[sf-lug] March 1 St. Anthony's Foundation outreach

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Thu Feb 21 01:06:29 PST 2008

Quoting Christian Einfeldt (einfeldt at gmail.com):

> No, I want to expand the pool by encouraging people to show up who
> otherwise would not show up to either.

Well, you say that -- and I'm sure you think that -- but you're
appealing to a fixed pool of volunteers for the second of two generally
similar events occurring at the same time on the same day, promoting
extremely similar social goals.  I thus find it unlikely that you'll end
up expanding the pool -- though I hope you're right.

> Also, you should know that Emy Tseng of the Department of
> Telecommunications and Information Services (DTIS) for the City and
> County of San Francisco (CCSF) was at the last SAF event, and was at
> publicity meeting tonight for the next SAF event.  DTIS is the
> department of CCSF that is responsible for making IT decisions for
> CCSF.  In 2003, Brian Behlendorf and Josh Berkus and Louis Suarez
> Potts and I met with Willie Brown (then Mayor) and Lewis Loeven and
> Rod Loucks to see about getting FOSS pilot programs for CCSF.

How quickly they forget:  CCSF had, for many years, not one but two
Linux computing lab installations that were clones of the CoffeeNet 
NFS/NIS-based LAN setup.

I say "had", but it's possible that those have now been discontinued.
If they were, it would need to have been fairly recently.

So, they've already had open source / free software deployments that
have gone _way_ past "pilot" status.  Multiple of them.

My point?  In the long term, it's futile to just hand bureaucratic
agencies open source / free software solutions in a way that doesn't 
guarantee institutional buy-in, because, without that buy-in, empirical
observation suggests that they won't stick with it.   Hell, on the
evidence, they won't even remember.

> IMHO, if we continue to talk up both events, we should be able to get
> enough bodies to cover both.

IMVAO, promoting the (conflicting) Tenderloin event the way you did
was, in context, just a little tacky.  I'll just say that, as my
personal observation, and stop there.

Maybe you should have expended the same amount of effort towards getting
St. Anthony's Foundation to move the March 1 event to some date that
doesn't conflict.  Again, just my opinion.

> What about Gnash?

I _could_ install unbelievably RAM-hungry Gnash (or Swfdec) again, and
figure out how to extract the download URL from CNet's nasty and
depraved Javascript-ridden, hideous HTML, download some large Flash
file, and watch it to verify that something you occurred that you say
happened, and that I have no special interest in expending all that
effort to see -- or I could just take your word for it that it happened.

Which do _you_ think is more likely?  ;->

> It is a very rare case where I would be able to say that you are incorrect,
> Rick, but this is one such rare case.

I can only go by what they say in their public announcements -- which
appeared to say[1] absolutely nothing about open source of any kind.

If they _are_ interested in installing Linux and open source, then it's
at best peculiar that their public materials say nothing about that --
unless it's some sort of secret that was intended to be known only by
Christian Einfeldt.

I thus tentatively conclude that their "interest" is pretty minimal.

And, speaking just for myself, I would, in general, rather participate
in a Linux community event, one that helps people understand an open
source operating system and become motivated to teach others in their
turn, than a "Community Tech Support" one that mostly serves as a
free-of-charge IT helpdesk.

[1] I actually now see the phrase "demonstrate and install _open source_
operating and virus protection software".  I could swear that the phrase
"open source" wasn't there earlier today, but might have missed it.  The
phrase "virus protection" stood out, anyway.

More information about the sf-lug mailing list