I don’t get it. In a com­munity where open­ness is prized, some have seen it fit to cri­ti­cise that very ten­et. In the world of FOSS, bug track­ers are laid open for all to see (and con­trib­ute to), and mail­ing lists are a hive of dis­cus­sion and innovation.

So why is it such a bad thing when we openly dis­cuss the nature of our com­munity, and the gov­ernance there­of? Kev­in Rudd was widely praised for his prom­ises to pro­mote open gov­ern­ment (we’re still wait­ing, Kevin).

To put any uncer­tainty to rest: Linux Aus­tralia is in great shape. We just had yet anoth­er suc­cess­ful linux​.conf​.au and have built up a sub­stan­tial pot of sav­ings, all in the face of a glob­al fin­an­cial melt­down. We are indeed in an envi­able pos­i­tion, and we could not have done it had we not stayed true to our beliefs. Linux Aus­tralia is defined by its com­munity sup­port and participation.

Can we do bet­ter? Of course we can. What I’ve tried to artic­u­late is that the best means of doing that is by scal­ing our com­munity. To use a code ana­logy, I effect­ively pos­ted a pub­lic bug report and invited the com­munity to help find solu­tions. You don’t see that level of trans­par­ency from many oth­er organ­isa­tions, and I for one am very proud of that.

The FOSS com­munity in Aus­tralia will con­tin­ue to grow and thrive — any­body who went to linux​.conf​.au should be con­vinced of that. The bazaar feel is stronger than ever, and Linux Aus­tralia will con­tin­ue to hold a vital role in stim­u­lat­ing and facil­it­at­ing that devel­op­ment. But to do so in a man­ner that best suits the community’s interests requires some delib­er­a­tion, plan­ning and com­mu­nic­a­tion with the very com­munity that it seeks to assist. What’s wrong with that?

If only my loc­al MP was as in touch with his constituents…

LotD: OpenAus­tralia, open source good­ness applied to government

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