[Linux-aus] The Ada Initiative - Should Linux Australia support it?

Silvia Pfeiffer silvia at silvia-pfeiffer.de
Tue Feb 22 01:54:06 EST 2011

On Tue, Feb 22, 2011 at 1:33 AM, Anthony Towns <aj at erisian.com.au> wrote:
> On Mon, Feb 21, 2011 at 22:02, Silvia Pfeiffer <silvia at silvia-pfeiffer.de>
> wrote:
>> However, I don't think we need to make it such a big issue that the
>> council made a decision for the community without consulting everyone
>> beforehand. After all, we have elected this council to do work for us and we
>> need to give them some leeway with decisions. We wouldn't expect the
>> Australian government to discuss every expenditure that they have (not even
>> the substantial ones) on a public mailing list where every citizen gets to
>> give their input.
> Actually, for the substantial ones, we would -- except that rather than a
> public mailing list, it'd be in the house of representatives, which is
> recorded in hansard and televised on the ABC... The process for government
> is the legislature makes the policies, which then get executed by various
> bureaucracies and cabinet; and sure we don't get great insight into the
> details of those, but we do get lots of verbiage from the legislative part
> (and we expect to hold them ultimately responsible for the bureaucracies'
> and cabinet decisions too).
> Personally, i'd expect a similar thing from LA and its committees -- if LA's
> giving thousands to LCA, the mirror group, or a US-based non-profit, I don't
> expect to see details of what the money's getting spent on (spinning disks
> or SSDs or bandwidth or RAM for the mirror server? whatever makes it work,
> thanks...), but I do expect to see what LA's expecting to achieve.
> Things like wikileaks, FOI requests, opposition parties and local
> representatives also act as additional checks and balances on our various
> governments.
> Personally, I think Jon had it right:
>     http://lists.linux.org.au/pipermail/linux-aus/2008-January/016432.html
>> Maybe in future where there are donations under discussion, an email
>> should go out with an announcement that the council is planning to make this
>> donation, with a sentence explaining why the council thinks this donation is
>> a good idea,
> Or, alternatively, when the council has a good idea, on any topic, they
> could discuss it in public when that's possible from the outset, before
> they've already made up their minds...
>> Note that this would be a new policy and process that previous councils
>> did not have to follow and this council can take on as a lesson learnt from
>> this incident for itself and for future councils.
> I would have thought this was more a matter of "just good sense" than
> something in need of a policy. It's not without precedent, eg:
>     http://lists.linux.org.au/pipermail/linux-aus/2009-August/017654.html
>     http://lists.linux.org.au/pipermail/linux-aus/2008-February/016598.html
>     http://lists.linux.org.au/pipermail/linux-aus/2006-April/013450.html
>     http://lists.linux.org.au/pipermail/linux-aus/2006-January/012963.html
> Referring back to (eg)
>     http://lists.linux.org.au/pipermail/linux-aus/2009-December/017847.html
>     http://pipka.org/blog/2007/12/27/to-live-among-real-people/
> might be worthwhile too.
> That's not to say that it wouldn't be a new thing if the council actually
> managed to follow through on the ideal of keeping everyone informed of
> what's going on while it's happening; but it'd also be a new thing if they
> didn't think it was worth trying...

Note that you are comparing apples and oranges: these are all grants
where people have asked the council/LA for money, while the Ada
Initiative was about a donation, which LA offered voluntarily.


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