Is AUUG still as relevant today?
In this age of Open Source is AUUG still as relevant? In this article AUUG President David Purdue gives his perspective and argues why it is even more relevant as open source and open standards have become mainstream.
Back in the mid-seventies (when AUUG was being formed) Unix was distributed as source. There was a common joke at the time that you received the tape and their best wishes — the rest was up to you.
It was in this environment that AUUG was formed as a mutual support group for the (predominantly academic) Unix licensees. From the outset AUUG comprised a group of people who dealt with Unix for a living and were excited about deep technology. One early presentation was on an improved tty driver!
In the eighties Unix became mainstream, moving from academia to commercial enterprises. Around this time there was a shift in focus for AUUG towards Open Systems — computing systems in which the APIs, data formats and network protocols were well defined and the specifications were publicly available. The commercial appeal of such systems was obvious — they prevented vendor lock-in.
Today most of our information technology infrastructure relies on open standards — we would not have the Internet without the IP, TCP, SMTP, HTTP protocols. This, combined with the increasing popularity of Open Source, is one way to ensure interoperability — if the protocols are standardised or if the source is open then you can't be locked into a single vendor.
Now in its fourth decade, AUUG remains a group of
people who are interested in (even passionate about) these technologies.
But we've had to ask,
who is in the best position to
support professionals using open applications on proprietary platforms like Windows?
Even though AUUG's heritage is in Unix, AUUG embraces any professional interested
in interoperable computing on any platform.
Hence the AUUG tagline — the Organisation for Unix, Linux and Open Source professionals.
AUUG's role is building a community by connecting, supporting and promoting people with an interest in interoperable computing — which we see as a key to achieving fitness for purpose and value for money in Information and Communication Technology.
AUUG does this through forums such a conferences, seminars, tutorials and meetings. AUUG also provides resources such as newsletters, mailing lists and a regular CD (soon to be DVD) containing distributions of popular Open Source software.
Our members are professionals who care about:
- Unix operating systems from proprietary vendors
- Linux, BSD and other Open Source operating systems
- Open standards, specifically those which enable the free and unrestricted interchange of information
- Open Source applications, regardless of the platform they run on
- other cool technical stuff
So if your job involves selecting the right application for the task at hand, using open software and standards, or integrating a diverse operating environment then you would probably benefit from an involvement in AUUG. And your involvement will almost certainly benefit others.
David Purdue, AUUG President