[Linux-aus] Explaining how the Digital Transformation Agency can learn collaboration from Open Source

Linux Australia President president at linux.org.au
Mon Feb 26 11:15:09 AEDT 2018

Hi Cameron, thanks for posting this to the linux-aus list.

What's the trigger for the Open Letter? Is it in response to a review,
call for feedback, off the back of a major issue etc?

Kind regards,


On 26/02/18 07:08, Cameron Shorter via linux-aus wrote:
> Hi folks,
> I'm looking for reviews, and then signatures, for an Open Letter
> requesting the Australian Government should learn how to collaborate
> as effectively as Open Source.
> If you can help with the review, then please ask me for edit access.
> The Open Letter is here:
> https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jNdh4_A_cIpaHqLRFOgpvAY3JSo0Ueraam39UHFOGHs/edit#
> Warm regards, Cameron
> On 20/2/18 9:38 am, Cameron Shorter wrote:
>> The Australian Government has asked [1] for ideas for their next Open
>> Government National Action Plan. I think we need to respond and call
>> on government agencies to learn how to collaborate more effectively,
>> and to learn from our methodologies within the Open Source community.
>> I think that it has been great that governments around the world have
>> embraced very positive principles around Open Government [2], but
>> their implementation has fallen short due to a lack of understanding
>> of what makes Open Communities work effectively.
>> Selection of the term “open” (as in “open source”, “open data”, “open
>> government” ...) is a bit of a marketing blunder. It focuses on
>> “what” (free software) and distracts us from the more important
>> questions of “how” and “why”. Governments have been publishing "open"
>> datasets but not considering the more important aspects of
>> collaboration and project sustainability.
>> I propose that Linux Australia submit an open letter recommending
>> that the Australian government recognise the limitations of current
>> government collaboration initiatives. We should provide practical
>> guidance on how government should address collaboration in the
>> upcoming Open Government National Action Plan.
>> If others believe this is worth pursuing, I'm prepared put in a
>> significant amount of the work required to get such a proposal
>> written. (I have quite a bit of material which I can draw upon already).
>> Questions:
>> * What's involved in getting buy-in/approval to write something on
>> behalf of Linux Australia?
>> * What process has been used in the past to collaboratively craft
>> responses from Linux Australia?
>> * I suspect it would be valuable to collect signatures from multiple
>> organisations and individuals in order to add weight to the open
>> letter. Any suggestions on ways to achieve this?
>> * Anyone else interested in helping crafting such as response?
>> Who am I?
>> For those who don't know me, I've been involved in the geospatial
>> open source community for over a decade. Of note, a few years ago I
>> co-authored [3] an open letter on behalf of open source community
>> which resulted in us successfully defending geospatial open standards.
>> [1]
>> https://mailchi.mp/73feb7beca31/developing-australias-next-open-government-national-action-plan-2018-1107129?e=0429b6534e
>> [2] https://www.opengovpartnership.org/open-government-declaration
>> [3]
>> https://tech.slashdot.org/story/13/06/03/2229245/gis-community-blocks-esris-geospatial-open-standard-rest-api
Kathy Reid
Linux Australia

0418 130 636

president at linux.org.au

Linux Australia Inc
GPO Box 4788
Sydney NSW 2001

ABN 56 987 117 479 

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