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Massimiliano Cannata keynote @ FOSS4G-ASIA 2017


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This presentation raises some challenges for the OSGeo community addressing some aspects of the foundation pillars; in particular the incubation process, the Open Geoscience and the ethics are discussed to raise awareness and discussion.

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Massimiliano Cannata keynote @ FOSS4G-ASIA 2017

  1. 1. Open Source for Geospatial: some challenges for the community Incubation, open science & ethics Prof. Massimiliano Cannata FOSS4G-ASIA 2017 JANUARY 26-29 HYDERABAD, INDIA
  2. 2. Free & Open Source Software for Geospatial
  3. 3. Open Source Geospatial foundation FOSS4G is the conference of the OSGeo community
  4. 4. OSGeo structure
  5. 5. Pillar Projects Subject incubation process Challenge renew the process
  6. 6. Acknowledge Most of the information hereinafter presented are extracted from Cannata M. and McKenna, J. (2016). OSGeo incubation report, funded by KRIHS.
  7. 7. Why incubation? when selecting a software solution the level of risk of adoption should be carefully considered and evaluated traditional approaches in evaluating software quality rely on hierarchical decomposition of quality into different criteria; these are evaluated with metrics that are the result of direct measures of attributes which express the different aspects contributing to the product’s quality
  8. 8. Specific methods for FOSS Due to its particularity, specific quality models have been presented in literature: SQO-OSS (Salamoladas et al., 2008), OSMM (Golden, 2005) and QSOS (Atos, 2010) are just an example of such methods QSOS defined maturity criteria of a project (source: QSOS, 2013)
  9. 9. QSOS approach QSOS approach is based on four steps: 1. define criteria, 2. evaluate criteria with metrics/rates, 3. qualify weighting the metrics/rates 4. select the most relevant product.
  10. 10. OSGeo approach Similarly to other quality assessment approaches OSGeo has defined a procedure to evaluate the quality of a software (incubation) and label to the quality ones (OSGeo project): 1. Define criteria 2. Verify all criteria are satisfied (incubation) 3. Assign the OSGeo project label (graduation) Criteria are not measured and weighting is never applied
  11. 11. OSGeo criteria • Encourage participation from all contributors • Adopt open standards and collaborate with other OSGeo projects • Show responsibility to control their code base to ensure Open Source integrity • Document how project management occurs • Maintain source code in a public versioning system • Maintain a public tracking system for issues • Maintain public mailing lists/forums • Setup automated build and testing systems • Maintain both user and developer documentation
  12. 12. Perceived benefits OSGeo promotes three possible benefits to a project, as it becomes an official OSGeo project: • infrastructure access, • inclusion in foundation marketing, and • entrance in the larger community.
  13. 13. 10 years of incubation (@ Jan 2017) 7 still incubatingaverage of ~2 years for graduating 23 graduated projects
  14. 14. Infrastructure choices
  15. 15. Infrastructure choices
  16. 16. Marketing
  17. 17. Ecosystem Project Officers are the official direct interface between the project and the OSGeo board of directors; but in reality (at least in the latest two years) they haven’t any specific direct interaction or influence on the board that is different from any interaction with any OSGeo charter members. Preferential access to workshop slots at FOSS4G and to Google Summer of Code (GSoC) program is provided.
  18. 18. Openness communication license PSC have regular meeting?
  19. 19. Openness: governance • With the exception of a couple of cases (see GRASS), most project has no procedure to elect periodically the PSC members: they are generally nominated and then retired on voluntary basis or in case of evident inactivity. • Some PSC have a chair role which gives that person the final say in cases where also after discussion the consensus cannot be reached. Combining the two above points it lead to a benevolent dictatorship model for some projects, very similar to that adopted by Linus Trovalds in the Linux project.
  20. 20. Review & development 100% All of the projects have a developer guideline and have performed a code provenance review at the time of incubation.
  21. 21. Public accessible documentation for user & developer In general the available documentation has a high quality standard and is managed using plain text markup syntax and parser system (reStructuredText, .rst). both none only one
  22. 22. Public accessible release procedure The release procedure is not easy accessible or available in many cases
  23. 23. Considerations / 1 «The OSGeo incubation process is one of the core activities and performed very well by providing flagship Free and Open Source Software projects in the geospatial domain »
  24. 24. Considerations / 2 It is evident that the major benefit those projects receive from the incubation are: • Increased popularity and diffusion due to OSGeo label of quality • Increased quality of the software due to the verification process needed to fulfil the incubation requirements
  25. 25. Considerations / 3 • With except of the mailing list infrastructure is not used / required by the projects (those using it are the older..)
