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Re: BLUG Management (was Re: [blug-non-tech] Hope you all had fun !)

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  • Surjo Das
    Oh No ! Not another flame war ! Come one man ! be cool ! If you are not happy, take it off-list. __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo!
    Message 1 of 15 , Sep 1, 2003
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      Oh No ! Not another flame war ! Come one man ! be
      cool ! If you are not happy, take it off-list.

      __________________________________
      Do you Yahoo!?
      Yahoo! SiteBuilder - Free, easy-to-use web site design software
      http://sitebuilder.yahoo.com
    • arunissatan
      ... Whyever? While the original post might have been a bit cynical, there s no reason to take this off-list. Arun
      Message 2 of 15 , Sep 1, 2003
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        --- In linux-bangalore-non-tech@yahoogroups.com, Surjo Das
        <surjodas@y...> wrote:
        > Oh No ! Not another flame war ! Come one man ! be
        > cool ! If you are not happy, take it off-list.

        Whyever? While the original post might have been a bit cynical,
        there's no reason to take this off-list.

        Arun
      • Srichand Pendyala
        Firstly, i agree about the BLUG logo part. i think we all deserve to see the entries and possibly decide by vote on the best one. ... For one, someone seems
        Message 3 of 15 , Sep 1, 2003
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          Firstly, i agree about the BLUG logo part. i think we all deserve to see the
          entries and possibly decide by vote on the 'best' one.


          >I hope someone has answers for these. An organisation that purports to
          >be the country's largest association of open source/free software
          >supporters cannot appear to be run by a closed/anonymous management.

          For one, someone seems to be breaking the List Rules

          Quoting BLUG List rules

          {
          Off-topic
          Stay on-topic for the list. This isn't a good place to discuss automobiles,
          POLITICS , music, or anything that is not related to Linux. Sometimes topics
          will diverge from the general discussion, but please try to keep it relevant
          to the list topic. Do not ask programming questions ...
          }


          >Kiran Jonnalagadda
          >http://www.pobox.com/~jace

          and oh, broken link....


          Srichand

          PS : no offence meant ( if any interpreted)



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        • Madhu M Kurup
          Hi all, First: I m not going to do a Biju :) Second: I could take this offlist with Jace, but figured that more people would crib that this is closed/anon.
          Message 4 of 15 , Sep 2, 2003
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            Hi all,

            First: I'm not going to do a Biju :)

            Second: I could take this offlist with Jace, but figured that more
            people would crib that this is closed/anon.

            Third: dont assume malice when mis-communication will do.

            Kiran Jonnalagadda <jace@...> said on August 31,2003:

            > didn't attend and didn't see these answered in the minutes of the
            > meet.

            Heh, I miss the time people used to gang up on me for minutes of the
            meet, please spare some slack for the poor volunteer who does so. And I
            think Murali did a fairly good job - to give him credit.

            > 1. Who are the "we" referred to above? I know "we" is supposed to
            > expand to "managers of LB/2003", but who are these people? Can we have
            > a list of names and a description of what each did to become a
            > manager?

            Hmm, I'm sure this isnt any trouble at all to do. Except one does have
            to beat up on each of the people. Volunteers for collating lists, please
            step up. And yeah, pretty HTML that conforms would be nice.

            > 2. Where are the logos that were submitted?

            Answered:
            "These entries would be put up on BLUG web site for others to see and
            get inspired to act fast."

            > Don't BLUG members have a right to choose their logo democratically?

            Aah. Rights. Which leads to Rights AND Duties. Nevermind that line of
            thinking. I fail to imagine a situation when this "right" would ever be
            denied. Do you see such a situation?

            > Why is this task assigned to a self-appointed management?

            I fail to see that you could have read this:

            "and the other was by a Manager of BLUG which could not be the choice
            for obvious reasons".

            > 3. Several companies must be interested in sponsoring the BLUG site
            > for the benefit of publicity in each page's footer. Don't BLUG
            > members get to choose who sponsors the site?

