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From Ian Lynch <>
Subject Re: Certification programs (was: Differences between OOO and LibreOffice)
Date Fri, 01 Jul 2011 09:10:35 GMT
On 30 June 2011 18:04, Shane Curcuru <> wrote:

> Isn't this related to certification programs?  Speaking of which, does
> anyone have a brief explanation and some links to any existing official OOo
> certification or training or similar programs?

Just to be clear on terms because "certification" can apply to two key
different things. Certification of the product ie this product is 100%
compliant with ISO 26300 :2006 and certification of people either as users
of products or developers/technical support professionals.

Certification implies that there is a set of systems and/or policies and
procedures that have been applied and that the certificate is the manifest
that this has occurred and the outcomes are as described by the certificate.
While the concept is generic, the specifics are very different and require
different expertise and knowledge.

AFAIK the only "certifications" associated with OOo are the odf file format
as it is effectively certified by OASIS and OSI certification (I think but
not absolutely sure) because it is licensed with a recognised FOSS license.
There could be others I'm not aware of. These certifications are about the
product, not the people that use it or develop it.

There are end-user competence based certificates that can apply to users of
OOo such as ECDL/ICDL and ITQ. Degrees in computer science and similar
provide generic certification of the skills and knowledge of developers
administrators etc of OOo. However, competing proprietary products often
have vendor certification for people that is specific to the product eg MOS
(Microsoft Office Professional). I don't know of any comparable system for
FOSS. Clearly the vendors of proprietary software see end-user certification
as part of their marketing strategy to strengthen their ecosystems. As a
revenue driver they are probably more at the margins compared to license
fees and other sales for these big companies but of course what is marginal
to MS, Cisco etc is likely to be very significant to a FOSS project.

This is a major area for end users (and trainers, consultants, and the like)
> that we need to figure out how to effectively transition to the ASF.
> As a non-profit public charity, the mission of the ASF is to produce
> software for the public good, given away freely.  The way that the ASF does
> this is loosely known as the Apache Way, which is mostly about meritocratic
> communities making consensus based decisions on project directions, leading
> to high quality software that everyone can use.
> Along with our software, our projects also offer basic community-led
> support and help, through our mailing lists and bugtrackers.  However the
> ASF does not directly offer support contracts, trainings, certification, or
> other services about our products.  This is because of our volunteer nature,
> and the fact that we do not charge for any of the software (or services)
> that we provide.
> I'm sure we can provide sufficiently documented licensing procedures for
> trainers who want to provide certifications in Apache OO, although it may
> take a little while to get it right, and to ensure the Apache folk here
> understand what's important to the broader and pre-existing OOo community.

We have a load of CC licensed policies and procedures accredited by the UK
National Regulators that can be used if they are helpful. These include
things such as equality of opportunity, the disabilities act etc. I can put
together a generic set of requirements that could apply to any training or
outcome based qualifications system but of course I could be seen to have a
conflict of interest in carrying out that work so I don't want to put the
time in if its likely to be discounted on those grounds ;-) Of course
anything I do at Apache is under the ICLA so anyone can modify it.


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