I think this is an important discussion and would encourage as many people as possible to contribute their opinions.
There is a concrete question of whether and how the OpenEnergy Platform (OEP) should be integrated in the existing openmod infrastructure (e.g. whether it can use the openmod-initiative.org domain) and a general question of who gets to use the “openmod” name and how that is decided.
Up until now openmod has been run by volunteers, which has kept it fairly anarchic, independent of any institution and free of questions about money and influence. On the other hand, the lack of resources
has prevented the development of more ambitious projects like the OEP or the OEDB, which have German government funding. Openmod has been restricted to projects that don’t need much work or maintenance or money (like the mailing list, the workshops, the wiki and this forum). These projects have typically arisen organically out of either the openmod email list or the workshops.
How much do people value the anarchic, volunteer spirit of openmod? Or is the goal of promoting open energy modelling more important?
Other funded open energy projects like OPSD, SciGRID and the countless open models have developed their own online presences and then been linked from the openmod websites, rather than using the openmod name directly. Is this the model openmod should promote? Or given that the OEDB and OEP would integrate closely with the openmod wiki, do they fall into a different category?
My personal feeling is that we should generate some general rules, e.g. that we generally prefer external projects to develop their own web presences and link to them, to maintain the independence of the initiative. However, if projects want to further develop the openmod infrastructure and use the “openmod” name, then there should be a vote of the openmod membership (e.g. the people on the mailing list). In the particular case of the OEP I wouldn’t have a problem with the OEDB using e.g. the oedb.openmod-initative.org sub-domain, as long as it operates parallel to the rest of the infrastructure like the wiki and doesn’t degrade anything else should the service shut after the project loses funding. In general, there are not that many people actively contributing to the openmod initiative and we shouldn’t be turning away initiatives with enthusiastic people willing to extend the scope of the initiative.