[Linux-aus] Update - March

Pia Smith pia at linux.org.au
Mon Apr 5 16:55:38 UTC 2004

Hi all,

We have decided to do monthly updates rather than by the meeting. We do
a lot that happens outside the meetings and wanted to encapsulate all
activities for your reading pleasure :)

Linux Australia has been incredibly active this last month. We got a
Press statement out about the FTA with some summary papers
(http://linux.org.au/press/ and http://linux.org.au/papers/) and have
just completed a draft Whitepaper (http://linux.org.au/papers/) on the
subject. We are planning on submitting this to the Government Committees
looking into the FTA so as to hopefully make a difference. Why? To
protect our current freedoms to create and use software in this country,
especially Open Source. Read the papers for more. We have a "What you
can do" paper coming out in the next few days, and will be having a
petition to help support the stance, so keep an eye out! Many thanks to
Rusty for all his excellent work on this!

I spoke at the Open Source Forum 2004 in Sydney a week ago, which was
mainly a government gig. It was quite interesting (apart from some
pretty blatant sales push talks), and I spoke about the community, who
we are, why we are important, and some of the challenges and
opportunities facing opensource at the moment. My slides can be found at
http://linux.org.au/papers/200403-osf.sxi and
http://linux.org.au/papers/200403-osf.pdf. I also touched on the FTA
stuff for interests sake, sparking a good discussion. I was a bit cheeky
and put up an Onion article where MS patents the numbers 0 and 1 to
protect their business. It got the point across ;)

We have had two meeting recently with the OSEG crew. Check out what they
are up to at opensource.org.au/oseg/. OSEG is basically working on some
policy and FAQ stuff, and on getting itself set up for future advisory

We have met with NOIE/AGIMO, AUUG, ACS and OSIA recently. We are trying
to help government get information about Open Source. It is possible
that we need to set up some sort of group/task force specifically to
deal with government. This group should have some representation from
the different Open Source groups in Aus, but more importantly, should
have people that have interest and expertise in dealing with government
at this level. This group would have no other function but to deal with
gov, allowing the rest of us to get on with our duty directly to the
community :) We need to focus our interactions with the government to a
well prepared and groomed team used to their ways, rather than every man
and his dog :) Especially if we want to have a lasting _postitive_

The idea of merging has been floated again. We would like to get some
idea on what people think about this. We tend to like having a diverse
atmosphere, one with choice and different flavours, however this
discussion needs to be brought out into public debate for a more
thorough appraisal.

The Press team has several people now, and we are organising some
training for them to assure a kick-ass Press team. We have chatted to
several groups for advice on direction and professionalism, and are well
on the way.

We have been organising the support and delegate run for the LCA2005

Opensource.org.au is almost finished. It has a fair bit of information
up and is looking pretty good (Thanks Michael D!). Linux.org.au is on
the way now. We have a Site structure and a potential new design that
everyone loves. We should hopefully have the new site done within 1-2
months, with new look, easier navigation, and more information and

What else? The March minutes aren't up yet however should be soon, so
check them out. Stewart Smith, our VP is speaking at LUV this month. ATO
and several other government agencies are looking at Open Source.
Mailman will be fixed soon and so will our mail issues :) So much so
that we need to ensure that the place of the community is put very
firmly in the picture. 

Pia Smith <pia at linux.org.au>
Linux Australia

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