Community Upstream

This post should have been gone out the day after our Italian meeting (29th March), but do to a lack of time on my side, I didn’t have enough time to finish it until tonight. Well… actually Paolo forced me to finish it, but that’s another story.

So here the story…

Once upon a time, thanks to the daylight saving time and a bug (at least for us is a bug) in Symbian Nokia mobile, me and Paolo, while in Bologna for the third Ubuntu Italian community meeting , woke up one hour earlier than expected. Here the story of the so called “bug”: before going to sleep I set the clock of my mobile one hour on and set the alarm at 8:30, but even the Symbian software moved the clock one hour on (I didn’t know that, probably sometimes I should read manuals), so we actually woke up at 7:30 daylight saving time, 6:30 of the good old time. Crap!

Yeah, but nothing comes by itself and while we were asleep we talked about all the things that have been said during the meeting the day before and we where thinking about our community, the Italian Ubuntu community, and how it relates with other communities of the free software world.

The biggest mistake you can do when starting a voluntary driven association or community is not looking around you to see what has already been done by other people. And this is a problem that the free software in Italy has: duplication and fragmentation.

Hackers philosophy teaches us to share, in order to avoid that other hackers have to reinvent the wheel once again (OK, maybe we have license problems, but IANAL).

Inside Ubuntu the upstream and downstrean concepts are very well known among contributors since they explain the free software “production line“, simplifying the good-neighbor-behavior: our contributions should be sent upstream so that other can reuse them and all can benefit from and we should also be considerate about our contributions because others will and may use them (the Ubuntu users base and downstream).

Thinking about all of these, we noticed some overlapping between so called “marketing” actions of our community and of other free software Italian voluntary associations and we start thinking about a “marketing line” similar to the “production line” and how, if it’s possible, we can graphically present these good-neighbor-behavior rules between voluntary associations that share same goals.

What do you think? Do you witness something similar in your Country/Region?

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