An Open Letter to the Ubuntu-au Members

Matthew Palmer mpalmer at
Fri May 5 09:00:59 BST 2006

On Fri, May 05, 2006 at 10:04:37AM +0930, Paul Schulz wrote:
> Most importantly (I think) is that we support and recognise the work
> that members of our group are doing, acknowledge it, and ensure that
> this work can continue. (See:

I got told that the ubuntu-au team has done nothing to date.  Is that not

> 1. I think we need to be heading in this direction.
> Given the recent conference that I attended (Connecting Up 06), I
> experienced first hand what is possible by Not-for-profit groups in
> Australia. These groups are doing an aweful amount for Australia with
> very little, and being a part of this, and bringing the goodness of
> Ubuntu to this mix, is something I am very keen to see happen.

You're putting the form over the function, though.  These NFPs that are
doing good things, would almost certainly be doing much the same good things
if they weren't the legal structure that they are.  Why?  Because the people
who are a part of the group do good work.  The legal structure of the group
is of minimal importance, and only really comes in when you start dealing
with significant sums of money.

> The LoCo teams were envisioned to support this. This proposal doesn't
> remove this freedom, but will strenghens the support available to
> individuals.


> Handing out CD's for people to try is one thing, getting schools and
> organisation and even businesses to depend on it is a complely
> different bucket of hearing.

And having an Incorporated Association doesn't automatically mean you'll get
that different "bucket of hearing".  The groups that are listened to are
listened to because of their track record of doing things -- not because of
their legal structure.

> 3. Dealing with Businesses and Government.
> How and who can Australian organisations deal with when it comes to
> advice on free/libre open source stategic ICT policy planning and
> development.

LA, OSIA, research companies, OSS consulting companies.

> This is the first step that any large organisation will go though.
> Linux Australia is one such organisation and there are probably
> others, but how can we put Ubuntu on the table for all the right
> reasons (rather than a negotiation lever against Microsoft).

By having companies that are ready to deliver such solutions, and can
demonstrate the value for money that Ubuntu can give them.

- Matt

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