[Linux-aus] Should Linux Australia change its name?

Mary Gardiner mary at puzzling.org
Mon Apr 23 19:55:33 EST 2012

On 2012-04-22, John Ferlito wrote:
> What we would like to hear from you, the membership, is your feeling about
> such a name change and if this particular suggested name doesn't resonate
> with you, is there one that's a better fit?

+1 to a name change.

My main reasons aren't novel.
 (1) I don't feel that the organisation currently is a "Linux* (*and other
     related stuff a little bit)" organisation.
 (2) I don't think it's at all likely to return to such a mission overall
 (3) My anecdata is that many people are reluctant to join, let alone apply for
     grants or subcommittee status, unless they are active committed Linux users,
     even if they are active committed FLOSS developers or advocates.

I am keen to be part of an organisation that caters to #3 as much as possible.

The actual demand for the organisation over the past several years has been,
from my perspective, for an entity that:

 (a) is not-for-profit/community and members benefit
 (b) has experience with the needs of FLOSS groups in Australia
 (b) has the kind of infrastructure that's fiddly and boring and expensive for
     each group/event to replicate (bank accounts, legal entity, tax filings,
     insurance especially)

There has been comparitively little demand for an organisation that focusses
resources on development of or advocacy specifically for Linux in particular at
a national level.

In addition, I am actually sceptical that "Linux Australia" has great brand
recognition that we'd be throwing away, unless what people mean is that it
borrows from the strong "Linux" brand. LA's biggest activity by far in terms of
both money and volunteer hours is the conferences: are any of them much less
likely to work with "NewName" with an identical mission than they would be with
"Linux Australia"? My impression is that, yes, people recognise the name but
not in a way that would be difficult for "NewName" to achieve within a year or

While this isn't an argument for change in itself, note that borrowing from the
"Linux" brand is something that other groups have successfully moved away from.
"Linux Weekly News" soft-rebranded as "LWN"*. "Linux Bangalore" is now FOSS.IN.
"LinuxWorld Conference and Expo" is now "OpenSource World". It's do-able.


* See "What does LWN stand for, anyway?" under https://lwn.net/op/FAQ.lwn

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