            Sure. Lets see some desire and then we can get some choosing. Shall we?
            In my view of the world money talks. And preferably ON the table types.
            When HP was sponsoring LB2002, it had it's logo on as well, AFAIR.

            > Competition among sponsors will ensure that the site is well
            > maintained and useful. For example, the current front page does not
            > validate at the W3C validator [1], even with Doctype and Encoding
            > explicitly specified[2].

            And apart from a ideological point of view, that means precisely what?
            I'm not sure how being 100% standard aware has anything to do with
            usefulness. Clickity click. Renders nicely on Moz/RH9. IE/Win2K. Ok,
            should cover over 99% of the world. Ah. more clickity click. Works fine
            on Lynx. Covers the remainder % too I suspect. Is there a browser that
            complains?

            > 4. As a registered not-for-profit society, isn't the BLUG legally
            > obligated to present to members an annual statement of accounts and
            > minutes of board meetings?

            Members? Ahem. And who should/would that be? I think that I'm a member.
            And I'm not too sure whether legally I still am one. But if anyone wants
            to argue this, I have but one line : "horgadae baaro, nodkothini" :) My
            point: if you think that you are a member, sure you can ask the co-ord
            for info on finances.

            > 4a. Where is the statement of accounts for the financial year 2002-03?

            Can't say anything here except for S.G. Calling S.G. Earth to Kartik.

            > 4b. Who are the members of the board? How did they get elected to that
            > post?

            Kartik.....?

            > 4c. Does subscribing to the mailing lists make one a member of the
            > BLUG (for the legal definition) or is there some other procedure? If
            > the latter, what is the procedure?

            I still have my card (card carrying member...) with the funny
            photograph. Will bring it around the next time I'm at a meet ... :)

            > 5. Who appoints the coordinator for each year? In three years and
            > three coordinators I have seen, the next coordinator is always named
            > at a meeting without prior discussion either at a meeting or here in
            > the non-tech list. How is this decision made?

            AFAIK, some poor bloke is volunteered up, most of the time by the
            previous bloke who was voluteered. He/She is then ganged up, emotionally
            blackmailed, beaten up and thrashed to an inch of his/her life before
            they agree. Admittedly wouldnt it take that much, just if you got an
            email like this one?

            AFAIK, being a co-ord paid you Rs0. yeah. Rs0. Did I forget to mention
            Rs0.

            > I hope someone has answers for these. An organisation that purports to

            purports? It isnt? I'd like to see some evidence :)

            > be the country's largest association of open source/free software
            > supporters cannot appear to be run by a closed/anonymous management.

            Ah. Libre. Free. As in speech and in beer. Free speech is cheap. So it
            is easy to toss around. On the other hand, work is tough. I'm not here
            to point any fingers anywhere. All I can say is the following: I've
            worked for the LUG. I've written for the LUG. I've presented for/at the
            LUG. That's gives me a certain right to speak and be heard at the LUG.
            And I'm just exercising that.

            All the decisions that I've been privy to (note: I don't claim
            awareness of all) have been made in the clearest sense of the phrase
            "common good of all". Admittedly these might have been appear to be
            anonymous/closed (re: choice of presentations/schedule) but AFAIK, if
            someone had the desire to know, he/she would have had them explained
            out.

            And:

            "Srichand Pendyala" <psrichand@...> said on September 1,2003:
            > Firstly, i agree about the BLUG logo part. i think we all deserve to
            > see the entries and possibly decide by vote on the 'best' one.

            I don't think this was ever a problem. However, subtle facts (like those
            pointed out by Atul) are often the reason why a popular (read Tux
            images) logo might not be selected. Not sure what a good sln is here, in
            my mind, get a few vetted then put them up to the vote makes most sense.

            > Quoting BLUG List rules
            >
            > {
            > Off-topic
            > Stay on-topic for the list. This isn't a good place to discuss
            > automobiles, POLITICS , music, or anything that is not related to

            I think that ^^^^^^^^^^^^ is more in line with National/State/Panchayat
            :) politics... Perhaps someone might want to correct me on that.

