[Linux-aus] Council Meeting Minutes - 2011-02-03

Anthony Towns aj at erisian.com.au
Fri Feb 4 17:33:25 EST 2011

On Fri, Feb 4, 2011 at 15:22, Russell Stuart
<russell-linuxaus at stuart.id.au> wrote:
>> Sigh, look. LCA is an LA event. They are not separate entities. If LA
>> requires the videos be put on the mirror first, then that's where they
>> go.

Actually, LA is more of an LCA event, than the other way around.
Without the efforts of LCA organisers, LA wouldn't have enough members
to form an executive. We know that's true, because that's the way it
used to be.

LCA organisation is done by a different team each year not only
because it's more effort than the LA board can put in, but because
it's more effort than any single volunteer group can be expected to
put in year after year.

Part of the quid-pro-quo for getting a group to do that work and then
hand over all the kudos and prestige it earns to a new group as soon
as their done is that while they're doing the organising they get to
make pretty much all the decisions as they see fit, without getting
lorded over by either past organisers or a central commissariat. That
means they get to make their own mistakes sometimes -- like trying out
different videoing systems and not having them work, or buying more
schwag than is needed, or whatever.

> I was reacting to the tone of the line in the minutes.  That was
> probably wrong as it is just a one line summary quickly jotted down.
> Nonetheless the above again reeks of that tone.  I guess what you are
> saying if there are two otherwise equal paths the conference should go
> down, then LA gets to decide.  Of course it does.  They are the elected
> body.

Officially, LA gets to decide. Historically though, LA will mostly say
"that's the LCA team's decision, and we trust they'll take our
suggestions and the suggestions of the Australian Linux community on
board when they make that decision, and we'll support them in their
decision". Establishing the trust to do that is part of what goes into
choosing a winning bid and making the delegation to the new team, and
maintaining that trust is obviously an ongoing process throughout the

I know from when I've been on the LA ctte/council, that I've had to
put a lot of stress on that trust at times, eg when wrangling updated
budget figures out of LCA teams in the weeks leading up to
conferences; and I presume current and future groups will have similar
issues to deal with; but that basis of trust is still pretty crucial,
in my opinion. Leaving relatively unimportant issues like "where will
the videos appear first" up to the LCA team's good sense (and our
common ideals...) seems like a good start in supporting that trust.

(Other elements I'm a fan of, but don't have a lot of insight into
over the past twelve months: the LA team providing prompt financial
reporting and handling tax issues so LCA can mostly ignore it;
ensuring both LA and LCA sysadmins have root access to the LCA
systems; keeping budgets in version control with read access for the
LA treasurer. Having sponsorship and video work the same way for
multiple LCAs would be great, but afaik has always been a pipe


Anthony Towns <aj at erisian.com.au>

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