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[ossig] The MAMPU event and my comments

Dear All,

Okay, I mentioned somewhere earlier that a post-mortem was being held on the 
dialogue session that we had in Shah Alam yesterday. That's just my own 
post-mortem. I had to think. What follows is my *personal* opinions and do 
not represent MAMPU's. So here goes:

I've read through the posts in this list on the event and would like to give 
my take on the whole thing. Rather than respond individually, I've elected to 
collect it all and do it once.

1. There was no discrimination in the invitations to attend. The call for 
participation in the event was made on the 12th of August to three mailing 
lists ONLY: myoss, ossig and MyPenguin99. NO CALLS FOR PARTICIPATION were 
sent to Microsoft, BSA, AMCHAM, COMPTIA, ARSA, or ISAC-M. NO CALLS were made 
in paper form. We didn't phone, fax, mail, email, smoke signal anyone.

That was my idea. The assumption was that interested parties from the industry 
and OSS community would be in these lists. The assumption was that the people 
who would care the most would be in these lists (and in a sense, I was right 

The invitations were then sent out to *those who registered*, i.e. those who 
were interested. We at the OSCC, in our spirit of openness, sent the invites 
to ALL who registered, even if they were people from MS, ISAC-M, whatever.

(Hindsight is a wonderful thing ...)

It is worth noting here that obviously either Microsoft employees (ZaidH, 
Rahman) or someone sympathetic to them read these lists, as I'm sure they're 
reading this now. This is not a problem.

2. I spoke to nsh after the event to voice out my dissatisfaction on the low 
attendance of the OSS community at the event (and actually forgetting that he 
himself wasn't there). He pointed out several things which I find very valid:

i) I could have done more to drum up support and excitement about the event 
amongst the community -- on account of the fact that we tend to bitch and 
moan in the safety of our own mailing lists and are rather apathetic 
elsewhere. In other words, I should not have been so naive as to think that 
one single email would be enough. Reminders, sneak previews, big-ass website 
to announce the event, etc. would have worked better.

ii) Many people are skeptical that the govt. would listen and be responsive, 
and therefore would prefer to not waste their time attending. It's a fair 
point and I should have made it clear from the start that MAMPU was the sort 
to actually want to listen and part of my job was (is) to help them in this.

3. The ISAC-M people may or may not have been MS shills. During the breaks and 
prior to lunch with them and baldy, I explained to them that they shouldn't 
be concerned with the govt's OSS Initiative. Rather, they should be concerned 
with the larger malaise that is our ICT industry. I said that OSS, regardless 
of whether ISAC-M cares or not, will march on. This is because they can't 
stop every single Free and Open Source Software developer in the World! So 
stop bitching about the govt's OSS project, and start thinking about the 
health of their industry and how to fix it. In other words, there are BIGGER 
things to worry about.

Actually, I think I'll email this out first and continue in another one.


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