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[setup] Debian-Malaysia - Malaysian Debian GNU/Linux enthusiasts community

Hello debian-localgroups,

I would like to have a debian localgroup establish on my country (Malaysia).


Seem because of most of #debian-localgroups already know my attention[1] and debian-localgroups just start to figure out the process of assisting local groups, we don't mind to be "test subject" :)


Previously there is existing debian local user community called "debmal" who start exists around 2009 and disappear on thin air around 2015. The debmal community is very cool as it already did lot of awesome such as physical booth during local opensource conference, own website (blog, wiki, media), do IRC meeting, mailing-list (on googlegroup), local apt repository and many more super-duper stuff.

But it all the past...

I have been on #debian freenode, oftc and sometimes I see someones ask question like :
  - "if there is any Malaysian user here?",
  - "are you from Malaysia?",
  - "I from Malaysia, my English are so bad, I need help"
  - "do there is any Malaysian debian community?" and many more...

Some similar discussion also exist on facebook or local web forum

If debmal still exist, I would point them to debmal, but debmal is hibernate and no one continue the initiative.

I checked "debmal" existence on wiki but it never landed been there but debmal previously requested official mailing list[2] and have seconders but no further action and been closed 6 years later, it look like debmal never able landed with official debian platform.

Been curious and motivate, I contacted debmal leaders (disclosure: I also part of debmal previously but using pseudo name, I quite a shy guy) and any malaysian debian user that I can found about my idea to establish Malaysian debian community, I got positive response but there is some issue which I will point out on "problems" paragraph below.

1) "debmal" is a unique name but lack of marketing keyword to appear on search engine if someone searching "debian malaysia", it just known to people how previously involved with local FOSS community or someone did a deep google-fu looking for information on "debian malaysia"

2) As I mentioned previously, I contacted previous debmal leaders and malaysia debian users; I got positive feedback but they are busy with real job, family etc. Looking at myself and bigger picture, most of us is not always available for local community

3) debmal don't leave any architect and platform (except google mailing list) for continuation movement of local community

4) Debian is not favorite distro here because lot of local missed understanding / discussion / lacks such as:
  - Debian? I never heard it before.
  - Debian is unusable because of no proprietary firmware
  - "Debian" is outdated and lack of support
- Ubuntu, Kali linux, "insert your debian deviation here" is not from debian
  - Debian is dying
  - Lack of local HOWTO tutorial
  - No update on ms_MY translation
  - Debian Mailing list have spam email to often
  - I don't use IRC, it outdated and most IRC ports are blocked by telco
- More sad and hilarious point can be added here. But let just stop here :)

5) Checking back some existence of local debian community, some of them get split up between developer and user. Would that will happen to our local community too?

6) Some people want to contribute back to debian, but they get lost and drifted away

7) What name to use? debmal? Debian Malaysia? Debian Malaysian Localgroup? DUG Malaysia?

There is maybe more bad taste problem to list out, but the solution (which is the main objective) are much delicious and tastier to read.

Solutions / suggestion
There is a demand to create Malaysia localgroup community and we need long time running and available platform to reach out each others.

"Debian-Malaysia" name is chosen and pickup as it quite simple and understandable to whom.

I (Robbi) have take initiative to register "Debian-Malaysia" as name of localgroups as it more user friendly name which combine "Debian" and country name.

A wiki entry about Debian Malaysia is available here[3].

There is no objection on naming so far and me, myself don't care much how you interpret it as it may look I continuing Debmal or I start a new ones, as for me this part doesn't not important and I already contact debmal to prevent any clash of interest in future, furthermost, I already get bless and supports from them.

Until now, Debian-Malaysia is on beta stage and people who comes are invited and find out our existence itself :)

The reason why I said beta stage is because:
  - I need to post this email and get support from debian-localgroups team,
  - set-up various local chit-chats platform (done),
  - setup communication bridge (done),
  - setup website (WIP)
- Does it legal to use "debian" on our tagname, TLD, etc? (Already contact trademark@debian.org but no response since 2/18/21, 11:58 AM +0800)

Debian-Malaysia also use DebianMalaysia, Debian Malaysia, Debmal, DebianMY keywords under one roof to prevent miss understanding by new comers or someone.

