Should MapServer join OSGeo?

The MapServer Technical Steering Committee today approved an RFC that calls for MapServer to join the newly formed Open Source Geospatial Foundation. A poll has been put up on the MapServer site (login required) to collect the responses from the community.

So far the vote is unanimously in favor of joining, although the poll has only been open for about an hour. Some thought it interesting that MapServer didn’t join immediately, given it was at the center of the failed MapServer Foundation attempt at the end of last year. Its clear that the MTSC has a process and they are working through it.

Even if the vote is in favor, there is still work to do in sorting out the copyright issues. Quoting from the RFC:

There will need to be a copyright review of the existing code base, ensuring that it is all legimately contributed under the existing license. All MapServer committers wll need to sign some sort of committer agreement providing assurance they are not adding encumbered code.

It will be interesting to see the outcome of the vote, as well as the process required should MapServer enter OSGF. I hope that if the vote is positive, the MapServer folks document the steps required to resolve copyright issues and get the project ready to enter the foundation. This will be invaluable to other projects that are “watching and waiting”.