[Linux-aus] Seeking nomination

David Newall david at davidnewall.com
Fri Dec 21 15:22:48 UTC 2007

Andrew Cowie wrote:
> On Fri, 2007-12-21 at 14:22 +1030, David Newall wrote:
>>> With regards to nominating, you are allowed to nominate yourself.
>> I'd prefer not to.  I'd like to know I'm not alone in believing that an 
>> amalgamation would be desirable.
> You should only stand for Directorship if you actually want to be a
> Director of Linux Australia, and wish to advocate of the cause of Linux
> in Australia and the other aims that our community is involved in.

Oh, I do; and, I do; the latter to mean that I have a long, and I think 
respectable, history of advocating Linux and supporting our community.

I won't be party to abuse of anyone's intellectual property, which sadly 
can be contentious and hard to understand in some circles, and I make no 
apology for that.  The great promise of free software is that it will 
free us from the need for proprietary software.  Taking stuff without 
permission is wrong, and worse, it's counter-productive to the 
ultimately aims of our movement.  Promoting free software, especially 
Linux, is what I do do and what I want to do for and with Linux Australia.

I have a history supporting AUUG and its ideals, that's necessarily even 
longer than my history supporting Linux.  For a variety of reasons, free 
software grew out of the UNIX community.  The ideals that we FOSSils (is 
this a new word?) hold have always been held by AUUG, too, with the 
notable and unavoidable exception that AUUG was and remains not opposed 
to proprietary software.  It would be harsh to condemn AUUG for 
supporting proprietary UNIX when no free equivalent existed, and I think 
it retains that support (which is more in principle than in practice) 
because it's difficult to abandon UNIX when it helped spawn the 
eco-system we live in today.

> What happens to AUUG, Inc is entirely irrelevant to everyone. The
> organization died at least 3 years ago

I agree.  I would (and have) put it that AUUG is a "dead man walking."

I don't think I "over-egg the pudding" when I say that AUUG has a 
glorious and noble history.  I don't want to see that history lost, 
which is what would happen if AUUG were truly to die.  It's members do 
realise that crunch time approaches, and amalgamating with us is one 
possibility they are talking about.  The others seem to be to wind up; 
and to scale back, and act as, I suppose, a small, technology-based 
social group.  I think amalgamation brings small but important benefits 
for both Linux Australia and AUUG.  We genuinely become the world's 
second oldest such group, and gain a well-endowed trust to fund what 
should be a prestigious, annual award for work in Open Systems.  They 
get a revived organisation; one actually doing all of the great things 
of AUUG's heyday.

I see little down-side to the proposition.  AUUG might lose their actual 
name;  we might have to change ours.  AUUG might lose support for UNIX; 
we might accept that UNIX-users as a part of us.  Naturally there will 
be strong debate over these, but I think we have within ourselves, what 
is needed to reach a consensus.  It can't happen without a consensus; 
and that means agreement amongst ourselves as well as amongst them.

Second only to USENIX.  Think on it.

> If the 35 (sic, but that seems high) Members of AUUG wish to have
> anything to do with Linux in Australia then they should have something
> to do with Linux in Australia, thereby becoming part of the community
> and thus defacto "members" (which is the only membership requirement;
> shit, you don't even have to _do_ anything to be a Member. Just
> expressing interest is sufficient, and the act of becoming a Member can
> be automatically granted (if desired) by, for example, registering for
> and attending an LCA). And if an individual isn't interested in
> contributing to the community around Linux and the cause of Software
> Freedom, well, then they're not part of the Linux Australia community,
> and they can have fun doing something else.

Most of them probably already are members of Linux Australia, either in 
fact or in effect.  This isn't about giving AUUG's members somewhere to 
go.  It's about saving AUUG itself.

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