FLOS Caribbean: Success, Part II
The Free, Libré and Open Source: IT Works! (FLOS: IT Works!) conference's immediate successes were outlined in Part I of this article. The lingering successes, however, are the ones that count the most--the successes that change the face of computing locally and within the region.
As many members of the Trinidad and Tobago Linux User Group (TTLUG) observed, some things could be done to improve the conference. The price itself, $750TT (approximately $125 US), put the conference out of reach from most grassroots developers and small businesses.
This money problem has yet to be fully understood. Little has been shown regarding the actual accounting for the conference, and it's possible that this information may not be seen. It's apparent that the conference was expensive to run and that someone had to pay; perhaps more sponsors in the future can help defray costs. Indeed, the short time in which the conference was planned did not allow for sponsorship from larger organizations. The fact that it was an inaugural conference also was a problem in this regard.
Some TTLUG members bemoaned the lack of TTLUG influence on the conference itself, an argument that is itself debatable. It's kind of a chicken and egg argument, and the Caribbean Centre of Monetary Studies (CCMS) did do a lot of the formal organization. The CCMS's role was important, as TTLUG has not been formalized to date. To approach sponsors, it's important to have formal recognition. It's equally as important to have an infrastructure suited for such things. Again, CCMS had the proper administrative infrastructure in place, whereas TTLUG did not. It comes as no surprise, then, that TTLUG had little influence of the conference itself.
As a result of the conference, TTLUG members have become more vociferous and more organized. Plans to formalize the TTLUG as a not-for-profit organization are underway, and many mailing list discussions have started discussion on how to approach the next annual conference. A tentative road map involves obtaining more grassroots and corporate support prior to the next conference. Timely additions to the post-conference TTLUG, such as Dr. Ross Gardler and Nissan Dookeran, have put their shoulders to the wheel with their own experience and insight.
Developer participation in the conference was not as high as anyone had wished; it's certainly apparent that TTLUG feels that way. Workshops and so forth are planned for the next conference to heighten awareness of FLOS tools for developers and administrators.
All of these issues are fairly common challenges that face maturing LUGs throughout the world, though there is the matter of context. Trinidad and Tobago is its own country with its own culture and ways of doing business. The real trick here is to learn from the experience of other LUGs and put them into a local context. Because of the context issues, there are challenges that lack precedent on the horizon, yet TTLUG is approaching these tasks with the vigor only the FLOS Caribbean conference could provide.
The Caribbean community shares many similarities with other communities in the challenges ahead with regard to FLOS. The fact that CARICOM exists supports this fact. In business, education and culture, the Caribbean community has bonds that go beyond one island, and the FLOS Caribbean conference has become a start for FLOS community-building in the Caribbean.
The Guyanese Linux Users Group's (GLUG) ties with TTLUG have been strengthened since the conference, and many TTLUG and GLUG members now are subscribed to both lists. Over time, it's expected that more Caribbean countries will have LUGs and will participate in creating a stronger Caribbean community, while enhancing each LUG with the knowledge of others in the region. Though many countries are islands, no country needs to remain an island when it comes to FLOS.
More projects with a community focus are being planned through the workshops mentioned above, as well as through working with schools to stretch their meager budgets to enhance the administrative and educational abilities of the schools. Dr. Ross Gardler's insight into these areas is key, and it was nice to meet him at the conference as I began working with my alma mater, Presentation College (San Fernando) to realize some of these goals.
The Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society (TTCS), which has long supported the Linux and Apple communities, is also becoming formalized and more involved with the community. Because the TTLUG, TTCS and Trinidad and Tobago Apple Community (TTAC) share many members, the synergetic energy has been productive for all groups. From all reports from the TTCS, Knoppix and GNU Win II CD sales are increasing, which means that the level of FLOS usage in the local area is increasing.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
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|The Firebird Project's Firebird Relational Database||Jul 29, 2016|
|Stunnel Security for Oracle||Jul 28, 2016|
|SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager||Jul 21, 2016|
|My +1 Sword of Productivity||Jul 20, 2016|
|Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!||Jul 19, 2016|
|Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)||Jul 18, 2016|
- The Firebird Project's Firebird Relational Database
- Stunnel Security for Oracle
- My +1 Sword of Productivity
- Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!
- SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager
- Managing Linux Using Puppet
- Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)
- Parsing an RSS News Feed with a Bash Script
- Google's SwiftShader Released
- Doing for User Space What We Did for Kernel Space
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