Certification (was RE: realpath(3) et al) - jumping to -advocacy

Robert Watson rwatson at freebsd.org
Thu Aug 14 12:25:01 PDT 2003

On Thu, 14 Aug 2003, twig les wrote:

> I am CC'ing -advocacy on this so we can officially move this thread over
> (bc getting chastised hurts my inner-child).  Please don't CC -security
> anymore, although I am in no position whatsoever to enforce this
> request.  Now, to the topic... 

I certainly didn't mean to chastise :-).  I was just saying that
certifications are odd things -- they have value in strange ways.  My main
concern was that people seemed to think it had value from a practical
security implementation perspective -- I'm not sure that it does.  It's
value is entirely in market, PR, et al, and I agree that there is
substantial value to be had there, if approached the right way.

> A large company that has a roll-out hardware/software package.  This
> includes support.  I *know* that it is easy to patch/make world, but the
> number of "computer engineers" that have never heard of SSH is
> astounding.  Management needs a 3rd-party to bitch about and know will
> still be around in 5 years. 
> A console port on the hardware platform.  Have you ever tried sending
> management to the pcweasel web site? 
> As silly as it sounds (and I understand how silly it sounds), a
> certification like the Red Hack one would help.  I apologize profusely
> for saying that. 
> I'm sure I'm missing a lot but if we want a corporate sponsor like my
> massive mother company (which rhymes with AT&C) then it seems like we
> need different medium companies pushing FreeBSD instead of redhat as a
> packaged solution. 

I agree with these conclusions entirely.  RedHat plays a valuable role in
the Linux world in a variety of ways, and one of the most important is to
provide the kind of support and legitimacy presence that many large
companies are looking for.  Having one for the FreeBSD world would
certainly provide a lot of swing for FreeBSD.  It would also change the
dynamic of the FreeBSD Project substantially, I expect, but it would be
hard to predict too much how.  I think that many people hoped that BSDi
could play this role for FreeBSD, but obviously that didn't work out :-).

So, if you know of a small company that wants to get bigger, and wants to
give a spin at promoting FreeBSD in this manner (and making money off it
in a sustainable way), I would encourage you to encourage them.  I'm sure
there are a fair number of FreeBSD developers who would like to work for
such a company, if they thought it was viable.

Robert N M Watson             FreeBSD Core Team, TrustedBSD Projects
robert at fledge.watson.org      Network Associates Laboratories

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