GRASS Project Steering Commitee

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This page discusses the need for a GRASS Project Steering Commitee (PSC), preferably at a low level of complication.

1st Letter to GRASS mailing lists

                                     02/10/2006 06:15 PM
Dear GRASS community,

in the Chicago meeting the GRASS project was suggested to
as one of the initial OSGeo foundation projects.

So far I only received positive feedback on the idea of
moving GRASS more formally to the foundation (while the
individual authors are keeping their copyright which is
a major difference to the Apache Foundation.)

A couple of things will have to be sorted out in the
coming months to make GRASS's membership possible (below
list is inspired by Frank's mail to the GRASS project):

o We will need to form a "GRASS Project Steering Committee"
  (PSC). Foundation projects need a formalized management
  which may be desired in any case. I would be glad to 
  receive suggestions of names for this committee. For
  inspiration, please look at the MapServer Technical
  Steering Committee as described here:

o One benefit of the foundation is some degree of legal
   support and protection for the project. The flip side of that
   is that the foundation needs to ensure some degree of
   rigor and process in how code comes into the project. One
   part of that is getting committers to sign a legal agreement
   indicating that they agree that changes they commit will
   be under the license of GRASS (GPL) and that they have 
   the right to submit the code (they wrote it, it is not
   patented, have permission from their employer, etc).

o We will have to review the existing code base (which is
   huge - more than 500000 lines of source code in GRASS 6).
   Luckily a major code review was already done for GRASS 5.
   Also the "Debianization" process was performed for GRASS
   5 and GRASS 6.

o It is suggested to move the support infrastructure for GRASS
   to new foundation systems. Stuff like CVS (maybe SVN then),
   and bugtracker and mailing lists. The web site will also
   likely appear under a foundation subdomain (ie.
   with hopefully the known mirror site structure as before
   with, etc as principal mirror
   sites. If so, the web site will be migrated into a contents
   management system (CMS) in a harmonized "foundation style".
   A CMS will hopefully solve the problem to get more people
   involved in the Web site contents management.

o We hope to establish options to enable sponorship for the
   foundation - be as direct funding or for selected foundation
   projects. Details have to be worked out. My suggestion is to 
   create national tax-exempt organizations (such as the
   German GRASS Anwender-Vereinigung e.V. which already exists)
   which may offer to receive donations.

o For now we should think about nominating people with
   recognized contribution to the GRASS project, to
   free data, to whatever deems significant. A small paragraph
   describing why the candidate is proposed as member to
   the foundation is needed as well. This will be announced
   more formally soon. Please see ongoing discussions here:

(Nearly) nothing is set in stone yet.
More details will follow, a couple of official documents
are being currently prepared

Your feedback is welcome.



2nd Letter to GRASS mailing lists

                                        02/11/2006 12:16 AM
Dear all,

while I already received two suggestions for a GRASS 
Project Steering Committee (PSC), I suggest to post the
nominations in public, if there are no objections.
I would like to have that transparent to everyone.

Nominations should contain the name and a short paragraph
why it is a good candidate. We also have to decide,
how many members the PSC should have.

It is worth reading
   (they are very successful, and the document applies much
    to the GRASS project culture)

   (MS RFC 1: Technical Steering Committee Guidelines)  
    apparently 7 members there.

    (GDAL PSC to be formed)

   (MS RFC 10: Joining the Open Source Geospatial Foundation)

  (Community MapBuilder PMC membership nomination)
  (MapBuilder & Mapbender and the OSGeo Foundation)

In fact, there is lot of material to digest in these days..


3rd Letter to GRASS Dev mailing list

Markus Neteler  neteler at Sun, 23 Apr 2006 18:10:25 +0200

On Sat, Apr 22, 2006 at 01:00:01PM +0100, Glynn Clements wrote:
> Alpha support in the current display architecture isn't going to
> happen (I reverted the last attempt to add it, and will do likewise in
> future).

... this is why I really suggest to get interested in a project
steering committee [1], [2].

Instead of recursively reverted changes of other developers,
we should come up with a design discussion and then *vote* on it.
At least for such crucidal pieces of the code I would like to 
see less anarchy and a more formal approach. This will render
development more transparent to everybody. The scope cannot be to
have two display management systems in parallel, one without
and one with alpha support.

Existing steering committees, to get inspired from:

Please think about it!






The comments were copied from the related emails.

  1. Michael Barton (nominated by 1): very responsive to comments and questions; various code contributions
  2. Radim Blazek (nominated by 1): for his extensive GRASS work including vector and DBMS support
  3. Hamish Bowman (nominated by 1): for documentation, integration, and various modules
  4. Brad Douglas (nominated by 1): for clone removal and code refactoring
  5. Otto Dassau (nominated by 1): for translation efforts and documentation
  6. Glynn Clements (nominated by 1): for his vast knowledge of standards, practices and compatibility
  7. Paul Kelly (nominated by 1): for PROJ and platform support
  8. Markus Neteler (nominated by 2): for the obvious.  :-)
  9. Cedric Shock (nominated by 1): various code contributions

Status July 2006

The story got stuck due to the low interest among GRASS developers. We'll see for the future.