Services run by the Open Energy Modelling Initiative


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Services run by the Open Energy Modelling Initiative

This page/topic contains an inventory of the internet services run by the Open Energy Modelling Initiative (openmod) and related legal matters. It also covers personal privacy policies and the obligations, if any, that arise from the European GDPR. The information is provided in the interests of transparency. The Open Energy Modelling Initiative is not incorporated under law and cannot hold domain name registrations, copyrights, and the like in its own name.

The Open Energy Modelling Initiative offers a number of internet services and there is clearly some overlap between the various functions. There is therefore some discretion as to where a particular discussion might best occur and where persistent information should be added. Participants can use their judgment. But technical threads should migrate from the mailing list to the forum when the traffic volume grows. Furthermore, other participants are more likely to return to and comment on a forum topic than a mailing list thread.

Almost all the information contained here is public knowledge in some form and can be verified through websites, internet searches, and the use of command-line internet query tools like dig and whois.

Community services

These are services (excepting the website) that openmod participants would normally subscribe to in order to engage with the community. Each service is independent and uses its own authentication system, including passwords.

Users should supply accurate details when signing on unless other considerations arise. In particular, we strongly encourage users to register with their real names when prompted. In all cases, you will need to supply a working email address.

 

Figure: The most used channels shown diagrammatically. Chat does not exist but is occasionally discussed. The website is not within the dotted box because it is hardly used.

Website

The openmod website codebase is hosted on GitHub as part of the Open Energy Modelling Initiative account on that platform (see below). The website is modest and relatively static and is intended to act as a gateway. While not strictly a participation service, the website is listed here because it fits alongside the wiki and the forum. The HTML markup for the website can be cloned locally and modified by anybody. A pull request is required to update the site however (see below for the administrators). The HTML markup is hand crafted and dedicated web authoring software is not required.

Wiki

The openmod wiki is hosted on the energypedia server free-of-charge, although the openmod does occasionally contribute content to energypedia in lieu. The wiki runs the MediaWiki software but lacks the range of templates (macros) that Wikipedia provides, for example. Registering for the wiki requires a short bio and is subject to approval by an administrator.

Forum

The openmod forum uses the discourse software and runs on hardware that Tom Brown employs for other scientific outreach projects. Tom does not require contributions towards the monthly hosting charge. Technical details can be found in his introductory post. The forum commenced on January 2017, while most of the other openmod internet services were established at the outset back in October 2014. Unlike the wiki, registration is not subject to approval and does not require background information. But we do ask that you provide your proper name when prompted, although you are welcome to use a pseudonym for your login.

Forum posts cannot be completely deleted from the forum history by regular users but they may be disabled.

Mailing list

The openmod mailing list is hosted free-of-charge by Google Groups. A google account is necessary to register (otherwise see here), but any kind of email address can be used to sign up. The mailing list is public, archived, and indexed by search engines. As of August 2018, the mailing list numbers around 500 participants. The list of members is available, together with partially-truncated email addresses. Registration under an alias is possible if you need anonymity, but real names are preferred. Your email address will remain visible to the administrators.

Wikipedia article

While not an openmod service, some openmod participants informally maintain a wikipedia page describing the openmod initiative. Anyone may edit wikipedia.

Organization services

The Open Energy Modelling Initiative is registered for several internet services under its own username. The individuals responsible are listed below. These are not services that participants can register for or use directly.

Service URL Host Comment
GitHub https://github.com/openmod-initiative GitHub website markup
twitter https://twitter.com/openmod Twitter @openmod
email address mailto:mail@openmod-initiative.org —

GitHub account

The openmod GitHub account primarily holds the openmod website HTML. It also contains an historical presentation and a toolkit for openmod administration. Stefan Pfenninger is the lead person for this account, although all administrators have the same level of privilege.

Twitter account

The openmod twitter account is used occasionally. It was created in October 2014 and is public.

Email address

The openmod email address is not used.

Responsible people

Each of the internet services listed above was established by different people at different times to meet different needs, some pressing and some in anticipation. As of August 2018, the following people are responsible for these services.

