[Linux-aus] Inflection Point - A Strategic Plan for Linux Australia

Stewart Smith stewart at flamingspork.com
Wed Jan 6 10:19:14 AEDT 2016

Anthony Towns <aj at erisian.com.au> writes:
>> Everyone with the link is able to comment on the document.
>> https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WFeIm-TWVJX-u3gIM9K-hy-91-WFRrs4VVeDDIXCIQo/edit?usp=sharing
> So this irks me a bit -- how does it make sense to talk about rebranding
> as "Open Source Australia" or being a community/volunteer organisation
> while using closed-source, commercial, proprietary tools when free and
> open solutions to the same problem exist?
> I understand the counter-argument -- google docs is so easy compared to
> using git or setting up an etherpad, and the LA admin team is already too
> busy, and it doesn't really matter in the big scheme of things anyway,
> etc, etc.

This could be solved by throwing money at the problem to make the open
source tools adequate to be used by the organisation, and would probably
be a worthwhile and widley supported use of LA funds. It's not
unprecedented either.

>> Australia’s technology policy is becoming ever more conservative, with
>> mandatory metadata retention and facial recognition capabilities being
>> deployed.
> There is nothing "conservative" about metadata retention or facial
> recognition capabilities. They're both fundamentally new policies only
> possible because of recent technology breakthroughs, and they're supported
> by both "progressive" and "conservative" governments.


We've seen governments and PMs change many times of the existance of LA,
and things haven't gotten fundamentally better - although I believe at
least we're not all going to jail for using VCRs now.

>> The existing Membership management tool, MemberDB is end of life and a
>> replacement is sorely needed. Some discussion has occurred towards this
>> goal, but momentum toward an outcome has not been sustained.
> I would say the momentum that was there was to set some criteria on what
> the replacement should do, then evaluate alternatives. Proposing CiviCRM
> as the right solution rather than doing that is exactly what killed the
> momentum, from my perspective...
> I think "end of life" is just standing in for a value judgement, not
> that there's an actual time limit on how long it can kept being used;
> ie it would be more accurate to just write "MemberDB is pretty crap in
> the author's opinion". Evaluating it against actual criteria would be
> better, of course...

or someone starting to make some small incremental improvements. Every
attempt at rewriting from scratch has gone nowhere, largely because
that's a whole bunch of extra effort.

> I guess I'd say:
>  - strengths:
>     a) successful stable of conferences/events
>     b) tradition of functional/good governance
>     c) good financial handling (presuming that's still the case)
>     d) good will of volunteers, members, and community
>  - weaknesses:
>     e) exploited/offline systems
>     f) membership management
>     g) communication with members
>     h) administrative load on volunteers
>     i) media participation/public awareness/publicity?
>     j) "Linux" still turns some people off?

Maybe the word "linux" does turn some people off - but I'd make the
argument that we just shouldn't care about that. There's what, about 1
billion linux users across the globe? Number who care about Linux vs
FOSS so hard who aren't RMS? 0.00000000001% maybe?

Stewart Smith
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