Linux Australia Updates

More minutes and such: a second face to face session (covering organisational strategy, media strategy, projects review and some other stuff) which went over a second day (covering and included a formal session, as well as two formal meetings in May, one covering general business, the other specifically for some formal LCA2006 stuff immediately after the Ghosts weekend.

Unfortunately the cool task tracker we set up at the start of the year isn’t turning out very effective. It’s got one problem in that it’s entirely public, so you can’t track topics that have any sort of “in confidence” aspect, nor can you track setup issues on LA boxes that have a security aspect. The other problem seems to be that it just hasn’t fit in with the committee’s routine, which seems harder to fix.

As a different approach, and to much eagerness from the Vice-President, we’ve setup a committee wiki which will hopefully help both with coordinating efforts within the committee and amongst other folks involved with LA, and with getting info on what’s going on out to people in a vaguely sane way. So far it’s a bit sparse. In theory, we’re also trying to blog more about LA stuff.

I guess that brings us, by way of Jon’s demurely titled blog entry Can Linux Australia survive?, to our next topic. LA’s always been an odd beast. AIUI from talking to other HUMBUGgers, it was initially noticed by the community when some LUGs wanted to get together and create a national group to organise LUGs (AusLUG, perhaps?) then someone noticed “Linux Australia” already existed in somethin of a “wtf??” moment. Bruce of HUMBUG (HUMBUG’s Democratically Elected Vice-President For Life And Beyond, well, kinda) seems to have then setup a list — and you can find the early archives of the “linux-aus” mailing list amongst HUMBUG’s list archives, including this gem:

I heard a vague whisper of someone talking about organising a Linux conference in Australia. I think this is an excellent idea, and was wondering if anyone knows about it. If not, I think I’ll look into it myself…


.sig lost in the mail.

LA was, AIUI, pretty much Terry Dawson’s baby early on, without a lot of buy-in; 1998 mostly saw random discussions and constitutional trivia; 1999 was fairly quiet. I probably should point to Ray Smith’s Views of an Outsider and Terry Collins’ followup discussing AUUG perhaps still has some relevance. Anyway, the list more or less seems to have continued along for a while, discussing organisational issues, random linux stuff and national installfests, with the occassional mention of some conference or other. I think it’s fair to say the organsation correspondingly declined over that period, pretty much existing in the form of a server, and providing some fairly minimal legal infrastructure for the Sydney and Brisbane (LCA) in 2001 and 2002 respectively. By the end of 2002, Anand Kumria was, for practical purposes, the only member of LA, and both its President and Treasurer.

This inspired the Perth LCA crew to include a slot for an AGM as part of the conference, and include LA membership as part of the conference registration to try to get the organisation to have some semblence of a life of its own. Which pretty much worked, with Pia (then Smith, now Waugh) sinking her (then normal, now vegetarian) teeth into the organisation. A couple of elections later, that brings us to where we are now.

There’re still a bunch of concerns about LA’s effectiveness floating around; by far the biggest project coming under the LA banner is LCA, and finding other things for LA to do that compare to LCA’s success is pretty difficult. And if LA’s not doing anything other than LCA, how does it make any sense to have a separate group of people over and above the ones volunteering a year of their life to run the conference?

Okay, this is going on for a bit long, so let’s end on that question. ‘Til next time.

Leave a Reply