Service First tier Second tier Comment
website Ingmar see GitHub entry TMG person is Jörn
wiki Ingmar Jörn  Lion  Martin  Simon  Stefan  Tom TMG person required?
forum Robbie  Tom Tom contracts with Hetzner Online
mailing list Ingmar  Tom Berit  Jörn Ingmar and Tom are owners
GitHub Stefan Ingmar  Tim  Tom all have the same admin rights
twitter Sylvain occasional use
email address not currently in use

Full names as follows: Berit Müller, Ingmar Schlecht, Jörn Richstein, Lion Hirth, Martin Glauer, Robbie Morrison, Simon Sawatzki, Stefan Pfenninger, Sylvain Quoilin, Tim Tröndle, Tom Brown.

Under German broadcast media law (Telemediengesetz or TMG), websites run by organizations based in Germany (setting aside the question of whether the Open Energy Modelling Initiative would thus qualify) and irrespective of their top-level domain name have to include an Impressum and nominate a legally responsible person. Hence the TMG comments in the above table.

Domain names

The Open Energy Modelling Initiative indirectly controls the following internet domain names. These domains are held by Lion Hirth on behalf of the openmod in either a private capacity or through his consulting practice neon Neue Energieökonomik.

Domain name Registrant / holder Registry Comment
openmod.de Lion Hirth DENIC not used
openmod-initiative.de Lion Hirth DENIC not used
openmod.org neon Neue Energieökonomik GmbH PIR not used
openmod-initiative.org neon Neue Energieökonomik GmbH PIR active

The .de top-level domain (TLD) is managed by DENIC. The .org TLD is managed by the US-based Public Interest Registry (PIR). In both cases, the details in the table above can be confirmed through the two websites indicated.

Neither Lion Hirth nor neon host or provide hardware for any of the openmod services. A modest annual fee is required to maintain each registered domain name which Lion covers personally.

Content licensing

Open licensing is applied as follows.

Service Open license Comment
forum CC-BY-4,0 plan to license code snippets under MIT
mailing list full copyright posters can optionally add open licenses to individual postings
website CC-BY-4.0 default license, individual content may be otherwise licensed
wiki CC-BY-4.0

The following SPDX license identifiers are used: CC-BY-4.0 : Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license, MIT : MIT license. Both licenses are permissive, but require attribution.

Auxiliary files

Auxiliary files are permitted as follows. Please try to reduce files sizes where practicable, for example by down-sampling raster images.

Service Maximum size File type
forum 3 MB common file extensions only
mailing list 8 MB not restricted
wiki not limited not restricted

Auxiliary files will also to need align with the open licensing policies of the service in question. That means a compatible open license and a suitable license notice. For presentations and reports, please add a license notice visually to the first slide or page. For native documents and spreadsheets, please store license information in the relevant document properties. For file formats that support embedded metadata (such as PDF and PNG), please add license information to the appropriate fields, typically author and copyright (exiftool is useful here). Unlike Wikimedia, we do not patrol uploaded files for copyright violations. Nor, like some services, do we strip metadata from image formats on receipt.

Personal data privacy

The European GDPR regulation is designed to protect personal data. It entered into force on 25 May 2018. Among other provisions, the GDPR allows users to request erasure of their personal data. This means any data that could identify them individually must be deleted from both public view and storage as far as is practicable and with certain exceptions.

It is debatable whether the GDPR applies to Open Energy Modelling Initiative services because arguably none of these services meet the definition of “economic activity” under European Union law. Notwithstanding, all maintainers have decided to comply with the GDPR because it offers good practice and may well pertain in the future. If you want your personal data removed, please send a written request to person responsible for the relevant site. Some privacy policies are available online as indicated.

Service Online policy Comment
website — no personal data present
wiki privacy policy
forum privacy policy
mailing list — no dedicated privacy policy

Openmod logo

The original and still current openmod logo (solid and outline lettering and the word initiative in red) was designed by Katrin Schaber in 2014. She automatically retains the copyright. The logo has not been released under an open license and should not be used outside the openmod.

User conduct

The first tier administrators of each service (listed in the table above) are responsible for the social conduct on their respective services. Although unlikely, users can be sanctioned, including having their accounts closed permanently, at the discretion of the respective administrators. The Open Energy Modelling Initiative itself has no legal standing, no code of conduct (although terms of use specific to each service may apply), and no agreed process for resolving complaints and disputes over individual behavior. Please be civil and law abiding.

PDF version of this posting

Caution: the PDF version may become stale.

openmod-services.08.pdf (69.1 KB)

Updates

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