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Re: [Linux-aus] Can Linux Australia survive?

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