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