkl1: i'm logging
[15:05] mkl1: but we need a note taker
[15:06] mkl1: wonderchook:
[15:06] TomH: I thought the new structure was already up and running?
[15:06] chrisfl_: I'll do minutes
[15:06] TomH: at least I understand the management team have been meeting
[15:07] TomH: (not that they bothered to tell [TO]WG this for a while)
[15:07] mkl1: yea ... been meeting .. but i wouldn't say it's running fully yet ... i think soon
[15:07] • RichardF waves merely to record presence
[15:07] mkl1: TomH: exactly, I'm not sure what it is exactly now, but it's not a fully working thing yet
[15:07] mkl1: I think it's more like planning meetings to start ... I again haven't been able to attend, due to scheduling problems while in Israel
[15:08] mkl1: thx chrisfl_
[15:09] mkl1: i'm checking the emails that have flown around
[15:10] mkl1: the current discussion is on how to get community feedback and support for the new structure
[15:10] mkl1: do we have any suggestion for this?
[15:12] wonderchook: enforcing the list etiquette when announced;)
[15:12] wonderchook: though I do think that a lot of people are going think this is sprung on the
[15:12] wonderchook: m
[15:12] TomH: do we particularly need community feedback and support?
[15:12] wonderchook: not that it wasn't a needed step
[15:12] TomH: it's not like we ever sought it for the old structure?
[15:12] mkl1: really, this is only osmf issue
[15:12] mkl1: so osmf-talk
[15:12] apmon: Has the TWG been split into three WGs now?
[15:13] TomH: no
[15:13] TomH: it has been renamed OWG
[15:13] mkl1: TWG was only doing one thing ... though everyone mistakingly thought it was more
[15:13] TomH: there is (in theory) going to be a new working group or something dedicated to trying to recruit more coders
[15:13] TomH: though nobody seems to be trying very haerd to start it so far
[15:14] apmon: It does not concern itself with
[15:14] mkl1: yea, this should start
[15:14] apmon: - day-to-day running of the servers. This is the remit of the sys admins group
[15:14] apmon: weren't the sysadmins part of the TWG previously?
[15:14] mkl1: that's the OWG, apmon
[15:14] TomH: the two statements are not mutuall exclusive
[15:14] TomH: yes, many of the current sysadmins are on [TO]WG
[15:14] TomH: but so are other people, and there are admins that aren't on it
[15:15] chrisfl_: So separate the running of the servers from code development. Clearly there is a lot of interaction?
[15:15] mkl1: there is ... when it comes to deployment of code
[15:15] RichardF: code development != encouraging code development
[15:15] RichardF: I think.
[15:15] toffehoff joined the chat room.
[15:16] wonderchook: RichardF: I agree with that
[15:16] mkl1: but as a working group, just doing the sysadmin is enough
[15:16] chrisfl_: yes
[15:16] apmon: chrisfl_: It doesn't seem uncommon to split operations from development
[15:16] TomH: sysadmins run servers and report to [OT]WG who do the operational planning etc
[15:16] TomH: code development is separate again
[15:16] mkl1: yes, and the osmf can't really do all the code development required ... in fact, it really hasn't been at all
[15:17] mkl1: encouraging code development is something we can do
[15:17] RichardF: mine's a pint then, thank you
[15:17] mkl1: and encouraging non-coding development ... like site design
[15:17] TomH: RichardF: I'm not sure we want code developed after you've had a pint of Black Rat, thanks 
[15:18] toffehoff: Sorry for being late .... Looks like you're talking about the Engineering working group.
[15:18] apmon: If it works, EWG sounds like a good thing
[15:18] RichardF: TomH: that's very true. I think that "special time" is reserved for my evangelism efforts.
[15:18] • TomH hates that name
[15:18] mkl1: yea, we're looking at the Taks and responsibilities doc
[15:18] TomH: it should be Software Working Group or something
[15:18] mkl1: it hasn't started yet, so we can get a better name
[15:18] mkl1: i like that
[15:19] TomH: apmon: frankly I think it will be pissing in the wind, but if it keeps Steve quiet...
[15:19] • chrisfl_ has just got round to re-reading the doc.
[15:19] wonderchook: I think outreach to developers can help at least I've worked on that commercially before, but it isn't the most fun task in the world
[15:20] apmon: Trying to understand why not more developers contribute to core website code would be a good start for the WG
[15:20] mkl1: i think the idea was to start to meet more formally to discuss priorities of code development, help people get up to speed, bring on other needed skills (like UX)
[15:21] mkl1: this kind of periodic focus and movement isn't something you get out of just mailing list and casual irc
[15:21] chrisfl_: if I had to guess, it's because people don't know if what they're doing has any chance of being accepted or used?
