[Linux-aus] Should we change? Yes. To change is to grow.

Silvia Pfeiffer silvia at silvia-pfeiffer.de
Tue May 1 10:22:23 EST 2012

I really wouldn't mind having "Linux Australia" as a subcommittee, but
it does need somebody to run it.
Who here is keen enough to run such a subcommittee? What would it
include? Is it just essentially looking after the mailing list?


On Tue, May 1, 2012 at 8:39 AM, Paul Gear <paul at libertysys.com.au> wrote:
> On 30/04/12 14:19, Stewart Smith wrote:
> ...
> While we all now have friends and family that recognise "free software" as a
> thing, how much does the rest of the world? Is sacrificing the word Linux in
> the organisation name going to sacrifice the (possibly) little recognition
> we have from the broader community?
> Thanks for bringing this up, Stewart.
> This is the point that has been bothering me through this discussion: are we
> doing this for the benefit of ourselves feeling comfortable about the name,
> or are we doing it for the benefit of outsiders?  If the latter, are we
> doing it for the benefit of knowledgeable outsiders, or ignorant outsiders?
> It seems to me that discussion on the drawbacks of the current name has
> focused on knowledgeable outsiders, but the primary purpose of a name change
> should be improving the perception to ignorant outsiders. (I'm using
> ignorant here in the strict sense of the word - no pejorative connotation
> intended.)  That is, the average person in the street who uses his or her
> iPhone and thinks it's cool, and spares no thought for the comprehensive
> digital surveillance that owning such a device enables, nor for the
> developer lock-in it requires.
> To such a person, the terms "F(L)OSS", "Free Software", "Software Libre",
> "Open Source", and their derivatives are so vague as to be meaningless,
> despite the fact that they're well-defined jargon to us.  For such people,
> Linux is "that other OS which geeks use", and when they hear about it they
> tend to associate it with people who are generally more technically
> knowledgeable than the average person.  (IMO, this is generally a positive
> association, as long as we are perceived as well-mannered and humble geeks.)
> If we're to win mindshare for technology freedom in the broader community, i
> think Linux is actually the best naming platform on which to stand, because
> Linux is a known brand and as it gains exposure, the culture that gave birth
> to it and the licenses under which its components are released gain
> mindshare.
> Of course, all this could be done with an overall governing body of a
> different name and a brand name of Linux Australia (that's something i'll
> leave to those more qualified), but if we sacrifice it as our primary brand,
> we'll be cutting off our nose to spite our face.
> Regards,
> Paul
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