[Talk] Is AUUG too pro open source?

John Dalton John.R.Dalton at member.sage-au.org.au
Mon Jan 19 17:54:18 EST 2004


I've been happily lurking on this list for some time now, and I don't
seem to have been booted off despite my unfinancial status as an AUUG
member, so I figured I might pop up here (even if all I succeed in
doing is reminding someone that the lists need cleaning).

Before I go on, let me state as a disclaimer that I'm the current
president of the Tasmanian chapter of SAGE-AU.  My opinions here are
personal, and are *not* an official statement of anybody elses
opinions or policies except my own.

I haven't renewed my AUUG membership because I hadn't seen any real
value in remaining a member.  The only thing that AUUG offered me that
I couldn't get from SAGE-AU is AUUGN, and that had started being
filled with reprints of articles available online instead of with new
material.  (The standard response is no doubt that I should get off my
behind and write some content if I had a problem with it, which is a
reasonable suggestion but not really relevant).

SAGE-AU exists to represent professional systems administrators
regardless of the platform they use.  AUUG exists to represent the
interests of unix users.  Most of the people that *I* knew who were
using unix were using it in their capacity as sysadmins.  Sure, there
are a few home users and programmers, but the SAGE-AU definition of a
sysadmin seems flexible enough that they can mostly be catered for.

One thing which SAGE-AU *can't* do, however, is to openly and actively
promote open source over other alternatives.  It's not just the
commercial unix users who might get upset, but the VMS, Novell,
Microsoft and everything else users too.  And rightly so, because the
point is that sysadmins have to deal with all kinds of systems in a
professional manner.

AUUG's fairly recent shift into a more pro open source stance seemed
to me to be a deliberate move to give themselves more relevance and
perhaps stem the apparent membership haemorrhage.  As far as I'm
concerned this is a good move to be making.

I am pro open source, although not rabidly so; an organisation of
experienced professionals (as opposed to bright-eyed budding h at x0rz)
with the aim of promoting open source alternatives and know-how *does*
have relevance to me.

I'm sure this can be done without alienating the AUUG members who are
using commercial unix - after all, many of them will also be using
applications such as Apache and Sendmail as well.  In my very limited
experience with Solaris (the only commercial unix I've actually had
anything to do with) most of the Solaris boxes I've seen have a bunch
of GNU tools installed anyway.

Just my $0.022 ..

John Dalton

More information about the Talk mailing list