Principles of Conduct

1. Abstract

This document outlines the Principles of Conduct that shall govern personal and public interactions in any OGC activity The Principles recognize the diversity of OGC process participants, emphasize the value of mutual respect, and stress the broad applicability of our work. A separate section of the Policies and Procedures details consequences that may occur if the Principles of Conduct are violated.

2. Introduction

The work of the OGC relies on cooperation among a broad cultural diversity of peoples, ideas, and communication styles.  The Principles for Conduct guide our interactions as we work together to develop multiple, interoperable technologies, solutions, and interface specifications that support data, application, and services interoperability in the geospatial domain.  All OGC process participants aim to abide by these Principles as we build consensus in person, at OGC meetings, in teleconferences, and in e-mail.  If conflicts arise, we resolve them according to the procedures outlined in the OGC TC and IP Policies and Procedures.

3. OGC Principles of Conduct:

a. OGC process participants extend respect and courtesy to their colleagues at all times.

OGC process participants come from diverse origins and backgrounds and are equipped with multiple capabilities and ideals.  Regardless of these individual differences, participants treat their colleagues with respect as persons--especially when it is difficult to agree with them.  Seeing from another's point of view is often revealing, even when it fails to be compelling.

English is the de facto language used for all OGC processes, communication, and documentation. However, English is not the native language of many OGC process participants.  Native English speakers will attempt to speak clearly and a bit slowly and to limit the use of slang in order to accommodate the needs of all listeners.

b. OGC process participants develop and test ideas impartially, without finding fault with the colleague proposing the idea.

We dispute ideas by using reasoned argument, rather than through intimidation or ad hominem attack. Or, said in a somewhat more consensus-like way:

"Reduce the heat and increase the light"

c. OGC process participants think globally, devising solutions that meet the needs of diverse technical and operational environments.

The goal of the OGC is to maintain and enhance a working, viable, scalable, global set of interfaces and protocols that provide a framework for interoperability in the geospatial domain. Many of the problems we encounter are genuinely very difficult.  OGC participants use their best engineering judgment to find the best solution for the whole domain of geospatial interoperability, not just the best solution for any particular network, technology, vendor, or user.  We follow the Intellectual Property Principles outlined in http://portal.opengeospatial.org/files/?artifact_id=23145.

d. Individuals who attend OGC facilitated meetings are prepared to contribute to the ongoing work of the membership and the organization.

OGC participants who attend OGC meetings will make their best effort to read the relevant Pending Documents, RFCs, and e-mail archives beforehand, in order to familiarize themselves with the technology under discussion.  This may represent a challenge for newcomers, as e-mail archives can be difficult to locate and search, and it may not be easy to trace the history of longstanding Domain Working Group, Standards Working Group, Sub-committees, or Initiative debates.  With that in mind, newcomers who attend OGC meetings are encouraged to observe and absorb whatever material they can, but should not interfere with the ongoing process of the group.  OGC meetings run on a very limited time schedule, and are not intended for the education of individuals. The work of the group will continue on the mailing list, and many questions would be better expressed on the list in the months that follow.

4. Acknowledgements

OGC wishes to acknowledge the work done by the IETF on a code of conduct (specifically RFC 3184). The OGC principles of conduct are modeled on their work.