Melissa Draper melissa at meldraweb.com
Sun Mar 7 04:53:51 GMT 2010

On Sun, 2010-03-07 at 12:36 +1100, Scott Evans wrote:
> On Sun, 2010-03-07 at 09:37 +1100, peter baker wrote:
> > hey guys

And gals, please :P

> > 
> > maybe with the pending approval process with the loco council it may
> > be a good time to talk about holding an election for positions
> > within the australian loco team.  we have not had elections for a
> > while
> > 
> > how do people feel about this?  should we have more official
> > positions than just team leader?
> > 
> > peter
> Hmm please excuse my ignorance but who holds the current positions?
> and what potions are needed to be filled?

I am the team contact/leader. I have been since mid-2006 or thereabouts.

Within the team we have always had others holding different roles,
without being encumbered by the notion of these roles being official
positions. I am not the one who manages the launchpad team, that has
been handled by David Symons for as long as I can recall. Over the years
we have had various people mind the website, mailing lists and IRC
channels, and they commence and conclude this service as they see fit --
without having to undertake the burden and effort of a handover of

The team contact is the one who interfaces between the team and the
community outside on things, including directly with Canonical. For many
things, such as server/site/planet related things and CD requests,
Canonical will require communication from the team contact to get
anywhere. A lot of what the team contact does is behind the scenes and

The team contact ought to have been around and active for a substantial
amount of time, have solid links with the greater ubuntu community, have
an understanding of broader community processes, and preferably
understand how to deal with Canonical itself for things such as CDs and
server/site maintenance issues. The team contact ought to be capable to
step in to a dispute and mediate the situation, such as the recent
mailing list issues.

I'd love to see meaningful meetings happening again. I used to run
meetings regularly, but they became subject to deliberate topic
hijacking (by folks who are no longer with the team) and so we had to
give them up. Realistically, semi-regular meetings are kinda expected of
a team and really should consist of more than just personal
introductions and Ubuntu 101 discussions. For the past few years,
meetings have only been occurring every few months when someone has
volunteered to spearhead it and gather agenda items. The last meeting we
had was in May last year. (hint hint)

We also used to partake in a lot more events, but the past few years
with the economic climate has seen various things simply not happen, or
not be granted sufficient attention. Events such as OpenCEBIT and the
education expos didn't even take place in 2009. We lacked representation
at LCA2009 because a lot of the team just couldn't make it to Hobart
(thanks, GFC!), and LCA2010 was in NZ instead of AU. Many people also
just haven't had the time to contribute due to increased burdens at work
in part thanks to the global economic situation driving understaffing up
and making sure one works extra hard to hold their job.

2008 was much better. There was a demo booth at LCA2008 and we liased
with Linux Australia to demo and distribute CDs at OpenCEBIT and the
(sydney) education expo. Those are just the ones I know of due to being
directly involved, but I'm aware that there were some SA events, not
sure about Vic events. Now that the worst of the economic crisis is over
and things like the education expos are going to be run again, we should
be able to pitch a return to this sort of activity.

For the latter part of last year, I've had a lot less time to coordinate
stuff. Everything Linux -- the business that used to be owned by Anthony
Rumble (who passed away last May) and run by Grant Parnell (who passed
away on new year's day) is up and running again under new ownership (the
owner being my boss) in North Sydney, and that took a lot of my spare
time. I have more spare time now, though, now that things are settling

This all said, I've been hoping for a few years now to pass off the
contact role to someone who can undertake all this, and have been
quietly watching potential folks come and (far too quickly) go. So far
I've not come across a person who has the initiative (to actually
do/organise things consistently), national outlook (we're a
geographically huge and sparse country), time and dedication to
undertake the role. I'm willing to hold the role as long as it takes to
find someone who can do this and not drop it/disappear 2 months down the

While elections are typically how we used to do this back in 2006 when
we (both the team and ubuntu in general) were much smaller, it's
generally now expected that a meritocratic process be followed -- put a
motion to the team participants that the role be passed to the
particular someone who has demonstrated they can do it, as opposed to
taking random names and choosing who is most popular at the time.

Melissa Draper

w: http://meldraweb.com & http://geekosophical.net

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