[15:22] wonderchook: I think that could be some of it.  There are some developers that like idiot proof documentation as well
[15:22] chrisfl_: therefore they write code that they can run themselves using the API etc….
[15:22] wonderchook: I have also heard from UX people that they don't want to help and then get flamed
[15:22] apmon: chrisfl_: which is where  a "list of priorities" can come in handy
[15:22] mkl1: yea .. and the UX people may need to team up with someone to get what they want done
[15:22] RichardF: chrisfl_: I don't think that's the main problem.
[15:22] mkl1: wonderchook: is that chris?
[15:23] RichardF: chrisfl_: one "issue" is that there isn't a huge clamour for the main site to do more.
[15:23] wonderchook: mkl1: the main person yet, we discussed setting up a UX mailing list
[15:23] wonderchook: Rob is also interested
[15:23] RichardF: chrisfl_: another is that setting up the Rails port is Hard.
[15:23] wonderchook: yeah, I thought setting up a VM so people could download it would help
[15:23] chrisfl_: I've got as far as getting the Rails bit running, but never got further.
[15:23] mkl1: RichardF: totally disagree on main site clamour
[15:23] wonderchook: then I got stuck setting it up and never returned to it:)
[15:23] apmon: RichardF: It isn't actually that hard. The developer docu is fairly decent last time I tried
[15:23] chrisfl_: I agree that that a VM would help.
[15:24] chrisfl_: I guess we're getting Off Topic now.
[15:24] mkl1: sure
[15:24] RichardF: apmon: I've set up the Rails port about five times and I find it hard. YMMV.
[15:24] mkl1: i guess we think the Software Working Group is a good thing
[15:24] chrisfl_: +1
[15:24] wonderchook: +1
[15:24] apmon: +1
[15:24] toffehoff: +1
[15:24] mkl1: we gotta push to make it happen
[15:24] mkl1: it's beyond strategic
[15:25] apmon: RichardF: Well, you are using this odd OS Mac OSX... 
[15:25] TomH: look if you guys know UX designers that will talk to us then lets getting something going ASAP!
[15:25] RichardF: maybe we need a Software Working Group Working Group, to encourage people to be on Software Working Group, to encourage developers
[15:25] mkl1: TomH: I have an email now
[15:25] TomH: I've only been asking for that for about three years...
[15:25] wonderchook: TomH: I do, I have been negligent in asking about setting up a UX mailing list
[15:25] toffehoff: I think, during the last management meeting we had someone stepping up to start this WG
[15:25] wonderchook: I had them do work in Indonesia for HOT already:)
[15:26] mkl1: someone ... anyone ... just do it
[15:27] toffehoff: Just mentioning that this is already on someones plate....
[15:27] mkl1: toffehoff ... when is the next proto-management meeting?
[15:27] mkl1: TomH mentioned that OMGWG didn't hear about it
[15:27] toffehoff: next week. Wednesday.
[15:27] mkl1: ok cool
[15:28] toffehoff: Just remind me what the OMGWG is...
[15:28] mkl1: it's the Operations working group, weeee
[15:29] apmon: Can anyone join the [O/Soft]WG?
[15:29] TomH: toffehoff: I know Andy attended the last one on our behalf but I as understand it there were meetings before that which we weren't told about
[15:29] TomH: come to that I'm on DWG and SWG as well and didn't hear anything about it through either of those
[15:30] TomH: has any representative of DWG attended any meetings?
[15:30] toffehoff: There was one meeting before that, which was in Vienna. Have to look if I've invited Andy for that one......
[15:30] toffehoff: DWG: no
[15:30] TomH: ah ok, the face to face one which didn't really happen as I understand it
[15:30] mkl1: been to busy building peace in the middle east
[15:30] toffehoff: Who is the contactperson for the DWG?
[15:30] TomH: as there were only a couple of people present
[15:31] TomH: toffehoff: no idea - think Steve is supposed to be running it now?
[15:31] toffehoff: TomH: OK, will look in to that. (thanks for reminding me about the DWG representative).
[15:32] mkl1: is the Front Page discussion punted to the other SWG
[15:32] mkl1: at the London meeting, Firefishy had some good suggestions to move things forward
[15:32] RichardF: hang on, is Other SWG about "encouraging developers" or "ruling on what developers should develop"?
[15:33] toffehoff: It could define some projects for which they can encourage developers to work on....
[15:34] mkl1: obviously it's there to tell software developers what to do. who will never listen.
[15:34] RichardF: that sounds more like it 
[15:35] mkl1: anyway, for Front Page, I can't recall Firefishy's brilliant ideas
[15:35] apmon: If it has a say in what gets accepted and what not, then perhaps some will listen...
[15:35] mkl1: toffehoff?
[15:35] toffehoff: yes ....
[15:35] mkl1: do you remember what Firefishy proposed to take front page forward?
