[Linux-aus] Can Linux Australia survive?

Bret Busby bret at busby.net
Fri Jul 1 12:14:02 UTC 2005

On Fri, 1 Jul 2005, Jonathan Oxer wrote:

> Sorry about the sensationalist subject, but I needed to do *something*
> to dress up a boring topic!
> Just to make sure the relevant people (ie: you) see it, this is a story
> I've just posted to my blog. Followup discussion welcome.
>> From http://jon.oxer.com.au/blog/id/65
> ============================================================
> Can Linux Australia survive?
> AJ has just emailed notes from the face to face Linux Australia
> committee meeting held two weeks ago in Adelaide, and last week Stewart
> posted some thoughts about the sustainability of the organisation.
> I think it's an unfortunate confirmation of the problem that Stewart's
> post didn't get much (any?) response.

I appear to have not received that post.

However, given that Linux Australia has apparently spent $12,000 on 
having a linux conference overseas, apparently for Linux Australia 
committee members to travel overseas, the direction of Linux Australia, 
and what it is really about, needs to come into question.

There are the different aspects of this issue, the first being the 
holding of a "Linux Australia" conference, overseas, and, the second, 
being the use of Linux Australia funds, to pay for committee members to 
travel overseas, in relation to the conference being held overseas.

A great many people, in Western Australia, and, no doubt, in other 
states, have voiced concern at members of the various levels of 
government, going overseas on trips that have sometimes been regarded as 
holidays at their constituents' expense, and, in this context, the 
propriety of both using the funds of Linux Australia for paying for the 
overseas travel, and, of the decision making, in deciding that the 
conference should be held overseas, when the conference being held 
overseas, appears to involve paid overseas travel for those involved in 
making the decision, is worthy of examination.

The direction of Linux Australia, and what it is about, also needs to 
be examined from the perspective of the nature of postings to this list, 
from the aspects of inappropriate postings, that show the nature of the 
organisation, at some times, to be childish and disgusting, and, also 
the use of the Linux Australia list, for postings by ex-committee 
members and others who have used this list for a long time, that should 
more appropriately be posted to the poster's local Linux user group 
list, and, to other lists, as their relevance to the operation of Linux 
Australia, or to the objectives of Linux Australia, is lacking.

Until Linux Australia can itself, become mature and start to act with 
some professionalism (and dignity), I contend that the hiring of staff 
should be out of the question.

It must be remembered, that due to the nature of the postings to the 
Linux Australia list, which have included offensive postings, and 
irrelevant postings, some members of Linux Australia, have stayed away 
from the list, as the list has appeared to them, to be more rubbish than 
anything of value.

Perhaps, if the committee is serious and genuine, about the issue of the 
sustainability of Linux Australia, it should contact members who are not 
subscribed to the mailing list, and, get their input, both about the 
direction and role of Linux Australia and the mailing list, and, their 
expectations of Linux Australia and the mailing list, and, ask whether 
their not being subscribed to the mailing list, is due to any 
perceived problems with the operation of the mailing list.

I have seen mailing lists which are about far more informal topics, and 
which are not oriented around either the operations of an incorporated 
organisation, or the promotion of a product or a concept, conducted and 
administered, far more tightly and professionally, and with more 
maturity and dignity, than this list.

So, I say that Linux Australia needs to clean up its act, become more 
mature, and become a bit more professional and dignified, and, 
explicitly define its role and direction, as these appear to have been 
left behind.

Bret Busby
West Australia

"So once you do know what the question actually is,
  you'll know what the answer means."
- Deep Thought,
   Chapter 28 of
   "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
   A Trilogy In Four Parts",
   written by Douglas Adams,
   published by Pan Books, 1992


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