            Cheerio,
            M

            Madhu M Kurup /* Nemo Me Impune Lacessit */ mmk at yahoo-inc dt com
          • Manu Bhardwaj
            Hi ... Obviously, nobody wants to throw themselves into this, but after being in a certain engineering college for so long, I can t resist putting my head out
            Message 5 of 15 , Sep 3, 2003
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              Hi

              On Wed, 2003-09-03 at 09:11, Madhu M Kurup wrote:

              > > 4. As a registered not-for-profit society, isn't the BLUG legally
              > > obligated to present to members an annual statement of accounts and
              > > minutes of board meetings?
              >
              > Members? Ahem. And who should/would that be? I think that I'm a member.
              > And I'm not too sure whether legally I still am one.

              Obviously, nobody wants to throw themselves into this, but after being
              in a certain engineering college for so long, I can't resist putting my
              head out to be chopped ;-) !

              Cutting and pasting from http://linux-bangalore.org/blugmemo.php -

              "
              3. MEMBERSHIP:
              The membership of the Society will be of the following three categories.
              a) Life Membership : Rs.1,000/-
              b), c), d),.... blah blah blah
              "

              What are they talking about? What membership? Who is a member? I'd never heard of
              such a thing before. In fact, I remember even participating in a thread about who
              a true BLUG member is ( )..... and not getting an answer.

              I'm not looking for answers now, though. I'm just wondering where this page fits in with
              how the BLUG actually runs itself. Perhaps this page is some sort of a legal requirement?

              "
              5) GENERAL AND OTHER MEETINGS:

              a) A General Body Meeting of the society will be held Annually during the
              month of June.
              ...
              c) A Committee consisting of 7 members shall be elected in the General
              Body Meeting once in a year.
              ...."

              Do these things actually happen? Just curious... hopefully like some others on this list.

              "
              9) EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE:
              a) To ensure and promote the primary aim and objectives of the Society.
              ....
              h) May decide to expel a member of Managing Committee or a member of the
              society in case any one is convinced of any Criminal offence, or prove
              insanity or any members action in contravention to the bye-laws.
              ....
              p) To make the Rules and Bye-laws and get approved.
              "

              Haha!! What I'd like to point out here is that the English in this page could
              perhaps be refined (unless, again, it is some sort of a legal requirement to
              use bad grammar).

              I volunteer to do this.

              A nitpick to finish:

              "f) To ensure that all monitary transactions are...."

              are.... at least spelt right on that page?

              -Manu

              --
              Manu Bhardwaj <http://manubhardwaj.net>
              <PGP: 0x7EF46A88>
              --
            • Manish Jethani
              ... [snip] ... Let s get the basics right. mem·ber n. 1. A distinct part of a whole, especially: 1.
              Message 6 of 15 , Sep 4, 2003
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                Manu Bhardwaj wrote:

                > On Wed, 2003-09-03 at 09:11, Madhu M Kurup wrote:
                >
                >
                >>>4. As a registered not-for-profit society, isn't the BLUG legally
                >>>obligated to present to members an annual statement of accounts and
                >>>minutes of board meetings?
                >>
                >>Members? Ahem. And who should/would that be? I think that I'm a member.
                >>And I'm not too sure whether legally I still am one.
                >
                [snip]

                > Cutting and pasting from http://linux-bangalore.org/blugmemo.php -
                >
                > "
                > 3. MEMBERSHIP:
                > The membership of the Society will be of the following three categories.
                > a) Life Membership : Rs.1,000/-
                > b), c), d),.... blah blah blah
                > "
                >
                > What are they talking about? What membership? Who is a member? I'd never heard of
                > such a thing before. In fact, I remember even participating in a thread about who
                > a true BLUG member is ( )..... and not getting an answer.

                Let's get the basics right.

                <http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=member>

                mem·ber
                n.

