FOSS4G2008 Committee Issues

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This page is our whiteboard. It lists jobs for FOSS4G 2008 that need help from volunteers as well ideas and comments.

LOC members and their main roles

  • Gavin: Chair, PeopleSA liaison
  • Carrin: GISSA liaison, governance.
  • Daina: marketing and communications, Programme
  • Inge: Papers, presentations
  • Dawn: sponsorship
  • Ravi: government and SITA liaison
  • Burnie: workshops and labs subcommittee coordinator
  • Graeme: website, speakers, workshops
  • Magda: exhibitors and sponsors
  • Russell: volunteers, man-on-the-ground in Cape Town
  • Alize: Outreach and technical visit coordinator
  • Tim Sutton: lightning talks, demo theatre, code sprint
  • Mandy Vickers: poster track
  • Serena Coetzee: academic track
  • Jeff:??
  • Paul: financial oversight, OSGeo-GISSA agreement
  • Tyler: OSGeo liaison, governance, website

Workshops and labs subcommittee

  • Graeme McFerren
  • Burnie
  • Jeff McKenna

Programme and papers subcommittee

  • Serena Coetzee (academic thread)
  • Mandy Vickers
  • Jeff

Other volunteers and their roles

  • Tim Sutton: Code sprint
  • Paul Scott: bulk mailing, web backup


We would reach a wider audience with parts of the website and announcements translated into major languages. Besides Africa and other developing areas, we specifically want to target China, India, Russia and other countries that have large FOSS interests yet limited involvement. If you can help please add your name and e-mail address here.

  • User:Arnulf Christl translates to German and publishes in German language regions (where is the text to translate?)
  • Hindi?
  • Tamil?
  • Mandarin?
  • lots more!

Issues to resolve

OCS website management

Various configuration and improvements needed, including having multi-languages (as above) which may not be possible at present. Really we could use some PHP programming help to improve OCS so that it more perfectly suits our needs. Development is active on this project, but they are getting maxed out. As far as possible, OSGEO alterations to the OCS system should be fed back to that project(User:Tmitchell)

Please add more issues here. If you resolve one please add you name, date and the solution.


  • Modules to allow localisation of conference - e.g. travel arrangements, things to do and see User:GFleming
  • Extensibility of the registration module to allow more details to be captured, such that delegates could be profiled a bit better, e.g. interests User:GFleming
    • Which fields would you like? -- User:Tmitchell
      • see form that PeopleSA are sending out for regsitration - it would be completely obviated if these data were captured first time in OCS.
    • include field validation and 'mandatory' switch on more fields User:GFleming
    • send full profile in 'manual payment' email that goes to PeopleSA. At present only username and registration package get sent through. Would be easy to include in 'prepared email' if only we knew the variable names for these fields.
  • Extend the capability of the e-mail response module such that a conference manager can alter the details of information that gets sent in an e-mail, or add e-mail recipients User:GFleming
  • You can only select users listed on a page, which maxes at whatever the list limit is set at. So that means repeating the exercise n times. BUT, when I tried with 250 on a page, OCS puts them all into the BCC field of one mail! this exceeds the number of addressees and thus fails...I've resorted to setting up a separate Mailman list and updating it with dumps from OCS) -- how does one do a bulk e-mail to all users registered on the site? User:GFleming
    • ...and aren't Announcements meant to get sent to all users? how about a feed? User:GFleming
    • As Manager, Select Roles->Author (for example), this show list of all registered authors
    • Then you can select All Users from form, which shows all users for 2008 event
    • Scroll to bottom, press Select All button, then Send Email button.
    • Note that the list is paginated, so you'll likely have to go to the 2nd page of users and repeat this.
    • The length of the pagination can also be edited under Website Management step 3.4.
    • all of this is outlined in the online forums - under this item .. forums are your friend :) -- User:Tmitchell
  • how does one update all users to become Readers (or to become Readers by default when they register)? User:GFleming
    • Similar to bulk email topic above, except you select Roles->Readers, click Enroll Existing User under list, select each one manually from list, click Enroll Select Users
  • Implement multi-lingual plugins User:GFleming
  • Be aware that OCS liberally doses its html output with br/ tags when content is generated from text area fields - can leave unexpected results like tables that drop down the screen. Avoid the use of the Enter key, people...User:gmcferren
  • Automatically redirect authors to the paper submission page once logged in(User:simon)
  • Incorporate MapExchange map into site(User:simon)
  • FOSS4G incorporates different tracks, (workshops, presentations, papers and so forth) - OCS should accommodate different timeline functionality for each track, like submission closing dates.(User:gmcferren)
  • Go to this workshop abstract: Then, Reading Tools>How to cite item>A Hitchhiker's guide to Ruby On Rails stack for geoWeb>Citation Format>ABNT>Sankar, K.. A Hitchhiker's guide to Ruby On Rails stack for geoWeb. FOSS4G, North America 7 08 2008. Where is the 'North America' coming from??? User:GFleming
    • Seems only an issue with the ABNT citation format and it's hard coded into the citation code for the system. Without knowing more about this citation format, I can't touch it.
  • SOLVED: I think that it would be useful to have some sort of direct read/select query only access to the SQL database behind OCS. We have run into so many "That may be in the next version" problems that would be mitigated by being able to download data from the DB direct. For example: all registrants with their contact details; a mail merge type query for generating name badges.(User:gmcferren)
    • The upgrade solved this by providing comprehensive reports
  • issues relating to the OCS site upgrade in July are here FOSS4G2008_Site_Upgrade

Associated courses and workshops

If you know of any related courses or workshops being offered in southern Africa before or after FOSS4G2008 please list them here. The same goes if you or someone you know is willing to offer something specifically. This will allow delegates who can spend more time in SA to get more value from their visit and give them and excuse to travel to other parts of southern Africa!

  • Graeme, how about ICT4EO offering a Sensor Web course in Pretoria (or KNP) after the conference?

Virtual market

If you can set something up online before the conference and manage it live during the conference we'd like to connect problems with solutions. I'd love the SA Government (National, Western Cape Province and Cape Town) to put out to tender their spatial requirements and have a bunch of local developers or entrepreneurs linking up with 'overseas experts' to offer solutions. Some business deals would be a great conference outcome. The existing OSGeo service provider directory (SPD) and jobs board could be enhanced to accomplish this. e.g. handle tenders or RFPs, not just job offers.