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


>>>>> "Bhat" == Gurunandan R Bhat <grbhat@xxxxxxxxxxxx> writes:

    Bhat> Currently Linux India is a website and a collection of
    Bhat> extremely useful mailing lists (Lets me first pay obeisance

<massive crib>

	Regarding the webisite: the folks in charge of the web page at
www.linux-india.org never seem to update the darned pages.  The
Chapters page is _terrible_.  We have sent umpteen number of requests
to update the links and even provided the relevant information but
_nothing_ has been done.  Go look there now and you will see totally
outdated info for ilugc.  This is unacceptable.  ILUGC was one of the
first to become a LUG and meet on a regular basis.  It is painful to
see the most visible linux site of India say what it has to say about
ILUGC.  I have no idea about the other LUG's but I am sure the
situation is similar.

	Only recently has the city wide link been added (Aug 7, 2000).
This is way too late.

	The first thing that LI needs to do is keep the web pages up
to date and have a webmaster who is not already overburdened with
work.  I admit that this is a hard job so we need to choose someone
who doesnt have other LUG/LI related responsibilities.  I certainly
don't want any of the members of this list to be in charge either.

	This point needs to be taken seriously.  There was a person
from the Singapore LUG who came to Chennai but had no clue about us
since the LI web pages were messed up and he consequently missed a

	I see _absolutely_ no point in any kind of formalisation if we
cannot even maintain an up to date web page.  Keeping a web page with
a lot of local LUG news would certainly strengthen all of our LUGs.
The advantages are enormous.

</massive crib>

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

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

	Absolutely, the LI mailing list certainly grouped us all into
LUG's.  This as you say is one of the most important things that LI
has done.  But I disagree with you on fragmentation.  In my experience
after ILUGC I have lost a lot of contact with LI.  It is simply too
much mail.  I am on too many lists already and have enough work for
the local LUG (mailing list admin, organiser for the meetings, etc.).

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

	Getting out of the LI-help mailing list is not necessarily a
bad thing.  It is easier to communicate with a smaller group than it
is to shout in a crowd.  As far as a newbie is concerned it is useful
to initially be part of a larger list but once you become a little
savvy it is optimal to be part of a smaller group.  Here are some
things to note:

(*) It is important for LUG's to somehow keep in touch.

   (*) It is impossible for all of us to individually keep in touch
       with every ILUG.  

   (*) A web page is wonderful for this kind of thing. 

   (*) This is also doable by having some of the LUG regulars join
       a special mailing list dedicated to keeping in touch.  Members 
       there can post information their LUG's activities and meetings

	IMHO, any other methodology would be wasteful.

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

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

	I think that a nationwide LI thing is fine so long as we dont
forget the basics and dont get stuck with formalities.

    Bhat> IMHO these objections stem from mistaken/misunderstood
    Bhat> notions about what LI aims to achieve/facilitate and how. If
    Bhat> we are reasonably clear about these aims and the manner of
    Bhat> their implementation, much of the objection to the formation
    Bhat> of LI would wither away. As I said before, each one of us


    Bhat> has a fair idea about what goes to the LI mailing list and
    Bhat> what goes to the LUG mailing lists. Similarly, we are
    Bhat> equally intuitive about what goes on the LI web-site and
    Bhat> what goes on the LUG web-site. Very few of us would have

	You have me lost here.  It is a long while since I left the LI 
mailing list.  :)

    Bhat> doubts about which events need to be coordinated at the LUG
    Bhat> level and which at the national level. Given that we pride
    Bhat> ourselves on the ability to recognise when to use Perl and
    Bhat> when Python, the decision about "what goes where" and "who
    Bhat> does what" should be a piece of cake.

<flame bait>

	Sure, we all know that if you want cryptic code - write it in
perl.  ;-)

</flame bait>