New site to group Aussie open source bloggers

Linux Australia announced today that it will roll out a new Web site, Planet Linux Australia, devoted to aggregating the blogs of prominent Australian Linux and open source developers.According to the organisation, the site "is not just about aggregating feeds, it's about recognising and appreciating all the cool stuff people are doing around the country".

Linux Australia announced today that it will roll out a new Web site, Planet Linux Australia, devoted to aggregating the blogs of prominent Australian Linux and open source developers.

According to the organisation, the site "is not just about aggregating feeds, it's about recognising and appreciating all the cool stuff people are doing around the country". Using RSS aggregation software popular within the blogging community, so far the the site has linked 62 Australians associated with open source development, from many different fields and from around the nation.

The development continues a trend for the organisation of making information available via the blogs of its members. The latest information about the linux.conf.au 2005 conference (LCA), which Linux Australia runs, is available through its Planet LCA aggregator, which links the blogs of five key organisers into one site. The conference also releases information through its more traditional Web site. However, the latest updates are only available through the aggregated blog section of the site.

One of the bloggers that the site will aggregate is well-known Linux kernel hacker Rusty Russell, who currently works for IBM's Linux Technology Center in Canberra. Russell is well known for his extensive work on ipchains and netfilter/iptables, which are successive generations of the packet filtering elements integrated into the most recent versions of the Linux kernel.

However Russell obviously does not blog solo; Planet Linux Australia will also aggregate the blog of his wife Alison, which may or may not provide a more accurate look at her husband's coding life. Such a combination of blogs may represent a trend within the Linux community; following the well-known standard set by Telsa Cox, the wife of English kernel hacker Alan Cox. Telsa's blog is simply but controversially titled: "The more accurate diary. Really".

Members of Linux Australia's committee are also well represented on the site, with current president Pia Smith going so far as to informally announce the incoming committee members of the organisation through her own blog. Although the results of the election have not been officially announced yet, Jon Oxer has been unofficially confirmed as the new president of the organisation, while Smith will remain as vice-president. Also elected were Anthony Towns, who will take over as secretary, and Mark Tearle, who will continue for another year as treasurer.

Oxer is a Debian developer and author of numerous books and articles dealing with Linux, with a particular focus on Debian and PHP. In addition, he is founder and technical director of Internet Vision Technologies, one of the first Australian businesses to focus on managing dynamic website content using databases. In general he is recognised as a pioneer in the development of dynamic websites such as those generated by the PHP, JSP and ASP standards.

Smith said on her blog about the election that she is "happy that I was re-elected, as I get to continue my work for LA while ensuring continuity of what I have been trying to achieve for the past two years. I'm extremely glad Jon got president as I think he'll bring yet another community-focussed and mature approach to LA".

Official results of the organisation's elections will be released in this afternoon's AGM, which will be held online. The AGM will also see the announcement of the location of LCA 2006 as well as an update on this year's conference.

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