[Linux-aus] Nominations and their spiels for the LA election
tim.bowden at westnet.com.au
Thu Jan 4 07:14:02 UTC 2007
This thread is an interesting one for me, as Im involved in setting up
the Australian Chapter of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation
(www.osgeo.org wiki.osgeo.org/index.php/Australia). I'm cross posting
this to the osgeo international list where discussion about the
formation of the Australian chapter is happening. While this discussion
is way too premature for Aust OSGeo at the moment, I'd like to give a
heads up to those interested in thinking about how to develop synergies
with other FOSS orgs in Aust.
For the benefit of osgeo int. list members who don't know LA: Linux
Australia (linux.org.au) is a very large, active and successful
organisation promoting linux and FOSS in general. It has the respect of
industry, media and govts. It holds one of the best technical
Linux/FOSS conferences in the world. If you want to follow the thread
from start it's here:
Of interest to OSGeo Aust is the spiels (halfway down) about developing
the broader FOSS ecosystem in Australia; something I think will become
an issue for us in the fullness of time.
On Wed, 2007-01-03 at 08:55 +1100, Steven Hanley wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 03, 2007 at 03:17:49AM +1100, Silvia Pfeiffer wrote:
> > Side conferences don't just happen by asking for them. Somebody has to
> > organise them, be on the ground, get locations, get funding together
> > etc. Do not underestimate the effort required for even a small
> > conference.
> > ...
> > So, just to repeat: it's all about the people who organise things!
> > Organising a miniconf is one thing - organising a whole stand-alone
> > conference is a very different type of cattle, needs continuity, and
> > people on the ground! Be carful what you're asking for...
> This is largely correct, sure the sponsorship issue is one to note, however
> a big one is getting people to do the volunteer leg work.
> For lca05 we attempted to encourage a number of groups to do big additional
> conferences at the same time (or around the same time). We got the open
> source in govt one because someone local on th ground was there to volunteer
> to run it an worked well with our org team.
> Other approaches we made suggesting scaling up a mini conf or similar
> however did not bear results, partly due to no local people and partly due
> to how remote .au is if there is a major confernece on that subject in the
> world already, keeping it at mini conf level attached to LCA was easier for
> the people we approached with the suggestion of scaling up.
> See You
With the Australian Chapter of OSGeo we are a long way from thinking
about conf's or synergy with other open source groups and so on (we
don't formally exist /yet/) but sometime in the future we will need to
look at one of the things we will be interested in doing is having a
local annual conf. Being open source there will be some cross over
interest with LA and other FOSS groups, but how much is an open
question; Open source GIS is often also used and developed on windows
(and other) platforms. The question then becomes how much synergy we
get from tagging along with lca and anyone else who also tags along.
Sponsorship conflicts are not an issue for us; we would be looking to a
different set of potential sponsors.
Problems of hosting a conf in a city where we don't have much manpower-
* We can't organise it without local manpower
* Without a strong local following our conf numbers will be seriously
down. At any conf (lca or otherwise), a large proportion of attendees
are local. Without a strong local community the conf is possibly
setting itself up for failure, especially if it is not so big to start
If LA used a professional conf organiser for any 'FOSS conf
festival' (and perhaps a fixed rotation?) the manpower issue would be
partly ameliorated but the lack of local community would possibly be
critical for some locations and we would also be subject to a conf
timetable that wouldn't always suit us. On that count I'd say it mostly
As far as finding a way to build synergy with other FOSS orgs, I think
it would become very important to us over time. I'm not sure at all how
we would go about this, but it would be negligent of us not to try.
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