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The first Week: (was Re: The next step)

On Wed, 23 Aug 2000, Sudhakar Chandra wrote:

> Week 1: Discussion about what Linux India is, what it has done to the
> community in India etc.

Currently Linux India is a website and a collection of extremely useful
mailing lists (Lets me first pay obeisance to the humble SiS card for
bonding this community ;)).

The mailing lists and the web site have also spawned the state/city level
Linux User Groups (LUGS). The birth of most local LUGs has followed a now
familiar pattern: Groups of individuals living in close proximity
discovered each other on the LI mailing lists; decided to meet at
regular/sporadic intervals and formed LUGS. 

It is heartening to note that the formation of LUGS has never lead to the
local group *leaving* the LI mailing lists. As a case in point, the
Bangalore LUG which probably boasts of more members than all LUGS put
together continues to be the largest group of subscribers (and posters) to
the LI mailing list. Almost all of us seem to intuitively know what to
post to LI and what to post to the LUG mailing lists. Except for some
infrequent and easily ignored cases of newbie cross-posting, there has
been no occasion where the interests of local LUGS have come into
conflict with the interests of LI. There is a lesson in this somewhere and
we need to be mindful of this. IMHO the biggest contribution of LI is that
it has facilitated the formation of the LUGS.

Given this, it would be sad and unfortunate if LUGS, in their eagerness to
formalise, went about this process alone and without any coordination at
the national level with other LUGS. This is not to point fingers or
isolate those LUGS that have registered, who I am sure, have had
compelling reasons to do so. It is only to emphasise that we ignore our
origins at our own peril.

>  We also need to discuss whether there is a need for a nation-wide
> non-profit organization such as Linux India.

I am firmly convinced that there is. I am aware that there have been
serious objections/doubts expressed in various LUG mailing lists (Bombay,
Hyderabad, Indore and probably Trivandrum/Cochin (I am not sure of the
last one)) about the formation of LI as an "apex" body that would
coordinate Linux related events/opportunities/resources at the national

IMHO these objections stem from mistaken/misunderstood notions about what
LI aims to achieve/facilitate and how. If we are reasonably clear about
these aims and the manner of their implementation, much of the objection
to the formation of LI would wither away. As I said before, each one of us
has a fair idea about what goes to the LI mailing list and what goes to
the LUG mailing lists. Similarly, we are equally intuitive about what goes
on the LI web-site and what goes on the LUG web-site. Very few of us would
have doubts about which events need to be coordinated at the LUG level and
which at the national level. Given that we pride ourselves on the ability
to recognise when to use Perl and when Python, the decision about "what
goes where" and "who does what" should be a piece of cake. 

> Basically, this will be reflection on the past and the present.  Also
> discuss the roles of the ILUGs vis a vis LI.

I hope I have.

With warm regards
Gurunandan (for the Goa LUG)