[ubuntu-us-ma] Is Ubuntu-centricity holding us back?

Danny Piccirillo danny.piccirillo at ubuntu.com
Wed May 5 03:20:24 BST 2010

This would be nice, but it's already kind of how we operate. The fact is, a
lot of people simply don't want to participate as much because it is under
the banner of one distro. I'm not kidding when i say i've seen a lot of
people who are interested in our work, but would rather base it on
principles rather than furthering one distro. I went to hampshire a week ago
and even ran into someone there who was surprised to find out i was who i
was, because they've been lurking on here but have yet to get involved. And
yeah, they also feel that out Ubuntu centricity is holding us back and
keeping many more advocates from joining us.

My concerns with being locked into Ubuntu and having the LoCo infrastructure
ingrained in our existence is growing as people are becoming more and more
concerned with the direction Ubuntu is taking (left-side topbars, Ubuntu
One, etc). That's not to say Ubuntu isn't still great an all, but we should
not just be here happy to do Canonical's work while we are stuck being an
Ubuntu LoCo rather than a greater software freedom group. We should not be
here, happy to promote Ubuntu, no matter what, as the community is ignored
on major decisions. And you might be thinking that you wouldn't be on this
team "no matter what", but the whole LoCo infrastructure is dependent on
what Canonical provides, and by sitting here and accepting it, the message
we're sending is that yes, we will just keep promoting Ubuntu, because we
are just an Ubuntu team. If we can find an infrastructure that does not
limit us to Ubuntu, but still allows us to promote it, and opens us up to
the many activists who have not yet gotten involved merely because of this,
why wouldn't we?

On Sun, Apr 25, 2010 at 22:53, Daniel Hollocher
<danielhollocher at gmail.com>wrote:

> Hey guys,
> I also like the idea of having the group be more ecumenical.  I think
> allot of people want to support Ubuntu in a non-profit manner, or at
> least free for all type manner.  And when canonical makes its
> decisions, it can get confusing as to what we are doing.  I personally
> don't like that confusion.  I think it can create allot of unnecessary
> negativity.
> One option I'm thinking of is to rephrase what it means to be Ubuntu
> centric.  We can declare that even though this group focuses on
> ubuntu, it is not in opposition to other distros.  We pick ubuntu for
> the sake of simplicity and focus, not because it is "better" (even
> though some may think that).  This is already done with regards to the
> other flavours of ubuntu: kubuntu, xubuntu, etc etc.  We pick ubuntu
> as a flagship of all those.  We can just extend our thinking of ubuntu
> to be a flagship of all free software.
> With that, I think we can welcome users of other distros.  We just
> need to have some guidelines, like "it's ok to point out differences
> between distros, but this isn't the place to debate the differences
> nor which is better."  "We always use ubuntu as an initial offering
> for simplicity."  etc.
> I don't think it would be a great idea to separate the group from
> ubuntu at large, just to make a point.  I say that we should just do
> what we want, and then if we are breaking any rules we can sort it
> out.  I think it is nice for those that do it, to be able to do things
> like give out ubuntu cds, and it would be a shame to give that up
> without clear gains.
> I also have a little interest in checking out the BLU.  I was a little
> turned off by the fact that as Bill pointed out, there aren't many
> young people.  I've yet to attend an install fest, of any kind, so I'm
> thinking of going to one of those.  If collaboration is possible
> between the two groups, I think that would be fantastic.  Both groups
> seem kinda small, and there is a little overlap.
> Dan
> On Sun, Apr 25, 2010 at 9:32 AM, Martin Owens <doctormo at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Hey Bill,
> >
> > On Sun, 2010-04-25 at 02:07 -0400, Bill Ricker wrote:
> >> We already have in Greater Boston a no-limits Linux User Group,
> >> BLU.org,
> >> Boston Linux Unix, that does any-distro installfests, and which is
> >> open to
> >> even commercial Unix -- which explains why it is the only LUG older
> >> than
> >> Linux. BLU will have a booth at LinuxCon this summer here in Boston.
> >> It
> >> could really use some younger members,
> >
> > It could, but then again the mission of the BLU is to be a user group.
> > Your standard every day pizza eating and commercial talks type show.
> > Which is great for a certain distinguished kind of nerd but lacks the
> > real get up and go of any sort of social impetus that I see hunger for.
> >
> >> so Danny and anyone else wishing to
> >> be active outside of Ubuntu be welcome to join us there.
> >
> > I'd recommend people go to BLU when they are showing something that
> > interests them, I've been to a few myself and it can be fun. But they
> > don't have very many "Getting Involved in your local community center"
> > type talks.
> >
> > Also I think the BLU is LONG overdue for a new website. It's not 1992
> > any more. Perhaps the kids aren't excited by bare bones black on white.
> >
> >> Last week, we heard
> >> about using a commercial product, Dragon Naturally Speaking, under
> >> WINE.
> >> Upcoming:
> >
> > Sounds good, where you there? did it work?
> >
> > Martin,
> >
> >
> > --
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