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

Andrew Donnellan andrew at donnellan.id.au
Wed Dec 20 23:27:28 AEDT 2017

On 19 December 2017 at 19:58, Linux Australia President <
president at linux.org.au> wrote:

> Hi everyone,
> Linux Australia is an incorporated association, registered in the state
> of NSW, and has been in operation since around 2001. Initially convened
> as a vehicle to operate linux.conf.au, the organisation's remit,
> activities and scope have broadened significantly over the last decade
> and a half.
> 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)
I'm currently planning to vote no, as the OSA vs OSIA issue is a blocker
for me. The names are far too similar and OSIA is obviously an organisation
whose efforts we should be supporting, rather than hindering. If we're
going to use a name that's so similar, at the very least we need to be
engaging with OSIA from the very outset and getting their support for this.
Unfortunately any name matching the "Open Source.*Australia" regex is going
to have some degree of confusion, but I'm sure we can work something out...

If it weren't for the OSIA issue - Open Source Australia certainly wouldn't
be the worst name out there. (Philosophically I'm a bit more of a Free
Software person myself, but I can let that go!) I certainly think that
"Open Source" is a better phrase to use than "Open Technologies" or similar
as proposed elsewhere in this thread - as much as I'd love to include open
hardware, etc etc, any name that doesn't involve the words "Open Source" is
going to result in much more time being spent explaining what LA is to
begin with. Open Source is a phrase that enough CIOs and CTOs have heard
now, anything else isn't.

With regards to the underlying reasoning for the rebranding - I understand
the underlying rationale that LA's activities have broadened to include a
range of open source communities beyond just "Linux". But as someone who
*is* a Linux developer, I think it needs to be made very clear that
rebranding LA with a broader scope won't mean deprioritising the Linux
community. I don't want to hear more complaints along the lines of what
I've already been hearing from long-term community members whose work is
specifically Linux-focused, that LCA is no longer worth attending because
it has less relevant content than it used to, etc etc. Criticisms which I
thoroughly disagree with myself, as LCA's growing breadth is a strength,
not a weakness, but which I can kind of understand.

OTOH, I recall there were proposals made during the last discussion on this
topic about how a rebrand to make LA a more broadly-focused open source
organisation could kick off a transformation that would allow us to
undertake *more* Linux-specific activities, e.g. through subcommittees etc
that put Linux on the same footing as other subcommunities within LA.
Obviously this present discussion is purely about the name at this point,
but there's a lot of other exciting opportunities that a rebrand might open
up for us...

Andrew Donnellan
http://andrew.donnellan.id.au         andrew at donnellan.id.au
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.linux.org.au/pipermail/linux-aus/attachments/20171220/33f5f721/attachment.html>

More information about the linux-aus mailing list