Yesterday in the Ubuntu Community Roundtable session and idea was put forth by Jono Bacon to remove the term ‘approved’ from the loco team lexicon. It was further suggested to remove the boundary restrictions currently in place. These ideas have been floating around in the community since, my first UDS, UDS-N in Orlando Florida.
For me one of the first things that I notice is that there are already exceptions to the ‘rules’. For example, there are city teams (Chicago and Dallas), but new city based teams are not allowed. I am in New York State so I might be a bit biased, but I would personally think having an Ubuntu New York City team would be good thing. New York City is the 8th largest city (population) in the world. It is also 342 mile from where I live so there is little chance that people from my area would travel there or vice-versa. In my city we actually have two Linux user groups; one at a prestigious technical university and one for the general community. The technical university focuses more on development, and the general community group on specific implementations of applications and general use. Two different groups with two different needs. Both groups exist and thrive separately as well as cooperate when interests overlap.
I want to be clear; I do not think this should be forced, nor do I think it should be something that requires approval.
It is my personal opinion that the challenges that face teams are each unique; they will vary based on culture, language, geographic distance, population density and other variables. Ubuntu users should be able to choose how to organize themselves without artificial organizational boundaries placed on them.
From my understanding the original structure was put in place to control the flow of resources like CDs, conference packs, etc. There will still be a need for some control in regards to resources, and this is an issue that must be discussed and worked out. I feel strongly that this need should not inhibit the freedom of Ubuntu users to organize and grow in a way that best suits the needs of their area or group.