AUUG is dead, long live AUUG

Unix loses popularity race to Linux

With more than 30 years of history behind it, AUUG, the organization for Unix, Linux and open source professionals, faces its toughest challenge to stay in tact as members at the 2007 AGM decide its future this week.

Formerly known as the Australian Unix Users Group, AUUG was founded by Sydney computer scientist John Lions in 1975 and has been a central source for community and business relations for the local Unix and open source industry.

AUUG's annual conference once attracted well over 300 attendees, including big names like OpenBSD founder Theo de Raadt.

More recently, by its own members' admission, AUUG has drifted into obsolescence as newer Unix-centric organizations like Linux Australia began to take the spotlight, and conference market share with the annual Linux.conf.au.

AUUG past president Greg Lehey has suggested dissolution "for some time" and believes the time has now arrived.

Lehey recommends AUUG's assets be donated to the Lions Chair in Operating Systems at the University of NSW, and then it can continue as a non-financial institution.

The new AUUG would not have any membership fees, or any money to manage, but simply keep the name, Web site and mailing lists.

"I think one of the really big things that killed AUUG as we know it is that most people don't see any advantage in paying $125 for a membership that doesn't really buy them anything," Lehey said, adding the board members are exempt from membership fees.

Lehey said such a move has been done before as the Adelaide branch of AUUG survived for over 10 years without any money.

"If we close down, that's the end, once and for all," he said, adding it would also be "lots of hassle".

Lehey remains adamant the AGM will result in the dissolution of AUUG.

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