[Linux-aus] Candidacy support statement - President

Craige McWhirter craige at mcwhirter.com.au
Mon Jan 11 20:48:28 AEDT 2016

On 11/01/16 16:23, David Williams wrote:
> On 11 Jan 2016, at 5:15 PM, Mark Foster <blakjak at blakjak.net> wrote:

> It is perhaps the same disappointing mentality that leads people to take a well articulated 
> policy direction that soundly sets forth discussion items for the future of the association 
> and instead make it a discussion about where such a document should live instead of the content.

As one of those "people"[1], I'd like to suggest it's a fair question.
If you re-read at least my reply, you'll see that it's less about
"where" but more about "how".

Google, like one of the suggestions, GitHub, are proprietary services
(that do use a lot of otherwise "free as in freedom" software). So the
points I made are not about the nature of the service.

My point at least was that the nature of collaboration on Google Docs[2]
is more difficult to follow and track. IMHO there are better ways to
track changes to documents like this where significant numbers of people
have been invited to collaborate and patch.

It is my opinion that are better tools for collaboration on that scale.
Many of those tools are Open Source, some are hosted by proprietary
service providers and some can be self hosted, should the organisation
desire. We can also switch more readily between either model and a
number of providers without losing any accumulated meta data.

Linux Australia already uses one option for some documents and there are
many great examples, such as the documentation project in OpenStack
(lead by one of our amazing members and worked on by many LCA attendees)
that perform collaborative documentation, in anger, in the real world
with great success, using Open Source or Free Software solutions.

I would also argue that any service that requires people to have an
account to a proprietary service (whether it's Github or Google) is a
barrier of entry for many our community[3].

Asking whether we can move to a more inclusive and technically
manageable solution is a reasonable question, IMHO.

I'd also like to suggest it's an important one given that the
aforementioned document articulates a vision of Linux Australia taking a
larger role in advocating OpenSource software but is hosted on a
proprietary service, which some members will not log into.

> These people remind me of Mr Bean looking at Whistler's Mother and proclaiming "nice frame".

>> Play the ball, not the man.

[1] I not only asked that question but also participated in the
discussion via Google Docs
[2] I've delivered Google Docs / Apps migrations for a number of
businesses. No, the number is not zero ;-)
[3] Not myself, I already have accounts on both

Craige McWhirter
M: +61 4685 91819
W: https://mcwhirter.com.au/

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