                1. A distinct part of a whole, especially:
                1. Linguistics. A syntactic unit of a sentence; a clause.
                2. Logic. A proposition of a syllogism.
                3. Mathematics. An element in a set.
                2. A part or an organ of a human or animal body, as:
                1. A limb, such as an arm or a leg.
                2. The penis.
                3. A part of a plant.
                4. One that belongs to a group or an organization: a club
                member; a bank that is a member of the FDIC.
                5. Mathematics. The expression on either side of an equality
                sign.
                6. A structural unit, such as a beam or wall.

                (Obviously, we're talking about #2 :-D )

                Manish

                --
                Manish Jethani (mannu#livejournal.com)
                phone (work) +91-80-51073488
                http://mannu.livejournal.com/
              • Atul Chitnis
                All: Please DO NOT take this as an attempt to raise an ugly war again, because it is not. I am simply fulfilling a promise, and closing the circle on something
                Message 7 of 15 , Dec 11, 2003
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                  All:

                  Please DO NOT take this as an attempt to raise an ugly war again, because
                  it is not.

                  I am simply fulfilling a promise, and closing the circle on something that
                  happened in September. At that time I promised that I would address this
                  issue again after LB/2003.

                  Please note that I am addressing those parts that I left unaddressed in
                  September - if you want answers to those parts, check the archives.

                  This is not an invitation to anyone to come flaming with both barrels - if
                  you really care about the BLUG, you will let this matter die. No one will
                  be happier than me if not a single reply is made to this note.

                  Atul

                  On Sun, 31 Aug 2003, Kiran Jonnalagadda wrote:

                  > 1. Who are the "we" referred to above? I know "we" is supposed to
                  > expand to "managers of LB/2003", but who are these people? Can we have
                  > a list of names and a description of what each did to become a manager?

                  The managers of the event were Kartik, Mahendra, Khader, Swati, Tarique,
                  Manish, Kishore, Prady, Harsha, Jessie, Gopi and me.

                  They each became a manager for several good reasons, some which were that
                  they were interested in helping with the event, they stepped forward and
                  volunteered to help, had proven track records at being able to to handle
                  the work, were all volunteers at past events, were trustworthy and
                  reliable.

                  These people were not "self-appointed" - they worked hard to earn their
                  place on the team that arranged the event.

                  Note that while the Bangalore Linux User Group is a registered society,
                  Linux Bangalore is an event created and driven by a group of people (the
                  very group listed above) for the Linux and Open Source community - not for
                  or as the Bangalore Linux User Group. LB != BLUG, and vice versa. The BLUG
                  *facilitated* the LB series by providing support.

                  The same applies to the Linux bangalore mailing lists, which are run by me
                  personally. They are intentionally not called "BLUG-*" to make it clear
                  that these lists do not consider themselves to be the BLUG, and I have
                  stated this repeatedly on these lists as well.

                  Therefore, let us be clear about the fact that the managers of Linux
                  Bangalore (the event) are not (and never have been) responsible for the
                  BLUG. They have simply used their available resources (organisational
                  skills, contacts and driving power) to help the BLUG at times (such as
                  help plan BLUG meets).

                  > 2. Where are the logos that were submitted? Don't BLUG members have a
                  > right to choose their logo democratically? Why is this task assigned to
                  > a self-appointed management?

                  To answer this, one needs to explain how things work in the real world.

                  For the past so many years, the Bangalore Linux User Group has facilitated
                  events like the community participation in events like IT.COM, BangLinux,
                  Linux Bangalore, etc. by providing logistical support (such as volunteers)
                  and content (speakers).

                  We have always taken great pains to highlight this, and to some extent
                  have been successful in doing so. But last year, during LB/2002 (and this
                  year, during another event - the IPv6 summit), we realised that among
                  all those colourful sponsor logos, the BLUG was getting lost.

                  We badly wanted to highlight our home LUG, and since no one else felt this
                  need (which really could only be felt by people like us, who arrange
                  events, and hence understand the importance of such things), we decided to
                  drive a campaign that would result in a nice recognisable logo that we
                  could use to represent the BLUG at the forthcoming LB/2003.

                  No one "assigned the task to a self-appointed management".

