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

Anthony Towns aj at erisian.com.au
Fri Feb 25 16:13:33 EST 2011

On Mon, Feb 21, 2011 at 08:46, Donna Benjamin <donna at cc.com.au> wrote:

> The council has decided to support the Ada Initiative with a donation of
> $5000.00  (http://adainitiative.org)

> So - is it appropriate for LA to support the initiative?

It's appropriate if and only if it matches LA's goals. LA's goals have
variously been summarised as:

"Linux Australia helps individuals to realise their potential and supports
them in events and schemes to support and help the Australian Linux
    -- http://linux.org.au/org/charter.phtml

"Linux Australia Inc. was founded to cater specifically to the needs of the
Australian Linux community."
   -- http://web.archive.org/web/20050308210639/www.linux.org.au/about/

If you ignore the word "Australia" in those, this seems fairly easy to
justify: the geekfeminism wiki has plenty of examples of problems, and the
Ada Initiative site already has bunches of proposed solutions.

Even if the Ada Initiative didn't do anything in Australia (even
proportionally), you could reasonably argue that merely by publicly
supporting the initiative at this time helps promote Linux in Australia
(getting us mentioned in press stories on the topic, eg) and helps promote
linux.conf.au as a haecksen friendly event.

I'd like to think there might be some bias towards Australian activities
given LA's support and a key Aussie member in TAI and three Aussies and an
ex-pat by my count on the just announced advisory board; but I don't think
I've seen any indication of .au specific projects.

> If yes, then given the project is calling for cash, that support would
> best be delivered in the form of a donation.

Note that LA doesn't have a lot of ability to support projects in ways other
than giving cash. (There's also helping with insurance coverage, lending
LA's good name to them, and to a lesser extent helping with hosting for web
sites/mailing lists)

Is $5,000 too much or too little?

That depends on two things: what can LA afford, and what is the Ada
Initiative planning on spending the money on. As far as I know, neither of
those things are publicly known.

(Personally, as far as supporting the Ada Initiative goes -- as distinct
from wondering what LA should support and how it should do so -- I assume
one of the goals is to raise the awareness of people currently in the field
who might be ignorant of the problems, and to direct them towards approaches
for improving matters that actually work. Actually having these discussions
seems like a win to me in that respect)


Anthony Towns <aj at erisian.com.au>
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