FDO and OSGeo Incubation

Geoff Zeiss writes:

Graduating OSGEO Incubation includes requirements for open community operation, a responsible project governance model, code provenance and license verification and general good project operation. Graduating incubation is the OSGeo seal of approval for a project and gives potential users of the project added confidence in the viability and safety of the project.

It looks like it is up to cranky old me to point out that of FDO's 17 committers, "haris" is the only one who is not an employee of or contractor to Autodesk. I'm not counting "timstrang", who has 1 commit for 0 lines of code. 13 Autodesk employees, 2 Autodesk contractors, and 1 independent committer.

Don't get me wrong, FDO looks like a technically excellent project, and they've done their best to do project business in the open and recruit new people. But it seems to me that it's failed to attract a diverse group of contributors. It probably would not have been graduated yet from an incubator like Apache's. Do non-diverse open source projects suck? No. I'm almost sole committer on several projects that kick ass, but I'll be the first to admit that they wouldn't be ready to graduate from the Apache incubator (even if they were accepted).

Maybe the real issue is whether the OSGeo brand is to represent standards as high as Apache's. It might represent lower standards, and that would be fine. Many entities happily used GDAL and GRASS before they were OSGeo branded. However, if the brand is supposed to be the equal of Apache's, OSGeo's "A for effort" incubation policy needs to be reconsidered.

Update: a reader says I was wrong to count mloskot as an Autodesk contractor. That would make 2 independent committers.


Re: FDO and OSGeo Incubation

Author: Bill Thorp

Code with Punditry? Say it ain't so, Manifold! Are they lacking users? Or just lacking bug fixes? All of the OS code patches I've contributed were on horribly, obviously flawed projects. Come to think of it, I need to check out this FDO software!!