Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] Re: FOSS4GIS business models

2008-01-04 Thread Luis W. Sevilla
Hi Gilberto (and list),
only a couple of  notes
Gilberto Camara wrote:

 Dear OSGEO Discussion List members:

 Paul Ramsey´s remarks are right on target.

 First, GIS is a large arena and there are
 different motivations for developers, that
 prevent them from joining a single project such as uDIG.

 Second, it is very difficult for a private
 company to develop a world-class FOSS4G product
 and survive based only on consulting
 fees for the commercial sector.

 Third, to overcome these limitations there is
 a need for governmental intervention, which may
 be direct, as in the case of Catalonian government´s

Sorry, but is Valencian government (region south to Catalonia)

 support for gvSIG, or indirect, as in the decision
 of Germany to support open source software.

Also Extremadura in Spain has this support. 100% of school
software it's linux based, and now every classroom has 1
for every two boys with the money they dont waste on

 In Brazil, the National Institute for Space Research (INPE)
 has been supporting local GIS development for 25 years,
 with a lot of success in our national user community.
 Without official support, there would be no local FOOS4G
 development in Brazil.

 In 2003, I did a F00S4G market survey and published the
 results as a chapter of a US National Academy of Sciences book:
 Open Source GIS Software: Myths and Realities

 We analysed 70 FOSS4G software projects taken from the
 FreeGIS list, and divided them into three categories:
 networked products (e.g. GRASS), corporate products (e.g., PostGIS)
 and individual products (e.g., CAVOR). From each product,
 we assessed its maturity, level of support and functionality.

 Our main conclusions at the time were:
 (a) Only 6% of the  products were developed by networked teams.
 Thus, the “Linux paradigm” is the exception rather than the rule.
 (b) Corporations (private or public) are the main developers of
 successful open source products. Corporations account for 41% of
 all products.
 (e) Individual-led software (a small team of 1-3 people) have
 less quality and more mortality than the above.

 These results show that the impetus behind successful
 open source software was not coming from altruistic individuals
 working in the midnight hour, but from professional programmers.
 I consider that a similar result would be obtained today, should
 the assessment be repeated.

 This analysis was further elaborated in a JASIST paper:
 Information Policies and Open Source Software in Developing Countries

 For the FOSS4G effort to be fruitful and sustainable,
 we need a very informed and candid assessment of our
 business model. My personal view, based on 25 years of experience,
 is that government intervention is essential for the open source
 model to survive beyond a handful of examples.

 Best regards

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[OSGeo-Discuss] Origins Of OpenJUMP

2008-01-04 Thread Landon Blake

I'll respond to your questions in a separate thread. :] (I invite any
other OSGeo members that work with OpenJUMP or UDig to correct mistakes
or add details to my post.)

JUMP was originally developed by Vivid Solutions with some assistance
(I'm not sure how much) by Refractions Research. I believe the funding
for the development for JUMP came from some source in the Canadian
government. (This source was one of the Canadian Provinces, if I
remember correctly.)

At some point funding was awarded for JUMP 2. This time the funds went
to Refractions Research. Their development team had identified some of
the design flaws in the original JUMP, and decided to fix these. In the
end they decided to go with a completely new design, and UDig was the

In the meantime Steve Tanner and some other JUMP users decided to fork
the code base for JUMP. This was not done hastily. It's been a while
since all this happened, and I'm not clear on every detail, but I
believe one main reason we forked was a desire to internationalize
JUMP's source code. The bottom line is that Vivid Solutions was (in my
modest opinion) unresponsive to outside developers desire to make
reasonable improvements or even contribute patches. At the same time
they were doing very little with the code base themselves. This is what
led to the fork. At one point we had a handful of different individual
developers and organization maintaining their own versions of JUMP, and
we realized we could all get together and benefit from a common core. 

This is still how OpenJUMP operates. We've got guys that maintain their
own code bases with individual tools and modifications, but they all
make a good effort to port the best (and least controversial) stuff back
to the core. There really is no formal governance mechanism in place. We
all get along well and try to help each other out.

There are some issues with our model of development. We don't have a
great release cycle, although that has been discussed in the last few
months, and developer turnover can be fairly high. I'm also easily
distracted, and I have to exercise self discipline to finish as task
once I start it. I must regretfully admit this has not helped the
project. (I'm consciously working on that personality flaw.)

A couple of interesting things to note:

- Our relationship with Vivid Solutions seems to have improved over the
course of the last year. The two developers at the company that are in
charge of JUMP occasionally help out with a problem on the OpenJUMP
mailing list, and users of JUMP and OpenJUMP share a common mailing
list. We've even talked about the possibility of merging JUMP and
OpenJUMP back to a common core, but I think this is unlikely without
some major funding at Vivid Solutions.

- Had Steve and I known about Refractions Research involvement with
JUMP 2 OpenJUMP and UDig would probably be the same program. I look at
this with deep regret, although I don't think it is anyone's fault in
particular. Still, I think about what the JUMP user community could have
accomplished with Refractions Research and I get little tears in my
eyes. :] 

Still, I get a kick out of Jody Garnett, and I hope OpenJUMP and
GeoTools/UDig can work together more in the future. We definitely have
some different approaches to certain aspects of software design, but I
think at a minimum we can share data I/O or data access code and map
projection code.


-Original Message-
From: Richard Greenwood [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] 
Sent: Thursday, January 03, 2008 7:32 PM
To: Landon Blake
Subject: Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] Re: FOSS4GIS business models

On Jan 3, 2008 4:37 PM, Landon Blake [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

 I think OpenJUMP might be an example of the opposite case. In this
situation the less-than-ideal management of a FOSS GIS program by a
private company led to a fork. The fork was made, not by another
company, but by a group of individual users/developers.

I'm interested in more details of the history and relationship between
Jump, OpenJump, and uDig. I think OpenJump and uDig have roots in
Jump, which was started by Martin Davis, or am I incorrect? And the
fork came about when? And why?

Maybe you would prefer to reply directly to the OSGeo-Discuss thread
FOSS4GIS business models, but I'm afraid my questions are tangential
to that thread.


Richard Greenwood

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[OSGeo-Discuss] New Year's Reading - Journal Volume 3

2008-01-04 Thread OSGeo

This original notice, below, was sent Dec. 20th.
I'm resending it in case it got buried in your year-end or New Year's  
email pile and you missed it. :)


The OSGeo Journal team is pleased to announce the availability of  
Volume 3.  This volume of the Journal is dedicated to publishing the  
proceedings from the FOSS4G 2007 conference held in September.  14  
different papers, representing over 35 authors were contributed.   
They cover a wide range of Integration, Development, Topical Interest  
and Case Study material.

You can access the Journal as a print-ready PDF or as individual PDF  
articles from:

Our next volume will be delayed until the first quarter of 2008.  If  
you are interested in submitting articles, please add your name to:

Enjoy the articles and best wishes for the New Year!


Tyler Mitchell
Editor in Chief
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