[15:35] Firefishy: It was for a multi round competetion, with encouraging people to join up their ideas an implement as the rounds progress.
[15:36] toffehoff: Not out the top of my head....
[15:36] toffehoff: Hmmm, why not ask Firefishy 
[15:36] mkl1: oh hi
[15:37] mkl1: do you think it's feasible? which wg and who will organize that
[15:37] Firefishy: Everyone. Why limit it to a single group.
[15:37] mkl1: cause someone needs to run the show
[15:38] toffehoff: It would be typical something for the "other swg".
[15:38] apmon: might as well make it the task of SoWG
[15:38] mkl1: SoWhatG
[15:38] toffehoff: ... and leave Strategic to Strategic.
[15:39] Firefishy: A wiki page does good organisation
[15:39] Firefishy: But yes, it needs someone to run with it.
[15:40] toffehoff: Since we're talking about this subject.... Anyone interested in joining the SoWG?
[15:40] mkl1: someone should start that 
[15:40] RichardF: how will it work?
[15:40] wonderchook: I will join the SoWG if I don't have to code;)
[15:40] wonderchook: well, mean get the rails port working
[15:40] toffehoff: wonderchook, thanks, I'll put you on the list ....
[15:41] • chrisfl_ wonders if I join the SoWG I might actually get round to writing some code.
[15:41] RichardF: I don't do phone conferences. But if it's IRC I'm up for it.
[15:41] mkl1: i have a designer who might be interested, if they know where to go
[15:41] apmon: I'd be up for it too
[15:41] mkl1: chrisfl_ no doubt that is all it will take
[15:41] toffehoff: BTW: starting a new WG is something we need to deal with a management-team level.
[15:41] wonderchook: in seriousness I will code, just not my strength.  Better at documenting and begging others;)
[15:42] mkl1: so on the agenda for next Wednesday, toffehoff?
[15:42] toffehoff: now just checking on who of us might be interested.
[15:42] mkl1: cool
[15:42] mkl1: what else is on our agenda?
[15:42] chrisfl_: well you have volunteers to get started...
[15:42] toffehoff: As a follow up of last time: yes.
[15:42] TomH: we'll just call it the Software Definitely Not A Working Group Group then 
[15:42] mkl1: Software Slacking Group
[15:43] chrisfl_: lol
[15:43] wonderchook: can the non-working group have t-shirts? we should spend at least a month discussing the design of that;)
[15:43] mkl1: ok 20 minutes to go here
[15:43] mkl1: anything we should actually be doing
[15:43] mkl1: maybe an AoA update?
[15:44] toffehoff: ok
[15:44] toffehoff: We may not be able to have a legal version of the new AoA ready by the AGM.
[15:44] toffehoff: Francis does not have time to write one this month ...
[15:45] chrisfl_:
[15:45] toffehoff: Not to worry.
[15:45] toffehoff: Could make a less-legal proposal to be presented at AGM.
[15:45] toffehoff: Setting the guidelines for the new AoA.
[15:45] chrisfl_: Good plan.
[15:46] toffehoff: With that voted on, we can focus on the legal text.
[15:46] toffehoff: Which then should only be a representation of the less-legal accepted proposal.
[15:46] mkl1: So the only delay is on the legalese, but the principles have taken shape?
[15:47] toffehoff: yes
[15:47] mkl1: That seems pretty smart actually
[15:47] mkl1: the AGM will be at SOTM?
[15:47] chrisfl_: will we call an EGM to vote it in?
[15:47] mkl1: do we know when exactly?
[15:47] chrisfl_: (the legal version)
[15:47] toffehoff: AGM at SotM: yes. EGM to vote it in: yes.
[15:47] chrisfl_: cool.
[15:48] toffehoff: AGM is on saturday or sunday of SotM.
[15:48] mkl1: ok
[15:49] toffehoff: Preparations are now made for announcing it and the proposed agenda.
[15:49] toffehoff: also things like board-elections .....
[15:49] mkl1: good times
[15:49] toffehoff: But ... we're drifting off....
[15:49] mkl1: yea
[15:50] mkl1: so that's great work on AoA
[15:50] mkl1: anything else?
[15:50] mkl1: what else is on the agenda?
[15:50] toffehoff: On a strategic level: do we want to become a charity?
[15:51] toffehoff: (don't need to have it done before AoA).
[15:51] mkl1: i just want to make sure AoA would allow it
[15:51] wonderchook: is there a rundown somewhere of what that would mean?
[15:51] wonderchook: and yeah, I think mkl1 is right in making sure it would be allowed
[15:51] mkl1: but it sounds like charity would only get us so far ... in terms of tax exempt donations coming from the UK
[15:52] mkl1: if we wanted the same from the US, we'd need 5013c as well
[15:52] mkl1: this would be a long hard road
[15:52] chrisfl_: It would stop the OSMF from doing profit making or political campaigns, but these could be done in separate companies
[15:52] chrisfl_: It would help in locking in assets etc.
