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

David Newall davidn at davidnewall.com
Tue Apr 24 20:53:40 EST 2012

On 24/04/12 14:27, Chris Neugebauer wrote:
> [T]he issue I'm referring to is having to explain the function of 
> Linux Australia, as the parent body of PyCon Australia.

Mission creep is a problem with any aspirational name, and a situation 
where a name no longer fully represents the mission is quite common.  
Broken Hill Proprietary, National Cash Register and Adsteam are three 
examples of this.  As previously noted, A.U.U.G. had the same issue from 
the same new technologies and for the same reasons as LA.  It wasn't a 
problem, though.  AUUG, as it came to be known, ceased being an acronym 
for Australian UNIX users group, and came to stand for open systems.  
Frankly, had LA been embraced by AUUG more quickly, there's a 
non-trivial probability that this discussion would, while having exactly 
the same points expressed, be titled "should AUUG change its name?"

Avoiding mission creep is perhaps the reason why many companies pay vast 
amounts for names that have no meaning: Sony is an example which springs 
to mind, as is, arguably, Apple.  For me, this is a distraction of 
little value.  Patently others disagree with me.  My only concern, 
should the name be changed, is that we would lose what public 
recognition we currently enjoy; some say that's not much although I find 
that idea quite dubious.

If promoting non-Linux-related events requires explanation of LA, I say 
good: we should promote our brand and our values.  We are, after all, an 
organisation which encompasses the generous and open spirit of 
hacktivism, which grew out of an alliance of Linux users.  That is 
nothing to be ashamed of nor from which to resile.  We are free and open 
software.  We are Linux Australia.

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