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If you split OSM's contributor base, the winner will be Google Maps.
Posted Jan 12, 2011 21:46 UTC (Wed) by martinfick (subscriber, #4455)
If you stepped back ~15 years, would you say to the Wikipedia folks that if they split from Nupedia, that the winner would be Britannica?
I am not claiming that you are wrong, simply that you are making a wild and bold prediction of the future as if it were a simple obvious fact. I don't believe that it is.
Posted Jan 13, 2011 10:55 UTC (Thu) by coriordan (guest, #7544)
Nupedia wasn't at OSM's stage of development when Wikipedia forked off from it.
What I think is wild and bold is the proposition of a fork when there's no current need for it. If the licence debate gets to a point where contributors start leaving, then yeh, I hope those contributors at least work on another free mapping project. Some things are worth forking over. But for so long as everyone can continue to work together, it's probably best to do so.
If forking was so harmless, why only fork in two? Why not invite OSM to fork into ten little projects? :-)
Posted Jan 13, 2011 17:16 UTC (Thu) by martinfick (subscriber, #4455)
The lack of forking when a project is taking a wrong turn is also demotivating (Again, I am not claiming it is a wrong turn). Forking could mean a gain in contributors (I believe that was likely the point in the original suggestion), in the right case, it does. And, not forking can sometimes lose more contributors.
> Nupedia wasn't at OSM's stage of development when Wikipedia forked off from it.
Please explain. Do you feel it is way ahead or way behind Nupedia?
> If forking was so harmless, why only fork in two? Why not invite OSM to fork into ten little projects? :-)
Why not fork in 100 projects? It likely won't matter. since 98 of those 100 projects will likely have 1 contributor to them. Just because someone forks a project doesn't mean that anyone is going to follow them. Tiny and numerous forks happen all the time on almost every project, even small ones, you just don't consider them forks because they don't amount to anything, they have no effect on the main project. Many simply remerge with the main project regularly. Many are dropped and the contributors remerge.
If someone wants to fork, because they are dissatisfied, they are likely lost to start with. If someone else follows them, then it is a sign of greater dissatisfaction. This type of forking is a way of expressing an irreconcilable difference. If it gets to this point, not forking does not fix the problem. Forking at least has the potential to. Forking is a sign of energy, it can be a great counter to apathy. If forking can kill a project, it is already dead.
Posted Jan 24, 2011 15:21 UTC (Mon) by bblammo (guest, #72548)
Two separate services with different licensing, let the data owners decide which they want. The end users can decide which they want to use as well, and add to where needed, is one falls short for some reason.
Posted Jan 12, 2011 21:50 UTC (Wed) by giggls (subscriber, #48434)
Google Maps is an entirely different thing than OSM. OSM is all about free geodata while Google Maps is about online map stuff only.
The strength of OSM in the area of online maps are special maps for all kinds of purposes which are simply not available in the proprietary area.
Examples in other areas are Maps for Hikers, Cyclists, Skiing and many others as well as Maps for Offline use in GPS receivers etc.
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