[15:52] mkl1: damn, i was about to get rich from this irc chat
[15:53] wonderchook: mkl1: I don't think the US stuff is actually that hard.  Small fees to lawyers really
[15:53] mkl1: the political campaign is the one we'd have to be careful about ... are we political or not?
[15:53] wonderchook: though there would be the agreement between the two organizations and other stuff I suppose
[15:53] mkl1: wonderchook: you are the most optimistic person i know about 5013c.
[15:53] apmon: profit making is probably no big deal
[15:53] chrisfl_: There may be corporation tax advantages if OSMF has money at the end of a financial year.
[15:53] mkl1: but i believe you
[15:53] wonderchook: mkl1: if the DC Rollergirls can get it, seriously;)
[15:53] mkl1: we don't pay any tax now
[15:53] apmon: but does it constrain how much of the budget gets rolled over into future years?
[15:54] TomH: I believe 5013c is generally easier than UK charity status
[15:54] mkl1: right now, we're not supposed to have much moeny rolling over, but there are no strict rules ... afaik
[15:54] wonderchook: if we paid a lawyer 500-1000 USD and then had the books in order I think we could get 5013c in the US
[15:54] TomH: though given some of the things that get past the Charity Comission it ain't that hard in the UK 
[15:54] chrisfl_: mkl1 cool - I wasn't sure how it worked if we're not a charity
[15:54] mkl1: that's my understanding
[15:54] wonderchook: anyway, I know nothing about UK charity stuff
[15:54] toffehoff: Taking about becoming a charity for only financial reasons is a bad
[15:55] wonderchook: toffehoff: why is it bad?
[15:55] chrisfl_: toffeehoff +1
[15:55] mkl1: we should make sure we're giving maps to orphans too?
[15:55] wonderchook: I mean isn't that why most groups do it? I mean in that it will help strategic goals?
[15:55] chrisfl_: for OSMF  the advantage is more for reasons of overall goals and asset lock.
[15:56] toffehoff: I hope within the Strategic WG we can discuss being a Charity for strategic reasons.
[15:56] mkl1: chrisfl_: explain asset lock please
[15:56] toffehoff: I can ask our treasurer for the financial reasons.
[15:57] chrisfl_: toffehoff has been looking at this longer than me,
[15:57] toffehoff: trying to phrase it in a short way....
[15:58] chrisfl_: lol
[15:58] toffehoff: A charity has a non-profit objective. In the UK legislations the major assets of the charity can be protected by an asset lock.
[15:58] mkl1: explain it in 1.5 minutes
[15:58] TomH: basically an asset lock is a way to restrict what can be done with the company assets even if the company is sold or wound up
[15:58] chrisfl_: my understanding is that a Charity can specify what happens to assets (ie. the database) if the organisation seases to exist
[15:59] TomH: so if OSMF went bust the liquidator couldn't just sell the database to google
[15:59] toffehoff: If the charity ceases to exists, the assets defined in the asset lock should be transfered to an organisation with simiral goals as ours.
[15:59] chrisfl_: yes
[15:59] toffehoff: TomH: yes.
[15:59] mkl1: interesting, and we currently don't have that protection?
[15:59] toffehoff: No.
[15:59] chrisfl_: There is also the Comminity Interest Company option.
[15:59] wonderchook: okay, I'm now sold on it isn't all financial reasons:)
[15:59] mkl1: does that have asset lock? what's the difference?
[16:00] chrisfl_: which allows a asset lock
[16:00] mkl1: we're at the top of the hour
[16:00] chrisfl_:
[16:00] chrisfl_: some reading homework 
[16:01] mkl1: ok ... well that was a cool discussion ... a bit a drift after the semi-hiatus
[16:01] mkl1: let's try to dig up agenda items for next time
[16:01] mkl1: thanks all for talking about stuff again
[16:01] mkl1: chrisfl_: i can send you log
[16:02] toffehoff: Thanks all. Have a good weekend.
[16:02] mkl1: we can keep chatting of course
[16:02] toffehoff: Need to go...
[16:02] toffehoff: Next week same time?
[16:02] • wonderchook reading the homework:)
[16:02] mkl1: next week, 3pm GMT
[16:03] toffehoff: OK. have a good one!
[16:03] toffehoff left the chat room. (Quit: ajax IRC Client)
[16:04] wonderchook: I think I may miss next week to fly back to 'merica
[16:04] mkl1: you could rebook
[16:04] wonderchook: haha, and miss thea's baby shower?
[16:05] wonderchook: the shock of eating that amount of meat from a texas BBQ though might kill me after 2 months of rice and fish
[16:05] • chrisfl_ has just realised that we didn't approve the last set of minutes....