[Linux-aus] Candidacy support statement - President

Anthony Towns aj at erisian.com.au
Mon Jan 11 18:21:21 AEDT 2016

On Mon, Jan 11, 2016 at 03:17:00PM +1100, Hugh Blemings wrote:
> On 11/01/2016 14:51, Mark Foster wrote:
> >Are we seriously at the stage where we're challenging people who're
> >putting their hands up to take a not-insigificant role in LA,
> >because they use a mixed-software-stack for a variety of reasons?
> Given that long standing friendship and association I don't view his
> email as a challenge in anything other than a good and constructive way :)

Yeah, that's how it was intended. (In any event, he's the only nominee
for that position and will be automatically elected; so he's already
tied to that crucible and presumably watching the seconds tick by; one,
by one, by one...)

> >On 11/01/2016 3:40 p.m., Anthony Towns wrote:
> >>What desktop Linux needs do you have that you can't (or prefer not
> >>to) run natively on OS X? I got the impression most free things
> >>were available for OS X, though the updaters weren't as convenient
> >>as Debian or Fedora.
> To your query AJ - what are the needs that aren't met - it's probably a
> mixture of inertia and, I suspect, the fact that for work related
> calendaring and email, presently dealt with by an Outlook client run
> natively - is unlikely to be seemless in anything else.

Err, I think you misread my question? You said you're using Linux in
a VM for desktop stuff as well as devstack things -- I was wondering
what the desktop stuff was that's worth going to the trouble of doing
inside the VM rather than just running natively in OS X? Or is running
Linux desktop apps via a VM so little trouble these days that it makes
no real difference?

(I think the only stuff I ran in a VM was Debian build tools; but VMs
were much slower when I was trying that...)

(Relatedly, I saw tytso talking about having a Debian environment under
Android the other day, but that still seems to be somewhat annoying in
practice: https://plus.google.com/+TheodoreTso/posts/chfKCGTSz3m )

> I may be doing the FOSS alternatives a disservice here as I've not looked at
> it for a couple of years, but last time I did I put it in the mental too
> hard basket :)
> Plus, I must confess - when I wake five minutes prior to a 6am conference
> call, I just want my video conferencing to work - it's difficult enough
> having my hair in some sort of public-compatible shape at that hour let
> alone anything else ;)

Videoconferences at 6am really seem like a step down from teleconferences
at 6am :(

What we need is a good FOSS videoconferencing tool with an option to
transmit an automated Max-Headroom like version of yourself, rather than
capturing live video...

> On 11/01/2016 14:51, Mark Foster wrote:
> >I've been a big contributor to the Linux world in NZ for >15 years,
> >but I spend an awful lot of time in Linux (and infact, for various
> >reasons, I don't have a 'current' Linux workstation right now,
> >though I still have several servers). Do I need to resign from Linux
> >Australia now? Or at that level am I only worthy of being a
> >'member'?

"I run Linux on my servers" is a totally good reason to be a member of
Linux Australia; though "I helped run a linux.conf.au" is probably an
even better one.

As far as free software or open source goes, I think it matters if
people who already care about the philosophy see sufficient road blocks
that they're not using it themselves for some things, and I think it's
interesting to know why that is. (I'd be interested in responses from
other candidates too, but they haven't provided the bait that Hugh did)

(And fundamentally, I don't think people should be bothered by discussions
of it -- it sucks that anyone has to make a tradeoff between having
control over the source code or having particular features; but if
"features" wins the day on the merits, that's totally fine)

> >I officially joined LA in order to serve on the core team for
> >LCA2015 (Auckland); I volunteered a hellovalot of my time and energy
> >into what I believe was a very successful LCA. I did an awful lot of
> >the planning work for LCA on my (work COE issue) Windows workstation,
> >and using my (work COE issue) Apple iPhone. I continue to administer
> >the NZ Linux Users Group and participate in groups such as the New
> >Zealand Open Source Society on predominantly Windows machines. None
> >of these things seemed to matter to the outcome of the event.

I have my doubts that your volunteering didn't matter to the outcome of
the event, but I'll take your word for it. ;-P

In any event, like I said in the footnote of my mail, I did my first year
or so on the LA council running OS X, and it worked fine. It's something
of an indictment of how good Linux and open source software is in various
areas that people like us make those choices (and I think discussing
the why's is the first step to fixing them), but nothing more than that.

(Work-issued hardware and software is a different matter entirely,
as far as I'm concerned, and probably not that interesting to talk about)

On Mon, Jan 11, 2016 at 03:17:00PM +1100, Hugh Blemings wrote:
> >>>Music applications, particularly virtual instruments are very
> >>>compute and memory intensive so virtualisation (OSX under Linux
> >>>as it would have been) is a non-starter.
> >>Hmm, compute-intensive seems surprising; I would've thought the
> >>constraint was latency for device access (speakers, mic, midi
> >>etc). Isn't compute under VM basically just a few percent worse
> >>than native these days? (Well, running OS X under a VM seems to be
> >>frowned upon by Apple too from what I can tell)
> I think where it fell down is that some of the software I use does funky
> things with license management and/or realtime calls that may not play
> well with OSX over Linux.

Yeah, realtime calls to the OS that interact with hardware are always
going to be problems for VMs as far as I can see. Last I heard, realtime
stuff for Linux and audio was a problem anyway; and is the excuse for
Android not having many cool music apps. :( Looking now, it seems like
things might not be great yet, but at least the fundamentals are getting



> >Play the ball, not the man.  The guy seems to have excellent
> >pedigree in terms of the Linux and Open Source worlds and has
> >accepted nomination into a challenging and time-consuming volunteer
> >role.

Hugh doesn't just seem to have an excellent pedigree, he does, no
question. (Which seems to be true of everyone standing to be honest)


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