                  You don't have lunch using a democratically elected body of people to
                  decide that you should do so and how.

                  You have lunch because you are hungry.

                  This project was dropped when the matter was politicized. We are very sad
                  that this happened, but there was no way we could continue the project
                  without further bloodshed (mostly ours).

                  > 3. Several companies must be interested in sponsoring the BLUG site for
                  > the benefit of publicity in each page's footer. Don't BLUG members get
                  > to choose who sponsors the site? Competition among sponsors will ensure
                  > that the site is well maintained and useful. For example, the current
                  > front page does not validate at the W3C validator [1], even with
                  > Doctype and Encoding explicitly specified [2].
                  >
                  > [1]
                  > http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=http%3A%2F%2Flinux-bangalore.org%2F
                  > [2]
                  > http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=http%3A%2F%2Flinux-
                  > bangalore.org%2F&charset=iso-8859-
                  > 1+%28Western+Europe%29&doctype=HTML+4.01+Transitional

                  While this statement itself seems a bit "motivated", let me address it
                  anyway.

                  First of all - no other company, other than Sify, has ever come forward
                  offering to host the site. No offer has *ever* been made. Period. No
                  interest has been shown by either your company, or that of your close
                  friends, either.

                  Secondly, the site does not just exist because the BLUG decided it needed
                  it. It exists because well-wishers of the BLUG (duly listed in the
                  sponsor section of the site) decided that the BLUG needed a web site of
                  its own. They pulled together resources (cash, time, talent, design
                  skills, etc.) and the result of this was a web site for the BLUG.

                  You statement about "Competition among sponsors will ensure that the site
                  is well maintained and useful" seems puzzling. Is the site currently
                  unmaintained and useless? And how exactly would "competition among
                  sponsors" happen, given that only one sponsor can actually sponsor the
                  site? It is unlikely that IBM would maintain a site that HP is a sponsor
                  of.

                  What you really seem to be saying is that you object to the fact that one
                  *particular* company is sponsoring the site.

                  For more than two years of its existence, the site bore no sponsor logo at
                  all, but just a name-mention of the two entities responsible for creating
                  the site (not hosting or maintaining it). This is easily proved by looking
                  at archival webshots:

                  August 2001:
                  http://web.archive.org/web/20010801162945/http://www.linux-bangalore.org/

                  July 2002:
                  http://web.archive.org/web/20020719041144/http://linux-bangalore.org/

                  December 2002:
                  http://web.archive.org/web/20021201024844/http://linux-bangalore.org/

                  The first time the current site sponsor logo appeared on that site is in
                  February 2003 - not because the sponsor insisted on it (why should
                  they, after not doing so for more than 2 years, and not even during the
                  highly successful LB/2002?), but because some members thought it was
                  something that should be done.

                  http://web.archive.org/web/20030208111332/http://linux-bangalore.org/

                  Note that the current sponsor, who happens to be my company, doesn't
                  sponsor the site because it sees it as good advertising value (as other
                  potential sponsors might see it as), but because it cares about the BLUG.

                  Since this is becoming a highly politicized issue, and because someone
                  sees "profit" in having someone else sponsor the BLUG site, Exocore offers
                  to withdraw its sponsorship for the official BLUG site (which currently
                  consists of unlimited web space and bandwidth plus site administration) to
                  allow another company to sponsor the official BLUG site.

                  However, note that this will necessitate the creation of a new domain, as
                  the name "Linux Bangalore" is the name of the event, not the Bangalore
                  Linux User Group. As long as the two were seen working together, there was
                  no problem, but if there is to be a formal parting of ways, then this
                  point needs to be addressed. Linux Bangalore is an event that will
                  continue to be driven by a group independent of the BLUG.

                  You support your argument with some technicalities about web design and
                  HTML coding. When I had similar issues on my personal site, someone sent
                  me a heads-up not only telling me that there was a problem, but also how to
                  fix it. I appreciated that - it is the Open Source way of doing things -
                  find a bug, and report it, along with the fix.

