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

Mike Imelfort michael.imelfort at gmail.com
Sat Dec 23 15:31:49 AEDT 2017

So. I'm new here, but actually one of the main reasons I am so new is
almost wholly because of the name. When you're outside the community the
name Linux Australia gives you little to no idea about what is happening on
the inside.  Had I known what LA actually does I probably would have joined
up sooner.

So I like the idea of changing the name. But I worry about the issues
raised above. Reading through the thread I'm not sure swapping one flavour
of brand confusion with another is useful.

Another point is that the term open source really points at software, but
it seems like even software is not a core business anymore. LA supports
many different areas of IP sharing and collaboration including open
hardware, CC documentation, inclusive policies on conference panels and
attendance etc. Which is great. Just not technically "open source" and
definitely not just Linux.

So I would vote no to this change because it seems like much work without
much meaningful change. Without advocating for name shopping but because I
wasn't around last time, would "Libre Australia" work. At least you get to
keep on using the LA acronym and Libre seems like more of the core business
here than Linux, or source code.

On 23 Dec. 2017 1:49 pm, "Russell Stuart via linux-aus" <
linux-aus at lists.linux.org.au> wrote:

> 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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