Malaysia user are prefer to use twitter[4], facebook (I need to ask debmal permission, havent to that yet) and telegram[5]. So to reach them Debian-Malaysia already prepare thus platform for them to interact.

Not forgetting, unpopular platform also available for them to intereact such as mastodon[6], mailing list[7] (using debmal google ML), IRC[8] and Matrix[9]

Currently, we bridge matrix, irc and telegram asynchronously. It would be much fun like this but it depend on my (Robbi) personal server availability. It would be great if localgroups team can provide this kind service too for every localgroup teams who need to bridge IRC with telegram.

As of January 2021, about 86 percent of the Malaysian population were active social media users. This was an increase of 24 percent compared to 2016[10], based on this statistic it would be good idea to get new linux user to use and get involve with debian. The need of local group is a demand from this perspective. Pointing and centralize them to Debian Malaysia is a good way for them to get info and ask for help. It better to use internet for useful stuff instead of wasting time and bandwidth some where

Real life vs hobby vs life and death, This is what seriously to take look too.. As myself won't be always available on various factor. So to take care this expecting problem, the simple solution is to grow up and grooming any Malaysian Debian user to involve with Debian mainstream at least become wiki editor or the best if he/she can become DD. In conclusion, that person must have involve actively on some period and me and existing admin (on various platform) will pass the "level" as admin/operator/moderator such as IRC, telegram, website etc. On debian provide platform such as wiki, it not much to worry about. The transition will take time and I already pointed few of us as admin just incase I become "silent key" during process. If that happen, please help the new representative to continue grow up Debian-Malaysia. Because this community is mostly based on hobby, so when the group get bigger and merrier this localgroup will move on they own.

I have decide to built a website and taking advantage of static generator. So anyone can contribute article, web modification etc via pull request. Currently I using gitlab and website are appear here[11] (currently it still private mode), I love to use salsa but having URL like debianmalaysia.pages.debian.net or malaysia.pages.debian.net is quite ugly IMO. Plus, do we have localgroup team on salsa?

As I also uncertain about trademark (as we already discussed on IRC, some localgroup already violate the trademark as using it on TLD), as I see the debian-localgroups team must do something here.

I would like to suggest if debian can host the subdomain name or sub directory name so we can point out the url / host the static file. It could be (my suggestion)

- localgroups.debian.net (localgroups.debian.net/malaysia or malaysia.localgroups.debian.net)
- debian.community (debian.community/malaysia or malaysia.debian.community)

This will cost budget to buy the domain, but it not problem right?

My hope are, this Debian-Malaysia will help Debian project in term of
- Malaysian debian user hangout place
- born of DD from Malaysian and growing more DD in Asia
- Malaysia involvement to Debian event such as DebConf
- Increase Malay (ms) translation wiki[12] and Debian itself
- Increase of Debian user in Malaysia

Okey, I think I done explaining. It quite unstructured but the information are there. I would like to heard you response and opinion on what I put here.

[1] http://meetbot.debian.net/debian-localgroups/2021/debian-localgroups.2021-03-13-12.58.html
[2] https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=533200
[3] https://wiki.debian.org/LocalGroups/Debian-Malaysia
[4] https://twitter.com/debianmalaysia
[5] http://t.me/debianmalaysia
[6] https://linuxrocks.online/@debianmalaysia
[7] https://groups.google.com/g/debmal
[8] irc://irc.freenode.org/debian-malaysia
[9] https://matrix.to/#/#debian-malaysia:freenode.org
[10] https://www.statista.com/statistics/883712/malaysia-social-media-penetration
[11] http://debian-malaysia.gitlab.io/
[12] https://wiki.debian.org/ms/FrontPage

Email : Robbi Nespu <robbinespu AT SPAMFREE gmail DOT com>
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