Home Business IT Open Source No bids to host LCA 2014

Linux Australia, the umbrella organisation for user groups in the country, finds itself in a position it never has before - no group has put up a bid to host its annual conference in 2014.

The Australian national Linux conference, or LCA, is normally held in January each year. In years gone by, there have often been multiple bids, from groups in different cities and as a result the conference, born in 1999, has now been organised in most major cities.

The call for bids was made in April, according to a post to the Linux Australia mailing list by committee member James Polley.

"According to the timeline posted then, we should now be in the final stages of meeting with bid teams and visiting the proposed venues, ready to make a decision in the next few weeks," Polley wrote.

"This task turns out to be trivially simple, because to date we have not received any bids. Several teams and individuals have expressed an interest, but the number of bids received is zero."

Polley pointed out that when LCA kicked off, there was but one open source conference being organised in the region. Now there are a number, catering to different technologies like WordPress, Drupal, Python and Ruby, either in Australia or in the region.

"Maybe the community is spoiled for choice and doesn’t need Linux.conf.au to stay accessible any more?" he said.

"The idea of having the conference run by paid professionals rather than volunteers has been mooted in the past, but always rejected because the community clearly wanted LCA to remain accessible to as broad a segment of the community as possible. Maybe this has changed?"

Polley said the bidding process would be kept open for another three weeks. Meanwhile, his post has drawn a fairly large number of replies, with various suggestions about what could be done.

Contacted for comment, Linux Australia president John Ferlito said: "Linux Australia believes that linux.conf.au is a pivotal event in the Australian Open Source conference calendar and I am confident that the community will step up and that we will have a suitable contender to host LCA in 2014."


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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.


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