  26. 26. Consideration / 4a Absence of any periodic project review checks may lead to ambiguities, inconsistencies and wrong assumptions made by users and decision makers looking at the mature OSGeo software projects.
  27. 27. Consideration / 4b cont. New components: are also automatically graduated? Completely renewed software: is still the graduation valid? Expired or declined projects: if they don’t meet anymore the incubation requirements are still OSGeo projects?
  28. 28. A challenge to be addressed • Appeal: in 2006 ten projects started the incubation, in the following 10 years we registered almost the same amount of new graduated projects. 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 n° not graduated project beginning incubation n° graduated project beginning incubation n° project graduated
  29. 29. OSGeo principles are exclusive? OSGeo must guarantee quality software nevertheless: meet the requirements to graduate is often a big extra effort for the community and the OSGeo support is often missing missing a single criteria lead to exclusion, even if the project quality is evident: as a result many project do not enter incubation (OpenSSL would never graduate in OSGeo) most of the benefits are gained in entering incubation and low incentives to complete (quickly) the process are on the table
  30. 30. A possible view…. periodic review: report from the projects (biannual?) to be evaluated by incubation committee to renew OSGeo affiliation measure the quality of the projects quantitatively using the QSOS approach (or similar) Guarantee the quality
  31. 31. A possible view…. Welcome token: one-time-in-life 5’000 USD to be used in the first year of incubation to support incubation sprints Annual benefit: 2’000 USD a year for graduated project only to support sprint code and maintenance Support the projects
  32. 32. A possible view…. Graduate project based on the overall quality: set a minimum threshold of the aggregated- quality-rate calculated by weighting the criteria metrics Apply an Achievement-Based Approach: implement achievements in incubation to promote and transparently show projects qualities and encourage project improvement. Guarantee the quality
  33. 33. Achievement-Based Approach All qualified OSGeo projects are differently labelled based on criteria & metrics defined according to the software ecosystem type. It’s not a race, project are not ranked but labeled based on their peculiarity and specific ecosystem (libraries are not the same of user applications, astro- physics tools are not the same of a climate change tools)
  34. 34. Achievement-Based Approach ideas = 5 x = science (high scientific publications) = library (high number of indirect usage of your code) = library & science
  35. 35. Pillar Committees Subject open science Challenge put in practice
  36. 36. Open Science «Open Science represents a new approach to the scientific process, based on cooperative work and new ways of diffusing knowledge by using digital technologies and new collaborative tools.. » (2015, EUROPEAN COMMISSION, «Open Innovation, Open Science, Open to the World - – a vision for Europe»)
  37. 37. Open Science Perceived benefits • Efficiency: access to inputs and outputs can improve productivity of the research • Quality and integrity: permits a greater and more accurate replication and validation of research results. • Economic benefits: access to scientific results boost innovation, also in developing economies. • Innovation and knowledge transfer: reduce delays in transferring knowledge and create new products • Public disclosure and engagement: open to society for citizen’s participation • Global benefits: international sharing of challenges understanding (Gema Bueno de la Fuente,
  38. 38. Open Geoscience in OSGeo Open Geoscience Committee Many «Open Science» principles are well established in foundation so OSGeo’s scientists can provide guidance by best practices on how these can be established within colleagues in the Academia.
  39. 39. Open Geoscience activities • Open Geoscience and EGU activities Outreach activity with the European Geoscience Union (EGU) to engage EGU general assembly participants (15’000 in one week) in OSGeo and transfer FOSS knowledge. • Open Monitoring Systems Working Group Collaborative working group to share experience on open monitoring systems for in-situ earth observations with the aim of advancing beyond the state-of-the-art in various involved scientific fields.
  40. 40. OSGeo & EGU Townhall meeting ”… are meetings open to all conference participants where new initiatives are announced to a larger audience, followed by an open discussion on the matter raised.” (source EGU Page)
  41. 41. OSGeo & EGU
  42. 42. OSGeo & EGU FOSS session
  43. 43. Persistent Identifiers Persistent identifiers allow to reliably cite and refer to an information. This is important for the scientific process, both to properly cite work of others and also to receive recognition by citation. A URL-link is not a persistent identifier, as URL-links break easily (404 error) One example of persistent identifiers are Digital Object Identifiers (DOI), as they are used for • scientific journal publications • research data • scientific software • scientific film
  44. 44. Digital Object Identifiers (DOI) “Dog tags for scientific information“ DOI, a “digital identifier of an object” : it identifies the object itself and not the place where it is located. Citation by DOI DOI 4 data
  45. 45.
