Linux Support Discussion

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Lunchtable Discussion of Linux Support Issues

Computer Technical Conference 2006

3 November 2006, 12:15-13:30


  • building and maintaining
  • need for 6-month Linux updates mailed out via DVDs for those without high-bandwidth access
  • need for better Linux end-user support then just the LinuxUser mailing list
  • need for search-ability of mailing-list archives
  • need for capacity-building of JAARS User Support in Linux support
  • need for personnel designated as Linux support persons
  • question of how many; 2 full-time persons proposed as initial need
  • discussed 1st-tier being User Support while 2nd-tier could be LinuxUser list, 3rd-tier could be Ubuntu Support Wiki or forums
  • commented on not wanting to duplicate existing Ubuntu community support efforts
  • idea of having Linux support persons in Calgary, Waxhaw and Singapore, with Europe also a possible need
  • trying to progress in small steps and reevaluate every six months
  • discussed mailing-lists versus forums versus Wikis
  • discussed Calgary being logical choice for packaging responsibility, but not currently in manning position to take that on today; hopefully able to offer a 2/3 FTE (Full-time-equivalent) position in future
  • Singapore already providing X% FTE in Linux Support; how much more they will be able to commit to not ascertainable right now
  • seemed that JAARS could handle the generating/mailing semi-annual Ubuntu updates DVDs responsibility, if the process were automated
  • applauded Jeff J/Robin M efforts in answering questions on the Linux lists
  • asked for ways Linux folks could help JAARS in support
  • discussed need for writing up proposal for next step (searchable archives, wiki, ?)
  • also discussed need for separate proposal on how open-source experience on the Linux lists could help LSDEV embrace/enable the open-source model
  • trying to imitate typical FLOSS support structures so that people can be comfortable to go beyond our internal support structures when they need to.
  • need to consider security concerns, may not want to have open access for our support structures
  • Nicolas to get better access to
  • a system for advising people on which laptops would have better hardware support for linux
  • probably people like Jeff advising JAARS on which chipsets have good support in Linux so JAARS can make hardware recommendations
  • need some persistance for knowledge on linux user list, hence need good searching of archives, wiki, etc. (Woody? to look into some of this)
  • importance of having some SIL presence at FLOSS conferences

Action items:

  1. Write up proposal and discuss on LinuxUser list both long-term strategic 'Reasons Why' as well as short-term implementation steps for Linux Support within the organization (3 areas: End-users, Repository/packages, and Community)
  2. Write up proposal and discuss on LinuxDev(?) how the organization open-source experience on the Linux lists could help LSDEV embrace/enable the open-source model

(summary by Scott Kohler, who is solely responsible for any errors)