- To: "Jeff Waugh" <jdub@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: [SLUG] Re: "Talks Policy" [Was: Video Sales to Support SLUG]
- From: "Oscar Plameras" <oscarp@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 16 May 2003 20:59:29 +1000
- Cc: Penguinillas <slug@xxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Jeff Waugh"
> <quote who="Oscar Plameras">
> > From: "Matthew Palmer"
> > > Or scared away by the formalities... <g>
> > >
> > > I don't think that a 'talks policy' document will help or hinder, but
> > > long list of talk acceptance process will probably scare a few people
> > > away.
> > As it is few SLUGgers are volunteering. Is it not time to modify the
> > process?
> I don't believe so. Our informal process has worked well to date, with a
> wide range of informative talks for both advanced users and newbies. We've
> changed our meeting format to accommodate more introdutory material in the
> SLUGlets sessions, and even more advanced material in the in-depth
I did not say it is not working vis-a-vis your criteria. But it does not
there is no room for improvement. Just because it is working we should
not suggest ideas to make improvements. What happen to the culture of
"Open Thinking" in the "Open Source" community ?
> We do actually fill all of our talk slots, so despite the work that the
> committee does to ensure we have vibrant and interesting meetings, there
> no evidence to suggest that we don't have enough volunteers.
I was re-stating what Mary said. It is not my judgement that few SLUGgers
are volunteering. If you have any issue with that judgement, I believe you
should take the issue with members of your committee and not with me.
She said as follows:
"As far as acceptance by committee and review of abstracts goes, SLUG
simply doesn't receive enough talk offers for this to be seriously
required. As a general rule, we're struggling for talks rather than
needing to choose between them. Sometimes we'll have enough talks to ask
someone to wait a month or two, often not. Thus, I'm not sure the
process of getting speakers needs to be formalised more than it already
is (current process: email committee@xxxxxxxxxxx, suggest a talk,
committee replies with some kind of date, and then confirms about 7 days
in advance of the meeting)."
> > 'Talks policy' as suggested is a statement by SLUG that encompasses the
> > rules as well as guidance for talk proponents. With guidance as to what
> > topics to cover may stimulate the mind and the spirit. Maybe a token of
> > encouragement like a piece of CD, an O'Reilly book of interest, a gift
> > voucher, a bottle of red wine, etc.
> We buy dinner for speakers who do the general or in-depth talks. Mary is
> currently writing a guide for speakers (what they should expect, how to
> their talks easier, how the meetings are run, etc). This will make it
> to say "wanna do a talk, here's what you need to know".
It is the idea or concept that reward is good thing to have for
no matter how insignificant.
It is not the food or thing itself.
> The topic area is "Linux and Open Source", and speakers volunteer to talk
> about their own interests, and often enough, to satisfy the interests of
> others, much like any other Free Software project.
"Linux and Open Source" topic is very well but can we be more specific ?
Like in these request from one post ?
Subject: [SLUG] Longish post about going to a SLUG meeting - a fair bit
"View from a SLUG newbie
Friday night I made my way down to UTS for my first slug meeting. I
wandered into the building, spent a couple of minutes deciding if 2.4.13
was the same as room 413 (thats how UTS label it). I looked around for
penguins, for signage, but found none. However the large number of laptops
in evidence left me feeling like I was in the right spot.
When the meeting got underway I had no idea what to expect. However I was
pleasantly surprised with the format. The news from members as well as the
news from the organisers was interesting. While it was a shame that the
first speaker was unable to attend, the DVD shown was informative and
The sluglets meeting was interesting, I've included my somewhat dodgy notes
below. Someone at the meeting talked about merging everyones notes into one
doc. Feel free to use my notes if they make any sense...
The pub afterwards was good. So Hi to those guys who went to the Adjencourt.
Over the weekend, I had some thoughts about the experience:
1.Signage. Is possible to stick a piece of A4 paper somewhere letting
newbies like myself know that we've found the right spot?
2.Newbie intro. Perhaps there could be a little welcome to Newbies 15 mins
before standard start time, to introduce committee members, and generally
make people feel welcome?
