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Very important: review of the JGrass project

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Very important: review of the JGrass project

Andrea Antonello
Dear JGrass community,
it is now several years that HydroloGIS runs these mailinglists, fills
the JGrass website with content, takes care to find a suitable place
for the code repositories and creates as often as possible builds of
the software.

In all this years the JGrass community has never evolved to a healthy
open source community.

In fact HydroloGIS answers up to 99% of the mailinglist posts.
We also are the only developers on JGrass. HydroloGIS, together with
the University of Trento put an incredible effort to migrate the old
and fluffy JGrass into the new uDig framework.

The community feedback in these years has been too low. We know of
lots of professionals using JGrass for their projects, of people that
have a great comeback from the use of JGrass, and we are very glad
about that. But the JGrass project itself, probably because of its
very specific target, almost never got anything back from the
community.
And we are not talking about money, that is not our aim.

We are talking about documentation on usages, documentation of best pratices.
We are talking about someone that takes care of the website, someone
that helps with releases.
We are talking about answering to easy questions in the mailinglist,
so that we at least need to take care only of the advanced ones.
We are talking about testing new builds and give us some quick feedback.

We have a huge amount of work in doing development and releases and
often are not precise in doing that because of too much workload on
this "volountary" effort. And since we don't like to do things in a
bad way, we see ourselves forced to change things.

We have not yet decided exactly what we will do, but the most probable
thing will be the closing of the mailinglists by the end of this
month. Perhaps only the developer's mailinglist may be kept alive, not
sure yet. What we are sure right now is that the JGrass mailinglists
can't be just a HydroloGIS free customerservice for eveyone. Either
this thing gets community driven or we don't have any interest to keep
it alive.

Obviously the development will go on and is very active at the moment
and also the new upcoming manuals for this version will be released on
the website when they are ready.

We are open to comments and advices.

Best regards,
Andrea Antonello, JGrass coordinator
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