This is my last year as a member in the German Unix User Group (GUUG e.V.). I’m definitely leaving GUUG December 31st. 2012, and I don’t think that I’ll be back in the foreseeable future. I’m somewhat saddened by this move, but I see no alternatives for now.
Claus Kalle of the University of Cologne’s Regional Computing Center RRZK asked me whether I wanted to join GUUG around 1997 (or was it 1996 or 1995? I don’t recall exactly when I formally joined), and I happily obliged. I’ve participated in a couple of FFGs (Frühjahrsfachgespräche) organized by GUUG in Cologne back then, but I remained a mostly passive member ever since.
All in all, I’ve enjoyed being part of a UNIX group for so long, even though the experience could have been better under different circumstances… or perhaps in a different UNIX group.
I’m leaving now, because successive GUUG managements failed to organize its remaining members into a vital and vibrant community, unlike NLUUG (with its outstanding SANE and other activities), and other sister UNIX groups worldwide, including USENIX. Imagine: you couldn’t even get a directory of fellow GUUG members; and a central mailing list with all members was dysfunctional and severely incomplete, i.e. totally useless, for as long as I can remember. That’s definitely not the way to promote contacts between UNIX hackers, sysadmins and network admins, freelancers and companies in this domain.
Moreover, I was also put off by the bureaucratic tone of the current GUUG management that I’ve perceived as being pretty arrogant, if not to say insolent: they seem to have forgotten that we long time GUUG members are more than paying participants, we’re the backbone and the very raison d’être of this organization.
Anyway, time to put the past behind: GUUG is history for me. It was nice, as long as it lasted. Time to move on.