[Linux-aus] Should Linux Australia change its name to Open Source Australia?

Jack Burton jack at saosce.com.au
Wed Dec 20 11:50:46 AEDT 2017

On Wed, 20 Dec 2017 01:07:36 +1030
Brenda Aynsley via linux-aus <linux-aus at lists.linux.org.au> wrote:
> On 19/12/17 19:28, Linux Australia President via linux-aus wrote:
> > We think it's time to change the name of the organisation to
> > better reflect our widened mission, values, activities,
> > partnerships and influence.
> >
> > But wait, hasn't this been tried before?
> >
> > Yes. In 2012/2013, the Linux Australia Council, led then by John
> > Ferlito, attempted a name change. Consensus could not be reached on
> > a name to change *to*, and so Linux Australia remained Linux
> > Australia.
> >
> > This time, we're learning from the outcome of that process, and
> > would like to present to you a decision:
> >
> > Should Linux Australia change its name to Open Source Australia
> > (Yes/No)  
> NO
> Why? Not because I am engaged in a religious war on the various
> aspects of open source theology but because OSIA open source industry
> australia exists and has done for a decade or more.  To rename LA to
> OSA open source australia is to court confusion in the market and the 
> community/ies  and to what end?
> Sorry Kathy and I know you dont want to start name shopping but if we 
> are to change name then it needs to be to one that does not walk into 
> confusion from the get go.

I must say I agree completely with Brenda on this.

Please do not rebrand LA as OSA, as that is likely to cause extreme
brand confusion between OSA & OSIA.

Whether there should be any name change is a broader question, which I
don't have a strong view on either way so long as whatever new name is
chosen does not end up being likely to cause brand confusion with other
relevant organisations.

Linux Australia does superb & highly important work, as by far the
leading community body for FOSS in Australia.

In my opinion at least, the work of OSIA, as the only remaining industry
body for FOSS in Australia, over the last 13 years has also been of
great importance and utility (particularly in the public policy space)
-- although admittedly not over the last 12 months, but steps are being
taken at OSIA right now to remedy that in the new year.

From an OSIA perspective, it would be a great shame if that work were
derailed, by forcing us to undertake our own rebrand in the midst of
all that -- which seems to me an inevitable outcome if LA changes its
name to OSA.

Please reconsider -- personally, I think that OSIA and Linux Australia
(or whatever new name it chooses) should look more to *collaborate* with
each other on relevant initiatives, rather than stepping on each other's
toes (and that cuts both ways -- I'm aware that some of OSIA's limited
activities during 2017 may have been seen as straying into community
territory, and over at OSIA I'm seeking to end that and return to our
core focus).

The views above are my own and not necessarily those of the OSIA,
although I suspect that most OSIA members would probably agree.


Jack Burton FACS CP <jack at saosce.com.au>
Director, Saosce Pty Ltd
Company Secretary, Safecoms Cyber Security Pty Ltd
Company Secretary, Open Source Industry Australia Ltd

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