Who is the largest LUG in the World ? - Who Cares ?
a re-editorial to SVLUG by Peter Toft, Chairman of Skåne Sjælland Linux User Group (SSLUG)
January 30. 1999
During the last year Skåne Sjælland
Linux User Group (SSLUG) has grown more than 1000%. Currently (end
of January 99) we are 2200 ordinary members.
The well known Linux User group SVLUG
(Silicon Valley Linux User Group) has recently
an editorial, written by Ian Kluft.
Its basis is very wrong, hence it seems that I need to reply.
Apparently Ian has not
consulted our LUG, the board of
SSLUG, or me regarding this
matter. Unfortunally the editorial has several misunderstandings or
errors. Later I will take up the more general matters of the editorial.
- "SSLUG is a conglomeration of local Linux Users Groups in
Denmark and part of Sweden". Sorry - not true.
In the past SSLUG was the only major Linux User Group in Denmark, but now,
there are several new User Groups forming across Denmark. In
Sweden there are 16 different User Groups including SSLUG - and in Denmark we are
- FLUG - Fyns Linux User Group
- ALSLUG - Als Linux User Group
- MJLUG - Midt Jylland Linux User Group
- SSLUG - Skåne/Sjælland Linux User Group
- AALUG - Aarhus Linux User Group
- Blekinge Linux User Group
- Strängnäs Linux User Group
- Sundsvall Linux User Group
- Christianstad Linux User Group
- Kalmar Linux User Group
- Mountainlake Linux User Group
- Dalarna Linux User Group
- Uppsala Linux Usergroup
- Gävle Sandviken Linux User Group
- Skövade Linux User Group
- Stockholm Linux User Group
- Westbo Linux User Group
- Göteborg Linux User Group
- Luleå Linux User Group
- Närke Linux User Group
- SSLUG - Skåne/Sjælland Linux User Group
Actually, last week all the Danish chiefs of the groups met in
Odense at FLUG in order to hear Eric Raymond - cool day. We have a good
network between the local groups, and we from SSLUG try to support ANY effort to
start other local Linux groups in the area - but SSLUG is not a part
of those - we are equal in that respect. SSLUG is a local Linux user
group, in the region of Sjælland (Zealand is eastern isle of
Denmark near Sweden) and Skåne (the southern part of Sweden). Historically the regions
have always been very close, and we understand each others
language. Our region, where we have our meetings is actually not that
big - but we allow all people to join.
Furtermore, we cooperate with several of the New Lugs and also with the Danish
Unix-systems user group and the Swedish EurOpen Unix User Group
(affiliated with USENIX).
- "They can only meet 4 times per year because of the vast
distances people are from each other". Sorry - not true. We have
BIG meetings, when we can discuss changes to our rules and alike four
times a year. Then we have discussionmeetings once a month in
Copenhagen (second tuesday in the month), and often the last tuesday
in the month there is a lecture about Linux related stuff (this is
held by DKUUG, which is a sister organisation of ours). Actually lets
take the word "vast" -
please pick a map covering Denmark and Sweden. We have a
rather small region, but with good highways and excellent train
connections. From the mid of Denmark (the home of FLUG in Odense) it
takes no more than 1.5 hours to travel to Copenhagen. The same
applies for Skåne. So Ian makes a wild guess here.... Also regarding
the area discussion. Skåne and Sjælland together (only that matters)
roughly matches the size of the Bay area (18.009 km^2).
- "SSLUG would be considered a national association of LUGs"
Try to tell the other LUGs in Sweden and Denmark this. I would not dare to
do this. It is wrong. We know it - the other LUGs in the region know it.
We are big, but we respect each other.
- "SVLUG's membership of almost 1000 comes from counting the
subscribers to its mail lists" This is great - we do the same! We
were 1000 in November 1998 - now almost three months later, we have
grown by additional 1200 members.
See our development
in the number of members over time if you like.
- "frustrating that SSLUG goes on claiming to be the largest LUG
in the world ... to bring SSLUG's lofty claims back down to
Actually I wrote several times to Ben Spade from
SVLUG in November 98 when we approached 1000 members - one of his kind
comments: "This is great!".
- "we get stories in the news" Great - and so do we. Every little story
SVLUG and SSLUG gets to a newspaper helps Linux get more members.
That is great. It's organisations like SVLUG, SSLUG and actually LUGs
everywhere that helped Linux becoming
the worlds best operation system. More users, more drivers.
- "They have a competitor..."
We hope not. We would rather want to
cooperate with SVLUG about Linux-stuff.
"World domination fast ;-)" There is no time for internal competition.
Concour the world not your partners.
We don't know how many people we have helped getting started with Linux,
and that is not important. When the press write that Linux has increased
it's installed base with 212% in 1998, we feel big. SVLUG, SSLUG and a lot
of other LUG's made this happen.
My 2¢ opinion about the "editorial"
We should NOT use our time to start flame wars -
still we have mountains to climb, before Open Source wins it's final
victory (but we are getting there).
- Firstly it is VERY odd that we had to hear this from other people than
Ian. Please tell us stuff like this at first. Then don't try it, if you
base the story on wrong statements.
- NOTICE: The
editorial is based on a VERY WRONG way to think! This is not a
competition - If a Linux User Group of Eastern part of Greenland can
list their 10.000 members I would say that this is GREAT news - and
tell them to go forward at full speed.
- If SVLUG has a problem with
our size - that's too bad - we will hit 5000 members this year (okay
maybe 10.000 members). Currently we gain 50% more members every 45
days, due to the joint hard work of many SSLUG members - good tech-support,
installfests, hand out free Linux CDROMs, we write OPL books and
articles about Linux, give MANY lectures, give company talks,
and assist a lot to get press coverage.
- Actually the very idea of writing the editorial is utterly
foolish. The size of a SSLUG is NOT a goal in it self.
It is good to have a critical mass (way lower than our present number of members),
in order to have people participate and making joint work. It is cool
to be many, so you easily can find people with the same problems that you
- I think that the information missing here is, that many Swedes
and Danes are fed up with unstable computer systems - and that many of
us don't want to have one person deside the future. Linux and Open
Source fits the mentality of Scandinavia - no Big Brother for us!
- Instead of complaining
SVLUG should rather ask why we boom - then I would not have to waste time with
this. I would much rather spend my time working for the LUG.
Actually I have earlier explained this and got many emails back from
people that are happy that we share the strategy with them.
- So we
should always keep in focus that the Open Source ideas encourages to
be open - give away our good ideas to the people.
Let's stop this and get back to work.
It can be noted that Ian Kluft later dropped his editorial - and
new editorial. The new one still contains some errors - but is
much more mild. Now we stop this!
This page is made by Peter Toft (<firstname.lastname@example.org>)