I don’t get it. In a community where openness is prized, some have seen it fit to criticise that very tenet. In the world of FOSS, bug trackers are laid open for all to see (and contribute to), and mailing lists are a hive of discussion and innovation.
So why is it such a bad thing when we openly discuss the nature of our community, and the governance thereof? Kevin Rudd was widely praised for his promises to promote open government (we’re still waiting, Kevin).
To put any uncertainty to rest: Linux Australia is in great shape. We just had yet another successful linux.conf.au and have built up a substantial pot of savings, all in the face of a global financial meltdown. We are indeed in an enviable position, and we could not have done it had we not stayed true to our beliefs. Linux Australia is defined by its community support and participation.
Can we do better? Of course we can. What I’ve tried to articulate is that the best means of doing that is by scaling our community. To use a code analogy, I effectively posted a public bug report and invited the community to help find solutions. You don’t see that level of transparency from many other organisations, and I for one am very proud of that.
The FOSS community in Australia will continue to grow and thrive — anybody who went to linux.conf.au should be convinced of that. The bazaar feel is stronger than ever, and Linux Australia will continue to hold a vital role in stimulating and facilitating that development. But to do so in a manner that best suits the community’s interests requires some deliberation, planning and communication with the very community that it seeks to assist. What’s wrong with that?
If only my local MP was as in touch with his constituents…
LotD: OpenAustralia, open source goodness applied to government