  46. 46. ORCID: Open Researcher and Contributor ID “Dog tags for people / reseachers” • ORCID is a nonproprietary alphanumeric code to uniquely identify scientific and other academic authors and contributors. • ORCID organization: An open and independent registry as the de facto standard for contributor identification in research and academic publishing since 2012. • It provides a persistent identity for humans, similar to that created for content-related entities on digital networks by digital object identifiers (DOIs).
  47. 47. Critical Mass of Technology reached: Let‘s build bridges Software Data Video DOI Benefits for OSGeo communities: • Software • Data • Documentation • Video
  48. 48. Mining OSGeo advocates (for video)
  49. 49. Mining OSGeo advocates (for video)
  50. 50. Open monitoring systems WG Enabling sustainable environmental monitoring system that is open and interoperable we are enabling Open Science
  51. 51. Open monitoring systems WG Open Hardware to measure parameters, Open Software to collect and manage data, Open Standard to semantically communicate Open Data licenses to share information
  52. 52. Open monitoring systems WG Workshops series: «building fully open climatic station»
  53. 53. Open monitoring systems WG
  54. 54. Open monitoring systems WG
  55. 55. 4ONSE 4 times Open Non-coventional monitoring system for Sensing the Environment
  56. 56. The challenge is use geoscience to impact people life Share knowledge in an open community to advance in open science & impact the real world by supporting the actions that increase the resilience
  57. 57. Pillar Community Subject changing world Challenge prevent «ethical abuses»
  58. 58. A buzzing bee in my head… after facing these sources of information • Road and bridges, the unseen labor behind our digital infrastructure (Nadia Eghbal, 2016) • Why Open Source Misses the Point of Free Software (R. Stallman, 2016) • Entrepreneurial state (M. Mazzucato, 2015) • FREEWORK project (S. Greppi, 2016)
  59. 59. Open Source is the base of modern society Nadia Eghbal, «Road and bridges, the unseen labor behind our digital infrastructure», Ford foundation.
  60. 60. Nadia Eghbal wrote: Almost all of the today software rely on free & open source code: «…by 2014 two third of the world Web servers use Open SSL» Software infrastructure, like physical infrastructure, requires maintenance. But nobody is pushed to sustain it as it is a public good… Sharing, rather then building proprietary code, turned to out to be cheaper, easier, and more efficient. Most of users take opening an application for granted, the way we take turning on the lights for granted 2/3
  61. 61. Free Software or Open Source? 1983, Stallman launched GNU 1985, Free Software Foundation was established (FS) 1998, Open Source Initiative (OS) «Open Source is a development methodology; free software is a social movement» (*) «In a world of digital sounds, images, and words, free software becomes increasingly essential for freedom in general» (*) Why Open Source Misses the Point of Free Software (Stallman, 2017)
  62. 62. Free Software or Open Source? «We in the free software movement don't think of the open source camp as an enemy; the enemy is proprietary (nonfree) software. But we want people to know we stand for freedom, so we do not accept being mislabeled as open source supporters.» « We have to say, “It's free software and it gives you freedom!”—more and louder than ever”» OR Why Open Source Misses the Point of Free Software (Stallman, 2017)
  63. 63. Free Work
  64. 64. «Freework»: a new business model? More and more often the worker is requested to do some job not adequately payed. This: • reduce the costs of the company and increase its profit • do not produce an adequate benefit to the person Examples: IKEA model, not payed stages, design contests, free editorial works Note that payment should not necessary be monetary, could also be a saved cost or equivalent value: co-working is not freework !
  65. 65. «Freework» may be destabilizing Modern countries relies on taxes from citizens Growing «freework» may lead to reducing state efficiency and the social cohesion which is based on payed work
  66. 66. Marianna Mazzucato wrote… Big companies makes money by using state funds socializing the risks & privatizing the revenues
  67. 67. One of her slides… []
  68. 68. My buzzing bee… Free work Socialized risks & privatized revenue Open Source or Free Software Everyone use FOSS
  69. 69. …interesting messages from the cloud… Bounties can dictate which work does or doesn’t get done, and sometimes that work doesn’t align with a project’s priorities. “This is a freely licensed work is not free work”
  70. 70. My buzzing bee… Free work Socialized risks & privatized revenue Open Source or Free Software Everyone use FOSS Wealth Inequality?
  71. 71. A challenge for the community… ? ?
  72. 72. My feeling is we, as a community, should… Push more and more the free software ideals Share benefits & rebound “ethical abuses”
  73. 73. Personally… I don’t contribute to make others billionaire… I contribute to make a better world with less inequality!
  74. 74. Toward a modern Don’t worry… I’m done !
  75. 75. 3 actions call for OSGeo Review incubation process Realize Open Geoscience Promote ethical aspects
  76. 76. Credits
  77. 77. धन्यवाद FOSS4G is OSGeo & OSGeo is you !