                  The point is really that site represents the inputs and design of people
                  who care, but who may not be exceptionally gifted in Web programming and
                  design. The current BLUG site design is done by Mahendra when he was the
                  coordinator, the LB event sites have been designed by Swati Sani. Some of
                  the back-end coding has been done by me (the news system), Tarique and
                  Kingsly (event back-end code), Kartik (content), Biju (content), and a
                  long list of other people. You are free to point out issues and help fix
                  them.

                  Ironically, the person who helped me fix my site was *you*. I wonder why
                  you didn't think it worthwhile to provide similar help to the BLUG site,
                  instead of making the *need* for such help a political issue.

                  > 4. As a registered not-for-profit society, isn't the BLUG legally
                  > obligated to present to members an annual statement of accounts and
                  > minutes of board meetings?

                  Of course it is.

                  > 4a. Where is the statement of accounts for the financial year 2002-03?

                  At the time when you posted your note (early September), the first year's
                  accounts (the BLUG did not have an account until December 2002) had not
                  yet been finalised (the last date was 30-Sep-2003), and needed auditor
                  approval.

                  The accounts for the year 2002-2003 were finalised and have been published
                  in the souvenir distributed at LB/2003 - just as it had always been
                  intended. The same information will be up on the website in a couple of
                  days (after we tie up remaining loose ends, such as publishing event
                  slides).

                  Note that these do not really represent *BLUG* accounts - because the BLUG
                  has never had any financial transactions.

                  That bank account was opened solely for the purpose of LB/2002 (and, by
                  extension, LB/2003). Therefore these represent *event* accounts, because
                  the BLUG has not had a single financial transaction outside the scope of
                  the events.

                  The minutes of "board meetings" are available as well. Here they are:

                  "Met, had coffee and snacks (paid for by Jessie out of her own pocket),
                  went home. Nothing of significance was discussed.".

                  The importance of this should immediately be apparent:

                  The BLUG is a registered society for the sole purpose of being legally
                  able to open an account to deposit sponsor money for events. The "board"
                  has no function at all, and has taken no actions at all.

                  In fact, in view of the politicization of the whole thing, I would
                  recommend the dissolution of the society, and to go back to being what
                  things were like before - a group of enthusiasts who make it their goal to
                  spread the word of Open Source.

                  I myself cannot initiate such a dissolution, given that I have never been
                  a member of the BLUG board, nor have I ever been invited to be one, nor
                  did I ever see the need to be one in order to achieve my personal goals -
                  which are the spread and adoption of Open Source technologies in India.

                  Given the nature of messages posted by you *after* this note of yours, it
                  is quite likely that you could imply "manipulation behind the scenes".

                  This would be a ridiculous suggestion, given that my boss (Gopi Garge) is
                  currently the president of the BLUG "board" - a board that is a
                  meaningless entity in itself, and whose "manipulation" would not gain
                  anyone anything.

                  And even if there was something to be gained - anyone who believes even
                  for an instant that you can "manipulate" Gopi needs to *seriously* have
                  his head examined.

                  The BLUG board was simply a required paper function. In Biju's words, it
                  was "legal fiction", required to achieve something specific - which was to
                  allow events to happen.

                  > 4b. Who are the members of the board? How did they get elected to that
                  > post?

                  The members of the "board" were 7 people legally required to register a
                  society. We chose people who were least likely to be accused of anything
                  untoward in nature. The list of people can be found in the memorandum on
                  the site.

                  > 4c. Does subscribing to the mailing lists make one a member of the BLUG
                  > (for the legal definition) or is there some other procedure? If the
                  > latter, what is the procedure?

                  No, being a member of a mailing list does not make you a "legal" member of
                  the BLUG - the mailing lists are not the BLUG.

                  Nor do you have to be a "legal" member of the BLUG to avail of any of the
                  benefits of the BLUG - it has always been a stated objective *NOT* to
                  differentiate between people this way.

                  There is theoretically a procedure to become a legal member, but because
                  the intent of the society formation was never to differentiate between
                  members and non-members, the system is meaningless because it has never
                  been used.

