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Re: [Linux-aus] Goodbye AUUG, hello phoenix
On Fri, Sep 15, 2006 at 05:05:03PM +1000, Silvia Pfeiffer wrote:
> you seem to always imply:
> Linux == Linux Kernel
> I think that is a trap.
I tends to agree, it is the same form of unusual thinking RMS seems to often
get himself in. (well unusual to many of us).
I feel I should respond to all this in my diary (Russell Coker had a point
recently with mailing lsits differeing to diaries) however I may as well
write the odd thought here.
Chris Yeoh had some good points earlier in this thread.
> I'd actually prefer that rather than diluting linux from linux.conf.au
> and renaming it, that instead additional conferences get added which
> specialise in other areas - eg a free culture conference, one that
> concentrates more on general open source software, one on business
> related issues etc.
I tend to agree, I see Jeff tells us not to get hung up on branding,
however I almost can not help it in this case.
(I guess at this point I should mention I have a strong attachment to
linux.conf.au as I was one of the people (mikal, apollock, michaelb,
kristyb, rusty, alli, neill, cyeoh, bob, bradh, tonyb, mbp, jk, robb, etc,
(all of whom rock) who put on the 2005 event)
With respect to the conference, a large part of this conference is a geeky
focus, geeks appreciate technical or seemingly cool aspects (well in jokes
as it were also) and the name linux.conf.au really comes across well there.
No offence to Rusty but I think the previious Sydney crew really nailed it
when they renamed the conference from CALU to linux.conf.au.
It is simple, direct, geeky, also we now have the international recognition
that this is the premier technical linux and related technologies conference
in the world.
With Chris' point that if there are other groups crying out within for some
recognition, why do they not go and run a conference, or if the need is
really there for a business/suit oriented event, or a user oriented event,
how about the user conference, or travelling road show, or a suit marketing
type event or an open technologies and how they can synergise with you
symposium. Why change linux.conf.au?
If you are not changing linux.conf.au and it is still basically the kick
arse technical conference it always has been, why is there a need to change
We never have been a kernel obsessed conference, or a "some other
technology" obsessed conference, from CALU onward we have incorporated all
the different interesting and technical components that make this a kick
At the moment, sure it may be sad to see AUUG dissapear, however I think the
status of AUUG bears no relevance on what we do with linux.conf.au.
Now onto the other point (though I never really finished my linux.conf.au
thoughts), Linux Australia.
I admit I have much less emotional investment in LA than in linux.conf.au
and on the whole so long as we in Australia can continue to put on the best
Technical Linux and related technologies conferenc in the world I do not
really mind too much what the so called parent body is doing.
There may indeed be a need to get people in the community with energy
working on some broader form and if it helps in circles in which the
orgnisation must work to have some other name to make people pay attention,
well sure it should be analysed and a well thought out and resoned case for
each angle be presented.
However one thougth does bring me stumbling up, the energy of those people
who do such great stuff for LA, where do they get it, why do they have this
energy? How much of their love of LA and the work is tied up in the yearly
incredible kick arse conference that is linux.conf.au. People have a lot of
emotional investment in the conference and thus the associated name I
suspect. I however do not know if there is a strong tie to LA from that,
notabaly for the people involved in LA.
I actually suspect the people who put up their hand to work on LA stuff
outside the conference do it now days for the good wrk they can get done on
all these other initiatives. So though there may be some residual tie to the
conference I suspect it may be possible to continue to harness the energy
under another name, after all it has been pointed out LA already does all
this other interesting stuff anyway.
It will be a bit of effort and work and other crap involved to change the
organisation name, but who knows it may be worth it, I admittedly do not
mind either way.
I do however strongly protest against the idea of changing something that
works as well as linux.conf.au, the name actually is a big part of what we
now have. If people in other areas do not get the joke, know about it or
like the name, well should they be at linux.conf.au anyway, this is a
targeted, geeky event, it is supposed to make your brain melt out your ears.
Run some other event for people who do not get it. (a strong part of the
passion with running linux.conf.au is the people runnning it love the
hard core geekiness). This passion and love does not seem to happen to the
same extent in other areas always.
AUUG is a case in point at last, I know of people who have pretty much
religously attended every AUUG conference for at least the last 12 years,
however this is an annual thing they do related to their work, they do not
have the same sort of passion for the cool technologies involved that you
often strike at linux.conf.au.
One person I can think of who fits this mould I convinced to attend
linux.conf.au 2005, he attended everything from monday to friday, however
did not rock up to any of the sessions on Saturday (Eben Moglen's keynote
and other cool stuff) because for him it was just work, it was not some hell
cool once in a life time chance (well once in a year I guess as we keep
running linux.conf.au) to se some smart people talk about increcibly cool
Anyway Australia already has some strange arsed Open Source Developer
Conference (which I believe Jeff even said they were working closely with to
further synergise strategies this year between them and lca or some such
seeming market speak), and sure they claimed a fe years ago (and possibly
still claim) to be Australia's first Open Source Developer conference. I
admittedly was a bit miffed when I first hesrd that as Iw as organising the
next linux.conf.au at the itme, however after thinking about it I relised I
did not care (hopefully not about to offend any OSDC people) as their
conference was irrelevant to linux.conf.au, we had the recognition,
branding, big names, weight of many years and clueful people attending, sure
this other conference was making some strange claim based on their name
specifically not on what actually happens. However anyone with a clue knows
of linux.conf.au and could see through the spurious claim easily, so there
was no point being at all upset about this other irrelevant group of people
and their strange marketing.
Do we really wany to try to move towards making our incredibly cool
conference similarly irellevant by marketing it in strang ways rather than
simply reminding everyone how cool linux.conf.au is by making it
consistently the best technical conference going. Show me the code, or in
this case show me the conference that is worth the time and effort to
So sure if the case is there (and well thought out resoning would help) for
changing LA and there is a consensus that it would be a good thing. Go
As for chaning linux.conf.au ?
If some year in the future we notice linux.conf.au is no longer so cool so
much fun, has so much energy and is so damn rocking. Maybe then we can think
of ways to change the marketing and naming of the conference (remembering of
course each new team actually tends to try some rather nifty and cool things
under the hood most years anyway. In the best open development traditions we
then get to incorporate the good changes and drop the patches that did not
work so well)
Steven Hanley firstname.lastname@example.org http://svana.org/sjh/diary
sitting in my glasshouse, while your ghost is sleeping down the hall
watching the little birds fly, kamikaze missions into the walls
think i'm gonna stay in today, sit on my couch and watch them fall
Glass House - Little Plastic Castle - Ani