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

Russell Stuart russell-linuxaus at stuart.id.au
Sat Dec 23 13:51:43 AEDT 2017

On Fri, 2017-12-22 at 08:31 +1100, Michael . via linux-aus wrote:
> I, personally, think this may be a good idea but I wonder about the
> practicalities of it. For instance if the name gets changed to Open
> Source Australia will you promote other OSs such as the BSDs as much
> as you promote Linux or will your main focus be Linux (and associated
> applications)?

If anyone is wondering why several LA councils have tried to change the
name, this comment pretty much typifies it.

I don't know how Linux Australia got its name, but it seems like it
inherited it from the conference it was founded to run: Linux Australia
Conference.  I don't know way the conference called itself that,
because as anyone whose been there knows Linux isn't the only, or even
its prime focus.  I suspect it was because back then open source was a
small pool and Linux was a very big fish, so was a good marketing for a
conference to have Linux in its name.

While Linux has grown somewhat since them, but the open source pool has
grown dramatically so Linux isn't the big fish it once was.  And so to
has Linux Australia grown - among the conferences it help run this year
were Python, Drupal, and Wordpress.  We are also providing services
(bank accounts, money, a legal entity) to educators seeking to run STEM
courses based on open source.  If someone comes to Linux Australia with
an idea that is based around source or designs that are open and shared
with a community every is welcome to join, and doesn't look like it
will make a loss, Linux Australia will likely fund it and wear the
financial risk.  If it looks like it might make a loss then LA might
still fund it via a grant request.

>From my perspective, Linux Australia reason for existence is to
encourage the understanding, adoption and contributing to open source. 
It modus operandi is to do that by running conferences, and it seems to
be a pretty successful strategy as now 1000's of people attend
conferences Linux Australia helps run every year.

As a practical matter, I have not seen LA promote anything other than
it's own conferences - certainly not Linux.  Given that, maybe you can
understand the reaction of people who have been on the LA council for a
while and know what LA really when they see the question "will you
promote other OSs such as the BSDs as much as you promote Linux?".  For
me at least it was "I wonder how many opportunities we have lost to
promote open source in Australia because people believe we are focused
on Linux".  It's not hard to go from there to believing having Linux in
our name is a bit of an albatross around our neck.

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