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Re: Thoughts about constitution

On Thu, 7 Sep 2000, Sudhakar Chandra wrote:

> But one major problem would be the interaction between the local,
> informal ILUG and the national, formal LI.

That IMO would be the core of our charter. We could list out the various
levels of affiliation between the LUGs and LI. 

> If a local ILUG thinks that formalizing itself is not needed, then it
> should have the freedom to be remain informal.

I agree. Usually national bodies (the IETE, is one example that comes to
mind) enable affiliation on a per programme basis rather than on a
permanent one. For example, I imagine the folowing scenario: LI
organises/participates in a national event, calls for affiliates/partners
from among the LUGS and puts out an announcement on LIG. Some join, other
dont. Individuals whose LUGs are not affiliates to a particular program,
also participate but as individuals. This way nobody is left out. 

> Also keep in mind that if ILUG-C does not register itself as a formal
> body, some "rougue" (for lack of a better word) ILUG-C might be
> registered by someone wanting to make a quick buck / have free PR.

The need to "make a quick buck/have free PR" is a commonplace human
characteristic, and it would be unrealistic to hope that mere registration
will reduce free riders. Opportunities for Linux related events/programmes
are so numerous these days that to believe that the LUG would be the sole
torchbearer for Linus is mistaken. Recall a major national event in Delhi
last year attended by MadDog. There so called "IT opinion builders" (and
not rougue LUGs) tried to present a distorted view of Linux and its
capabilities. If it were not for Atul Chitnis, Raju Mathur, Kishore
Bhargava and a gent from the DOE who literally gatecrashed and saved the
situation, much damage would have been done. 

On the other hand, imagine that LI were registered with Linux
International. Maddog would naturally have alerted LI about his visit, if
one existed. Wheels would have churned and the situation could have been
saved, or even prevented from arising at all at much lower cost to the
individuals who saw it important enough to participate. 

[quoting Prabhu here]
> > (3) What is wrong currently?  What problems do we
> > foresee??
> Take the case of the domain linux.or.in (or something like that).  This
> domain was registered by a for-profit company.  If a national LI existed,
> this body could have formally asked the for-profit company to hand over the
> domain.


> The biggest issue I see between the LUGs is distrust.

Registration will not help much here, I am afraid, if this distrust exists
at all. Obviously an organisation cannot legislate against distrust. What
it can do however, is to increase person-to-person interaction between
LUGS, common programmes and community events and hope that distrust dies
as a result of this. 

> Some people in ILUG-Blr have expressed concern that Linux Delhi (not
> ILUG-Delhi ;-) has plans to form a formal body by itself and take the
> reigns.


> A few others have complained about the Linux India booth at last
> year's IT.com also having flyers from a certain commercial Linux
> interest.

Just the the rumour/half-truth that irrational distrust can breed. The
first can be curtailed (not eliminated) if a National body with proper
representation from all fellow travellers comes to exist. Rumours of the
second kind will continue to be whispered, though. In the case in point,
it was not just one organisation that had flyers. If memory serves, there
were atleast six others. And the matter was discussed and agreed upon by
all who coordinated the pavillion. Here too, a national organisation with
clear-cut sponsorship/advertsing guidelines in LI events, worked out
through consensus can serve to reduce this kind of distrust.

> Honestly, all this distrust makes me want to throw my hands up and throw
> away all this.

It makes me want to get LI registered quickly ;)

> Let us work on the constitution.

Ya, lets. To reiterate an important point: Lets try to build in
"per-programme/event" affiliation between the LUGS and LI (initiable from
both sides) rather than a permanently bonded one. Hopefully this will
reduce the fear of LI overwhelming the LUGs.