[Talk] Roadmap for Linux/FOSS adoption in Australia

Con Zymaris conz at cyber.com.au
Wed Aug 20 11:36:50 EST 2003


I think we should all be encouraged to shift our attention away from some
of the sideline issues that sometimes snare too many CPU-cycles of our
attention (SCO, Microsoft bagging Open Source etc.) and work on a few
things which are constructive and positive. While it is important that we
defend what we are trying to achieve against 'marauders', it is also
important that we remember that we actually are indeed trying to achieve

I've been spending a bit of time chatting to Dan Shearer recently, and the
following idea seemed to gel and make sense as an outcome. 

I think now would be a great time to perhaps consider the following
question. Should we, as a loose collection of people, work towards a
establishing some kind of medium-long term plan for accelerating the
adoption of FOSS/Linux in Australia? If so, what should that plan entail?

Included in this could be the formation of some specific activities which
move LA/AUUG/LUGs beyond installfests and technical conferences. I know
there are concrete actions that can be taken which very much help us reach
the wider audience. Many of these would need to happen on a state-by-state
level, where people can perhaps achieve greater traction with the intended
groups they are trying to reach out to. 

Here are a few things that the OSV members have been working towards,
which might form the basis of national activity:

1) Pressing of 2000+ Knoppix CDs which will be distributed to industry 
   stakeholders, government and corporate decision makers.

2) Pressing 2000+ 'Open Source Applications which run on Windows CD' These 
   will be supplied to lending libraries and schools throughout the state, 
   so that their users can borrow the CD much like they would any other 
   library item, install it, then return the CD for the next borrower.

3) Wide Open Code: Open Source programming competition for schools kids.

4) Presentations to University staff and students about desktop and 
   development tools.

5) Travelling roadshow, showcasing how corporates and government could 
   deploy FOSS in greater numbers with solid business advantage.

6) Development of 4-6 whitepapers on how to properly plan for and deploy
   FOSS platforms and technologies for the enterprise.

7) Working with the state Department of Education to progress FOSS 
   software for schools. We have a draft report (50+ pages) ready for 
   review by department staff.

8) Working with Standards Australia to help select an XML-based  
   data-storage document standard. The recommendation will be made to 
   adopt the OASIS-specified standard.

I believe that all of these activities could be replicated by equivalent 
groups in other states. All the material that OSV prepares will be 
released under an appropriate licence which will allow its reuse by any 
such groups.

These activities, whilst useful, are still not what I would call a 
'roadmap' which accelerates Linux/FOSS adoption. Who wants to help put 
such a plan together? 

Thoughts welcome.

Con Zymaris <conz at cyber.com.au> Level 4, 10 Queen St, Melbourne 03 9621 2377 
Cybersource: Unix/Linux, TCP/IP and Web App. Development  www.cyber.com.au

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