3.Identifying committee members. It seems to me that people go to some
meetings and not to others, so that when they do come they don't
necessarily remember who is who. For people organising things that night,
perhaps they could wear a badge or use some other way to identify
4.Possible topics for sluglets/Presentations. If people with experience or
advice would like to talk about the following areas, I know I would love to
hear about them.
File systems. What is out there, what are their different features,
strengths and weaknesses.
Samba. An overview of how it works. What do you need to know about your
network? Basics of setting up.
Linux user/system authentication. What sort of authentication systems are
out there, what are their different features, strengths and weaknesses.
Proxy servers. What is available, what are their different features,
strengths and weaknesses. How easily can they be
Desktop managers. I.e. KDE, Gnome etc. What is available, what are their
different features, strengths and weaknesses.
Case studies. It would be good to hear about someone implementing linux
in a production environment.
Linux in Government. Where is it happening, what is it used for.
Linux in Schools. Where is it happening, what is it used for. What
eductional specific software is out there.
5.Membership. I was surprised that there was nowhere to signup, or at least
any encouragement to become a member.
-How to help newbies, and how to ask for help.
Firstly, we newbies are really grateful for peoples help.
At the end of the day, not much was said about how the experienced people
can help newbies as the discussion kept darting around. However I think it
was clear that Experienced users can be most helpful by:
1.If you don't have time to answer a question properly, then leave it to
2.Be polite, even if the question seems lazy or dumb. After all, you don't
have to answer it.
3.If you aren't provided with enough information to help the person, let
them know the sort of information you need. Ask for this in a friendly way.
Perhaps even explain why you might need some of the information.
4.Be willing to tell them where to find this information if they need help.
5.If its appropriate, example code or configurations may be very helpful.
6.If you disagree with someone elses solution, make sure you keep your
response at a level the asker can understand.
7.Providing links or exact google searches can help people. If you think
they didn't bother to look at all see point 2."
> > The speaker in a technical environment does not assume he knows
> > everything. I think intending speakers who are scared away are those
> > believed that to be a speaker one needs to know everything. This is not
> > the case. Of course, this does not mean that there are speakers who are
> > not experts in their field of talk.
> These are interesting issues (that the committee regularly talks about)
> can be solved independently of a more formal process. Casual is good. :-)
> > I totally agree. Topics with popular interest and demand should be
> > addressed by speakers from time to time even if these topics are less
> > elegant than others.
> Well, there are three talk 'slots' that you can work an idea into:
> General: Intermediate skill level, to spark interest in newbies and
> remind/introduce concepts to experienced users. Of wide application or
Are the following topics considered "Linux and Open Source" ?
1. Installing My First Linux OS
a. What and Who motivated my Linux Interest.
b. When and Where did I first get this Interest.
c. Why am I interested in Linux.
d. What Hardware Configuration did I use.
e. The installation steps I did.
f. The problems I encountered and how I resolved them.
g. What do I use Linux for
h. What do I think of Linux, now that I have used it.
To my mind this is interesting for curious and intending
linux users. This will get them some perspective of what
they will be confronted with.
2. Building My First IP Network.
3. Configuring My First IP Firewall
4. I am using RedHat - Why ?
5. Programming Smalltalk for Beginners
6. Backup and Data Security
7. Python Experiences of a Beginner
8. C Programming Experiences of a Beginner
> In-depth: Advanced skill level, or deep interest. Not always technical,
> talks can cover any in-depth concepts in the open source sphere. We've
> presentations about legal issues, developer tools, etc.
Can we be more specific ? Are the following topics in this category ?
1. XFree86 - Installation and Configuration.
2. Installing and Configuring Apache.
3. Installing and Configuring PHP
4. Installing and Configuring MySQL
5. Shell Programming, Beginners Experience
6. Configuring Shell Environments
7. vi text editor, Beginners Experience
> SLUGlets: Short, sweet, intro, demo, exciting. Discussion oriented,
> showing off cool things, introduction to concepts, etc. Short talks.
Again, can we be more specific ?
1. Building Internet Service Provider using Linux - Case Study
2. Upgrading linux kernel from Source Codes
3. Linux Process Management
4. File System Management
5. Shell Programming