                  I am therefore not a legal member of the BLUG either. And yet I have never
                  felt any less a member of the BLUG.

                  And no, you cannot wave your chequebook to "buy" yourself a voting right
                  in the BLUG, because the BLUG has no legal "voting" system - the BLUG
                  society is a legal piece of paper whose sole purpose was to enable the
                  collection of sponsorships for specific events.

                  We have since discovered that even this is not necessary anymore (it is
                  now possible to open an account specifically for an event), and after the
                  final accounts for 2003-2004 are published, both the account and the
                  society could be dissolved as they serve no purpose to anyone other than
                  the politicians.

                  > The memorandum of association at
                  > http://linux-bangalore.org/blugmemo.php does say something about these
                  > issues, but has significant gaps. For example, where is the "prescribed
                  > form" for membership and when are the annual general meetings held?

                  To show you just how meaningless that query is - the prescribed form is on
                  the back of a paper napkin in Coffee Day, Cunningham road. You are free to
                  design your own prescribed form and use it. I recommend the paper napkins
                  at Barristas, since they blot less.

                  The BLUG has two annual days - August 25th and a formation day (March
                  20th) - the latter has never been celebrated or marked in any way so far.

                  By general consensus, August 25th represents the BLUG's annual day, and
                  marks the only sort of "official annual general meeting". On this day, the
                  current coordinator sums up what has been done by the BLUG over the past
                  year, and invites suggestions for new stuff.

                  Any financial transactions are also announced. If none were announced,
                  none took place.

                  Nothing else of significance is discussed, and we sit back and enjoy the
                  evening socialising, having an outrageous amount of fun and good food.

                  One of these days, you may want to attend one of these meetings.

                  > 5. Who appoints the coordinator for each year? In three years and three
                  > coordinators I have seen, the next coordinator is always named at a
                  > meeting without prior discussion either at a meeting or here in the
                  > non-tech list. How is this decision made?

                  Simple - no one appoints anyone.

                  Since I am not legally a BLUG member (thanks to your note, this is now
                  clear), I cannot really *define* how it is done, but I can tell you that
                  the process works by volunteering.

                  Despite the jokes we make about it, each coordinator has essentially
                  chosen himself/herself, either by volunteering to be the Sacrificial Goat
                  for the year, either through direct voicing of such an offer (e.g. KD, VLB
                  and me), or by actions throughout the year which made him/her a logical
                  and popular choice (by finger pointing - Biju, Jessie, Mahendra, Kartik).

                  If you would like to be the coordinator next year, please volunteer.

                  The only requirement is that you should be able to prove active
                  participation in every aspect of the BLUG - which I think is a fair
                  requirement.

                  BTW - simply attending meetings, listening to talks and eating food is not
                  considered as "active participation" in most organisations in the world.

                  > I hope someone has answers for these. An organisation that purports to
                  > be the country's largest association of open source/free software
                  > supporters cannot appear to be run by a closed/anonymous management.

                  I completely agree. I hope you are satisfied with the answers, and are now
                  convinced that there is no BLUG-related management, and certainly not
                  closed or anonymous.

                  The only real "formal" activity of the BLUG has been the meetings every
                  month. The topic, format and content of the meeting, along with the
                  speakers, is always decided on the mailing lists, in a completely
                  transparent manner. Mailing list members suggest topics, suggest talks,
                  suggest themselves as speakers, and the meet happens.

                  As for the Linux Bangalore event - there is certainly event management in
                  that, but it is not related to the BLUG. And even here it is neither
                  closed nor anonymous.



                  Have we said enough on all this?

                  Then let me say something now - something that has been burning inside
                  me for these past three months, and something I was unable when you first
                  posted your note.

                  In 2001, I ceased all further interaction with Linux India when a process
                  of politicization was started, trying to turn LI into an "organisation"
                  with "positions", a "hierarchy", "elections", "rights", "registration" and
                  "powers".

                  The BLUG isn't about any of these things. However, your note attempts to
                  position it that way - and it is something I reject. Completely.

