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.

One Comment

  1. I’ve been to the last FFG End of February/Begin of May 2012 – and have seen a vital and vibrant community. New participants and old hands.

    Various local meetings are there, too. One might wish for more activity, but to say there is none, would be wrong. (Online there are some unswerving jabber users. I’ve had this year more than ten new Wiki Users (I’m the guug wiki admin)).

    I am sad to say it, since I liked that conference – but the last SANE had been in 2006 in Delft. The GUUG FFG is a bit smaller, but happened continuously.

    Of course I didn’t happen to have your experience of “bureaucratic communication” with the GUUG Management. But as we all – they are Geeks too, not Master Experts in Human Communications. So sometimes communication is meant one way and understood in some other way.

    (And their engagement has of course constraints – they do the organization all in there spare time, and some have families, too. So not everything happens they think that should happen. I don’t know what you tried to organize in the GUUG?)

    I’ve joined GUUG much later than you did. There had been of course (humans, you know) some misunderstandings. But all in all I still enjoy my engagement. And I enjoy to meet all these people who make the GUUG.

    Sorry to hear that you don’t feel well there, too. But not everything is for everybody. Wish you luck to find an organization more of your liking. Let us wish NLUUG reactivates the SANE – and lets meet there and talk over a beverage of our liking.