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Re: [Fsfe-uk] AFFS still active?

From: Richard Smedley
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] AFFS still active?
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2007 14:26:52 +0000

On Fri, 26 Jan 2007 13:24:00 +0000 Tom Chance wrote:
> > Specifically, I think the free software developer community in this
> > country is disparate and not well networked: while LUGs provide
> > this to an extent, we still rely on things like Linux Expos for
> > hackers to meet up. Google's recent Open Source Jams have had made
> > it pretty clear to me, at least, that there is an appetite for more
> > avenues in that area.
> What are the benefits of more networking for the free software
> *contributor* communities in the UK? I'm sure there are some but, in
> the spirit of Jason's very sensible email, it would be good to
> clarify and discuss these. What happened at these jams, and why
> haven't people spontaneously done more networking without the AFFS?

I think face-to-face meet-ups have tremendous value - and I'm not
the only one, judging by the numbers at events from LUGRadioLive
to FOSDEM. The problem is they take a fair bit of organising,
and the community's natural organisers all seem too busy elsewhere.

Perhaps given the right catalyst they can occur here. Indeed AFFS
had a fair turn-out at its Annual Conference in Handsworth a few years
ago. [1]

> I think it might be good to survey contributors in the UK to find out
> if there are any needs we could address, rather than second guessing
> based upon personal experiences and patchy conversations. Is that
> possible?

Perhaps - though in many ways it would be easier to book a venue,
announce an event, and set up a wiki for people to contribute these
ideas to. It works for the LBW. [2]

> On Fri, 26 Jan 2007 13:06:53 +0000, Alex Hudson <address@hidden>
> > And, as I said in the last e-mail, I think the voluntary sector
> > take-up of free software has been pretty awful.

Except in certain areas ;-)

btw the Free Software strands running through this month's Circuit
Riders Conference (the first year FOSS events weren't at a separate
venue on a separate day) were very well received.
In the next two months NCC [3] will be training more than 100
Circuit Riders up in installing and supporting the use of Free Software
desktops by small VCOs. [4]

There are strong moves within the third sector to improve
Free Software take-up. We'd be delighted to hear what a 
revitalised AFFS could contribute :-)

> Green Party Speaker on IP and Free Software

Unfortunately they don't have a candidate in our area. But
our local MP did back the recent Early Day Motion on 
Free Software and eduction :-)

 - Richard

[0] oops, sorry Andrew ;-P

[1] http://www.affs.org.uk/affsac-2004.html
and the previous year in Aston of course:
I didn't make the London one in 05, and since then:

[2] http://www.lbw99.eu.org/

[3] www.OpenITUp.org

[4] Voluntary & Community Organisations.

Richard Smedley,                                         address@hidden
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