Merging Linux Australia and AUUG: [Linux-aus] Nomination

Stewart Smith stewart at
Mon Jan 5 11:15:02 UTC 2004

CC to LUG list added to try and spur on more co-operation :)

On Mon, 2004-01-05 at 12:02, Greg 'groggy' Lehey wrote:
> > Agreed. I would agrue however that all people are open to a conflict of
> > interest -- for instance the president of a group of people like LA could
> > quite easily manipulate things for their own financial benefit.
> This is what we have constitutions for.

Also - esp with the openness of LA - you can see (in our minutes) people
declaring any conflict of interest, often stepping out of the discussion
or proceeding with everybody else knowing their position. Plus, our
community monitors us more stringently than most net admins monitor
their own networks - so it'd be hard for anyone to get away with much :)

> Correct, but there are still a number of reasons to merge:
> 1.  There's a lot of work involved in running an organization, as you
>     know (and apparently can handle :-).  By merging the
>     organizations, we could reduce that level of work.

This would probably be the biggest argument - admin takes time, and
effort - and lots of it.

> 2.  Having two mainly overlapping organizations confuses lots of
>     people, including many people on this list.  It makes it more
>     difficult for either of us to make our mark.
> From my personal point of view, (1) is the bigger issue.  People on
> both boards drop action items because they don't have time.  The
> membership of each group is not large enough to do all the things we
> want.  When did either AUUG or LA last hold an installfest?  Why?

Andrew Chalmers (among others, including myself) is a big pusher of the
sharing of information and code that orgs use to help run themselves.
This could benefit both AUUG, LA and the LUGs - things like online
election code, online nominations, online membership stuff can take a
load off committee members and make it really quite easy to do some
things. Maybe (like Andrew Chalmers is advocating) being more pro-active
in this sharing and contributing is something we should do - maybe a
good thing for co-operation between AUUG and LA?

Our membership db stuff will be open sourced (parts are already
available - and the PHP code is available from me on request)

> * AUUG is an organization of predominantly professional people
>   involved with all flavours of UNIX, very much including Linux.

(at least my perception is of) AUUG being more professionally oriented -
I could be wrong.

> * LA is an organization of professional people and hobbyists, involved
>   with Linux and related free software, but excluding proprietary
>   UNIX.
> * Some LA people see AUUG as the Evil One, out to swallow up LA.

I don't :)

> So, what does the LA membership think?  There's a lot of effort and
> expense involved in running a user organization.  What speaks against
> merging?  Potential answers that I can see are:
> * LA is strongly opposed to proprietary software.  AUUG covers both
>   free and proprietary software.

Some members are definately opposed - while others take a neutral stance
- as an org - the focus is on Linux - but no objections to other cool
things that are related/in the same spirit - and i'm sure others would

But it is a good point - that AUUG does have a base of proprietary unix
people, while LA does not.

> I think we're cooperating a lot better.  Is that enough?

Very much agreed - I think LA and AUUG relationships are growing
stronger - and this could be the best course of action to take - maybe
in a year or two it will feel like a natural move to have the orgs
merge, or maybe not - or maybe parts will start becoming indivisible -
who knows.

I guess there is a lot to loose however if the merger didn't work (for
whatever reason), so there'd be nervousness (on both sides). Losing AUUG
or LA would be bad, both catostrophic.

I'd love for such a thing to come as a general feeling as a "common
sense" move - and one that was impossible to make fail.
Stewart Smith <stewart at>
Linux Australia Inc

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