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On Fri, 2010-11-05 at 17:25 +0100, Italo Vignoli wrote:

In addition, the free software community lacks the experience to build a 
certification program (industry certification, similar to Microsoft, 
Adobe, etcetera), and the Sun history shows that free software vendors - 
with several exceptions (RedHat, MySQL prior to Sun, others) - miss the 
point (I have had many talks with Sun marketing about this issue but I 
have not found a single person able to understand).

I hope that excludes me :-) Of course I don't have control of resources
like Sun or IBM but I do have the expertise. When I first mentioned
certification of OOo I was told just use ECDL. Why give them the money
when we can use it to put back into development? I find it very baffling
that everyone is always looking for a sustainable service to support
development of free software yet when one is found, no-one seems to be
able to understand it. It's not that complicated in principle. What is
complex is dealing with associated government admin. etc.

We should collectively persuade Novel (or Google) to invest in it. After
all Novel needs service models to produce income and we could show how
they could make money from it as well as sustain LO. Surely it would be
better for them to cover the costs of Michael and other developers from
a steady income stream? 

Certainly we have the expertise (and technologies) to do it and the
platform with LO to reach a massive market, what we don't have is the
investment to exploit that opportunity to its full potential. If RH
certification is thought to be successful, compare the potential size of
that market to the market for LO certification of end users rather than
Linux Sys admins. ECDL - 9 million certificates last year. Really it's a
no-brainer but surprisingly difficult to get people in a position to
invest to see it.

Yes, it is going to be damn difficult to fund a project as big as TDF 
(believe me, after 30 years as a top manager or a consultant for large 
IT companies such as IBM, Dell, Compaq, 3Com, Adobe, and the likes, I 
have some experience, and I understand the business) but we must build a 
different business model (this is not going to be a carbon copy of the 
OOo project, and LibreOffice - as it is today - is not what we see as 
the future of the office suite).

I agree, if it was easy someone would have done it already :-) 

But I don't really believe it is as difficult as some would think. I
just think we have to look at long term sustainability and business
strategy rather than short term coding issues. Probably the latter are a
lot easier for developers so they tend to get first focus. Business
strategy is what will make or break LO in the longer term.

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