                  The BLUG is about Open Source technology and its application and adoption.
                  As long as it stays that way, and achieves its goals (which it certainly
                  has done in a big way since 1999), I see no reason for anyone other than a
                  hungry politician wanting to change this.

                  Attacks on the "BLUG management" are meaningless - there is no "BLUG
                  management" - heck, there isn't even a formal BLUG - it's a bunch of
                  technology enthusiasts and a couple of mailing lists, for $deity's sake!

                  Demanding "answers", and implying "rights" because you happen to be a
                  member of some mailing lists (that is run by me, not the BLUG, and isn't
                  een named "blug-xxxxx" to make it clear that while it serves the BLUG, it
                  isn't the BLUG) highlights the single biggest problem with many such
                  communities:

                  An over-inflated sense of entitlement.

                  It is a classic symptom seen when a perceived "audience size" reaches
                  critical mass - that's when the politicians (and the armchair
                  revolutionaries) step onto the stage.

                  None of this would have happened had the BLUG been perceived to be less
                  successful, and would have represented a much smaller group of people.

                  And it causes such communities to be self-limiting, even self-destructive
                  in nature.

                  I sincerely hope that the promoters of the campaign in September now have
                  their answers, and will allow the BLUG to live on in peace, rather than
                  promoting further politics which would invariably divide the BLUG and
                  potentially destroy it.

                  Despite everything that has been written above, the BLUG is a very very
                  real thing to many people (including me).

                  But if the time has come to encourage politicization of the BLUG (or any
                  other community), then the time has also come for a whole lot of people to
                  ask themselves why they would want to stay involved.

                  Starting with me.

                  Atul
                • Biju Chacko
                  ... I generally agree with the way things are run -- my objections are mostly more in style rather than substance. However, that has got to the most ridiculous
                  Message 8 of 15 , Dec 14, 2003
                  • 0 Attachment
                    On Thu, 11 Dec 2003 23:29:06 +0530 (IST), Atul Chitnis wrote:

                    > As for the Linux Bangalore event - there is certainly event management in
                    > that, but it is not related to the BLUG. And even here it is neither
                    > closed nor anonymous.

                    I generally agree with the way things are run -- my objections are mostly more
                    in style rather than substance.

                    However, that has got to the most ridiculous argument I have heard. I find it a
                    little difficult to swallow that 'Linux-Bangalore' and BLUG are different things
                    and that LB/200x is not a product of the BLUG.

                    It's a great rationalisation (which (no offense) Atul is very good at) but it
                    doesn't reflect reality.

                    *Any* organisation's culture and ethos is just a reflection of the people who
                    run it. The BLUG and LB/2x (like any open source project) are run by people who
                    stand up and do all the dirty work. There have been numerous efforts to get
                    people involved (I've done it a couple of times myself). People have come
                    forward and helped out. Again like any OSS project, the people who have
                    contributed the most get listened to the most.

                    There has never been any barrier to entry. I started by carrying chairs and
                    moving tables at Bang!Linux and ended up as SG. Pretty much everybody who was
                    listed as a manager of LB/3 has had similar experiences.

                    In short, if you want to change things send in a patch. A patch in this case
                    means actual work rather than cribs from the sidelines. Like any patch, don't
                    expect yours to be applied until it's proved to be useful.

                    Now for the disclaimers: Hmmmm ... I hardly have any:

                    1. I'm not involved in the BLUG management anymore, so I don't have any self
                    interest in defending it.

                    2. I'm not particularly friendly with Atul anymore, so I sure as hell have no
                    interest in defending him.

                    3. I don't work for Exocore anymore (don't hold any particular affection for it
                    either) so I don't feel that I should defend it's sponsor status.

                    But I'm not unbiased -- the current form of the BLUG and LB is as much my work
                    as it is anybody's. I find it offensive that anyone should insinuate that it's
                    controlled by a secret cabal that's conspiring to keep everybody else out.

                    -- b

                    --
                    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Biju Chacko http://in.redhat.com Red Hat Inc
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