[OSGeo-Discuss] Certification commitee

Frank Warmerdam warmerdam at pobox.com
Tue Mar 14 22:09:29 PST 2006

dmcilhagga at dmsolutions.ca wrote:
> Another consideration on this is that certification is often a value-add
> that companies provide around open source technologies, so there is
> potential for this to cause competition between OSGEO and the companies
> that are selling services and products around the technologies.
> The open source geospatial industry has not yet begun to offer this kind
> of service, but it may come quickly given the rapid maturation that is
> currently happenning.


I'm not sure I have seen many certification efforts where a third party
company does all the certification stuff.  I guess I am most familiar
with certifications where a company certifies people on their own technology
(like Microsoft and MSCE).

Are you concerned about a scenario where a companies wishes to promote
a certification on a product (say GRASS for example) that it does the
testing and certification for?  And that OSGeo might be competing with
that company if it also tried to provide a certification for GRASS?

While I suppose this is possible, it seems to me that a certification
would (or could) have more credibility if coming from a relatively neutral
organizations, like OSGeo, that doesn't pursue the certification from a
profit motive.  In any event, if we were to do so, I think the effort would
have to be in cooperation with the PSC of the affected projects.

On a number of fronts I too am concerned about OSGeo possibly competing with
it's own members.  But this hadn't occured to me as one that might be an

 > I'm not saying that this shouldn't happen -- just that it should be done
 > with sensitivity to the issue. I'd be hopeful that a certification process
 > could be done in a way that is complementary to services offerred by
 > companies around open source.

Well, I certainly think if we pursued certification it should be because:
  o It helps services companies convince clients of their professionalism.
  o Gives user organizations a way of identifying competent integrators.

That is, my objective would be to grow the size and effectiveness of the
open source geospatial services sector.

As Uchoa noted, this could be quite important in government procurement
situations in Brazil and elsewhere.

One thing I was wondering was whether it would make sense for OSGeo to
"farm out" the certification process to a private company to administer
under the supervision of the project PSC(s) and an OSGeo certification
committee.  There is some risk in apparent favoritism in selecting one
company to do such a job, but farming it out in this manner might be
necessary to getting things off the ground in a serious and professional

Best regards,
I set the clouds in motion - turn up   | Frank Warmerdam, warmerdam at pobox.com
light and sound - activate the windows | http://pobox.com/~warmerdam
and watch the world go round - Rush    | President OSGF, http://osgeo.org

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