[Linux-aus] Avoiding the easy way out

Jeff Waugh jdub at perkypants.org
Tue Sep 19 09:48:06 UTC 2006

<quote who="Christopher Yeoh">

> Where there are cases of individuals, communities, and companies wanting
> something different, perhaps this is an indicator that there is room for
> more organisations and conferences to fill any gaps that may exist.

This seems to me to be the easy way out of making a difficult decision.

In the Linux Australia case, more organisations is clearly dangerous. The
Government want a peak body to talk to, and that has been the case since
around 2000. AUUG, despite its historical strength, is inappropriate to be
that body. They are not an organisation dedicated to Software Freedom and
Open Source (I think that's pretty clear from the talk at auug archives over
the past week). There is certainly a place for AUUG if some of the members
want a techincal organisation that can involve proprietary UNIX systems, but
that totally puts them out of the running as Australia's peak Open Source

I believe that Linux Australia, renamed to embrace what we actually believe
(rather than sitty pretty with a convenient brand name), partered with OSIA
(our friends in the FLOSS industry), should be that body. If we don't change
our name, we are welcoming new organisations to start up and fill the gaps,
which will set us back *all over again*. We are not changing our beliefs or
taking on new ones -- we *intend* to represent FLOSS: Let's actually do it.

In the linux.conf.au case, more conferences are not necessarily dangerous,
but we ought to be a supporting organisation for them. We have a loose
relationship and agreement with OSDC, but I have not been wildly impressed
with their implementation of the agreement (I didn't think their CFP was
sufficiently clear -- ours was, and we are already directing miniconf and
speaker proposals their way). We won't be taken seriously as the supporting
organisation if we're still "Linux Australia", and we can't seriously be the
festival or incubator if "linux.conf.au" remains our #1 brand.

I'll cover more of the linux.conf.au case in the action plan.

- Jeff

Ohio LinuxFest 2006: Columbus OH, USA              http://www.ohiolinux.org/
                       Wake up and smell the penguin.

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