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

Adam Nielsen a.nielsen at shikadi.net
Thu Dec 21 00:17:49 AEDT 2017

> The main reason that I would like to see a name change is that Linux Australia 
> is doing lots of things other than advocating for Linux in Australia.  I'd 
> like to see Linux Australia (under it's new name) having a subcommittee that 
> is just about advocating for Linux in Australia, which can be called "Linux 
> Australia".

I couldn't agree more.  I would be very sad to see the Linux Australia
name go unused, because all the good work that is done under this name
helps to promote Linux.  The Red Cross doesn't need to rebrand to
"International Humanitarian Aid Inc." because their work doesn't always
involve crosses that are red, and all those companies that try to
generate goodwill by sponsoring various local events do so primarily to
get their brand recognised.  In my opinion, having Linux Australia
sponsor all these events unrelated to Linux might just make people go
'hey, these Linux people are alright'.

Having said that (here it comes, you knew it would), my issue with the
term "open source" in an organisation name is that it's preaching to
the choir.  The term is not self-explanatory to people who haven't
heard it before.  It would be nice to be able to refer to the
organisation by name only, without needing to follow it up with an
explanation about what it means.

My preference goes to a name with the word "freedom" in it, since
although it carries some connotations in the IT world, it's pretty clear
what it means to everyone else.  Although a poor suggestion for a name,
something like "Freedom in Technology Australia" seems more likely to be
followed by a question like "technology isn't free?" and cue a
discussion about current issues, rather than the more usual "what's
open source?  What's source code?  Well I can't use that so it doesn't
matter to me."

We have an opportunity to choose a name that starts a conversation,
which could go a long way towards promoting issues that we care about.


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