I talked with a few colleagues about what the Italian Linux Day is, and it seems it's a kind of event that it's peculiar to Italy. That's why I decided to spend some half an hour to write about it in this blog and explain what it is. If you live in a different country than Italy, feel free to copy the idea and spread the word.
LUGs in Italy, and probably in all other countries, too, are more like a galaxy than like a phalanx. They don't coordinate, they don't act all together like an army. They do more or less the same things because they revolve around the same principle: share and spread knowledge about Linux and about Free Software.
What happened in 2001 is that the Italian Linux Society, and Davide Cerri in particular, realized that fact, and proposed the only kind of event that could unite all Italian LUGs together: the Linux Day.
How does it work? That's pretty simple indeed. …Each year the ILS sets the date, establishes a coordinated logo, a set of guidelines, and discusses with the LUGs' coordinators what the topic should be. Once done that, each LUG is free to associate itself to the event, use the logo, and organize the event the way they see fit. The only constraint is that they comply with the guidelines.
To officially associate a local event to the national Linux Day, a LUG can register to the website, and it will show up in the list and as a point in the map. Any person that would like to attend an event can check on the web site and choose the one nearer to him/her. Nice and simple, isn't it?
Cagliari is somehow special for the Italian Linux Day. Our LUG, the GULCh (that is: Gruppo Utenti Linux Cagliari, or Cagliari Linux Users Group) organized the event since its inception, in 2001. I know how it happened and I know whose fault it is 😆 because I was there! The name of the culprit is Alceste Scalas, co-author of our LUG's logo: Goppai. As you can easily guess, it's the usual Tux, with a Sardinian flag in its hand… erm… wing, and wearing traditional Sardinian clothes.
So it happened: me and Alceste both worked for CRS4 at that time, and we both were GULCh members, as well. One day we met in an aisle and he said to me: "You know, ILS is organizing the first Linux Day, a day dedicated to show Linux to the people. We should do that!". "What??? -I said- Are you serious? What we should do?". "We could organize an event and hold seminars, and an Install Party, for example". "Come on! We can't make it!". "I think we actually can".
He was right, you know? That was a huge effort for each and every one of us, but it paid off, and it was great. Since then, many GULCh members (and sometimes even non-members!) worked to bring a new Linux Day to the people, each year. Some of them are not part of the LUG anymore; some others are, but are not involved anymore. Despite the turnover, the Linux Day in Cagliari is always there, and probably brings some among the best seminars of the whole national event.
This year, as we said, is the tenth LD, and we felt it had to be special. So, first and foremost, we wanted a special guest and we are proud to host a talk by Alessandro Rubini (yes, that Rubini!). Secondly, being one of the six founders of our LUG, I'll have the honour of doing the introductory talk, where I will briefly address how things are changed during these ten years.
But there is more: thanks to Opera, the company I work for, I will hold two seminars: a lightning talk about taking an Internship in Opera, and a second one about NTP, an often misunderstood protocol.
I don't expect that many of my few readers will come and hear my talks, but just in case… you are welcome! 😉