[conspire] BALE & Red Hat User Groups

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Fri Jan 24 13:44:48 PST 2020

Quoting Michael Paoli (Michael.Paoli at cal.berkeley.edu):

> Hmmmm... https://red.ht/rhugs is a bit inconsistent,
> it also has listing of Red Hat User Group cities, and includes
> San Francisco, San Jose, and Sunnyvale,
> but doesn't have links and listing for same under Red Hat User Groups
> in the West (perhaps those groups are no longer active or don't currently
> exist?).

Hold that thought, for a moment.

> No idea if or to what extent these Red Hat User Groups are under the
> thumb of and/or sponsored by Red Hat ... at quick glance (small sample
> check) looks like they're meeting in non-Red Hat spaces,
> but looks like all their on-line stuff I can see is under Red Hat
> DNS namespace (and mostly operated via a 3rd party event management
> web infrastructure).  So, ... may or may not meet the criteria of
> BALE and/or others to qualify as a (Linux, etc.) "User Group".

My intent with BALE has always been to list all user groups of interest 
and a selection of one-time events of interest (my time and effort
permitting; the trouble required to list one-off events being greater
since the benefit of automated recurring event generation in autobale
cannot help).  (Those groups or events being 'under the thumb' of some
larger interest is OK with me; not an obstacle.)

The consistently greatest difficulty with alleged user groups has been
verifying their _continued_ existence and activity, especially if their
in-person events are too far away or inconvenient for me to attend --
which means most alleged groups most of the time, actually.  Short of 
attending, ask yourself, how should I periodically re-verify that an
alleged group is still meeting, and that I'm not being mislead by
unmaintained claims on the Web?

When LUGs started, I set the bar as 'must have a maintained Web page',
and 'must have adequate signs of ongoing activity to reassure me that 
the Web site is substantively accurate and isn't just a leftover from a
group that folded'.  It helps if the group appears to have a consistent
recurring date formula for meeting dates (like 2nd Wednesday) and a
consistent location, because (again) that lets me automate event
generation using autobale templating.

On a quick check, it looks like none of the RHUGs has a Web page at all.
That is to say, there are pages for individual dated RHUG _events_, such 
as the Feb. 6, 2020 6-8 pm Sacramento RHUG events at VSP Vision Care in
Rancho Cordova, which is detailed at
https://events.redhat.com/profile/form/index.cfm?PKformID=0x131082abcd .
However, there appears to be no ongoing Web presence for Sacramento
RHUG, only for the umbrella concept of RHUGs at https://red.ht/rhugs .

So, as to the individual alleged RHUGs in San Jose, San Francisco,
Sunnyvale, and Sacramento, there appears to be nothing for BALE to point
to (unless I'm missing something).

It appears that these are best seen as a series of one-off _events_ that
Red Hat alleges to be user groups.  I could manually add them
individually to the Events MySQL table, as they come up, not getting
_any_ benefit from autobale templating automation -- at a cost in my
time and effort, of course.  I would be more likely to take the trouble 
if I solved the problem of setting up a small PHP-supporting httpd on a
high-numbered port that is reachable only from my local IP and not from
public networks.  Until I do that, it's not likely to happen for reasons
already detailed.

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