Folks,
just a little reminder that we should be careful in terminology (because
it came up in this thread several times already, this it is not a
specific criticism of your content, Ravi).

The term "commercial software" [1] does *not* exclude Free and Open
Source software. Therefore it does not make sense to use it to contrast
it to FOSS [2]. It is thus a confusing misnomer. Carelessness of use
works in favor of FUD [3] on Open Source. Ignorance of the underlying
concepts and misusing the term "commercial" [4] discredits all
undertakings that provide commercial services for Open Source software
(like these [5]).

Please use "proprietary software" instead. For further details you may
want to scan the OSGeo Advocacy category [7] (it is a Wiki, feel free to
hack and extend it).

Best regards,

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commercial_software
[2] http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/words-to-avoid.html
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear,_uncertainty_and_doubt
[4] http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Commercial_Services
[5] http://www.osgeo.org/search_profile?SET=1
[6] 404
[7] http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Category:Advocacy

Ravi schrieb:
> Hi, In India, OpenJUMP has a very good following on windows, as it is
> much simpler than some costly commercial flavors of GIS. They can at
> best be called as 'passive users', who even do not (care to) know
> that a list exists on the internet. Some Indian universities have
> started using OpenJUMP for vector GIS. Ravi Kumar
> 
> --- On Sat, 22/8/09, Daniel Ames <amesd...@isu.edu> wrote:
> 
>> From: Daniel Ames <amesd...@isu.edu> Subject: Re: [OSGeo-Discuss]
>> Open Source Lurkers To: "OSGeo Discussions"
>> <discuss@lists.osgeo.org> Date: Saturday, 22 August, 2009, 10:24 AM
>>  Landon, et al.
>> 
>> I'm aware of this phenomenon in the MapWindow community as well. It
>> is particularly prominent with non-English speaking folks who, for
>> a number of reasons (mostly described by Bill below) don't feel
>> comfortable joining the conversation and openly participating in
>> the project.
>> 
>> 
>> I think there is another clear reason for this behavior... they
>> sometimes just don't know that they are welcome/invited. This might
>> be more of a pronounced problem for those of us developing
>> specifically for Windows because Windows users have historically
>> been told that they are not allowed to participate.
>> 
>> 
>> However it's also a phenomenon of GIS in general. When was the last
>> time that the major GIS software vendor asked it's customers to
>> actively join in writing documentation, answering forum questions
>> and - heaven forbid - fixing bugs.
>> 
>> 
>> So how do you fix this. Well all I can think is to continually
>> invite invite invite. Everytime someone posts a forum question,
>> give an answer and then invite them to answer other people's
>> questions. When people ask for bug fixes, invite them to fix a big
>> - or to hire someone to do it.  Any time you get a personal
>> communication, invite them to do something on the project.
>> 
>> 
>> This has helped a lot with our project, and I think we've landed
>> some awesome project participants (some of whom are likely reading
>> this now!) by letting them know how much we need them, and inviting
>> them over and over to participate.
>> 
>> 
>> That's my suggestion anyway,
>> 
>> Dan
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> On Sat, Aug 22, 2009 at 4:53 AM, Bill Thoen <bth...@gisnet.com> 
>> wrote:
>> 
>> I've been a moderator for a commercial desktop mapping forum for
>> more than 10 years and this behavior is quite common. I think it
>> has more to do with how people adapt to a social network than it
>> has to do with anything unique in the Open Source world. Like Chris
>>  mentioned, the majority of subscribers prefer to lurk below the
>> public visibility horizon in a way that resembles an iceberg where
>> only the tip remains above the waterline while the majority of its
>> bulk lurks below.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> People lurk for many of the reasons you suggest, but I think the
>> most common one is that they don't feel expert enough to contribute
>> anything useful to a thread, and the risk of saying something
>> "stoopid" --in public... and worse, thus revealing to their
>> GIS/mapping peers the depth of their ignorance-- is just too
>> embarrassing to contemplate. Especially when compared with the
>> perceived safety of remaining anonymous in the shadows where they
>> can drink in new knowledge like free beer while also being 
>> entertained by the interplay of the forum's regularly featured
>> fools and sages.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> If we assume that Maslow was right about what motivates people
>> (self-interest) then lurking in an open source community and not
>> participating is exactly the wrong thing to do. If your business
>> depends on some FOSS tool, then it's in your self-interest to
>> expand the environment in which it operates as much as possible.
>> Because if what you sell depends on tools like OpenJUMP, you want
>> OpenJUMP well supported with a lively user group, a good supply of
>> free data, technologically competitive, and actively being 
>> developed. This is the key to making money out of bits instead of
>> atoms. If you sell services, give away the software and the
>> infrastructure of the environment it runs in. This expands the
>> market for your services and since the tools are free, the more
>> people who download them the bigger your market share gets. If you
>> sell software, give away services that leverage it. But if you lurk
>> and don't contribute to its development or the development of the 
>> environment in which it operates, then you're sort of stepping on
>> your own air hose.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> - Bill Thoen
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> Landon Blake wrote:
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> I would like to get some comments on a phenomenon I have discovered
>> among the OpenJUMP community. I know for sure of one (1) company
>> that maintains a separate fork of OpenJUMP, but which monitors our
>> mailing list and likely grabs patches form our source code
>> repository. They never participate in the forums or make known
>> their use of OpenJUMP in any other public manner.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> I think there is at least one other company that does this.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> I only learn of these companies when I am contacted by private
>> e-mail to work for them on OpenJUMP development, usually by some
>> headhunter. I actually did a little work for one of these companies
>> (which was not a great experience, but that is another story) and I
>> was surprised at how important OpenJUMP was to their operation.
>> They even distributed it to their customers.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why this company wouldn’t
>> take a more active role in supporting the OpenJUMP community. I’m
>> not necessarily talking about money here, but about writing
>> documentation, contributing their own patches, or answering
>> questions on the mailing lists. Our community is very informal and
>> open, and an organization could likely have a large influence on
>> the direction the program took with an investment of some 
>> resources.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> Is OpenJUMP the only community with these open source lurkers? How
>> many of these companies do you think there are? (I’m not talking
>> about one guy who downloads an open source app and uses it. I’m
>> talking about actual companies with more than one employee.)
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> Why don’t they get more involved? Are they embarrassed? Do they not
>> want their competition to find out about the open source program
>> they are benefiting from? Are they violating the terms of the
>> license and don’t want to get busted? Do they not understand that
>> their involvement is a key part of the program’s survival?
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> This has become an important question for me recently as the active
>> development of OpenJUMP has slowed. We don’t have any organizations
>> actively participating in development. (Well, maybe one or two, but
>> they have been quiet lately.) I’m the only one working on serious 
>> improvements or changes, and not just bug fixes. I would really
>> like to reach out to these lurkers to get them more involved.
>> Ultimately, the survival of the project may depend on it.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> What do you think? Send an e-mail to the project list with an
>> invitation to contact me privately about getting more involved? Are
>> these lurkers worth the time?
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> Landon
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> *Warning:
>> 
>> *Information provided via electronic media is not guaranteed
>> against defects including translation and transmission errors. If
>> the reader is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified
>> that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this
>> communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this
>> information in error, please notify the sender immediately.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> _______________________________________________
>> 
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>> 
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>> 
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>> 
>> 
>> 
>> _______________________________________________
>> 
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>> 
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>> 
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>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> -- Daniel P. Ames, Ph.D. PE Associate Professor, Geosciences Idaho
>> State University - Idaho Falls amesd...@isu.edu
>> 
>> www.hydromap.com www.mapwindow.org
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
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