Translations WAS:[RE: AW: LPI-DE stops working]
jared at ti.com
Mon Jul 29 17:29:08 EDT 2002
> Is there a reason why responsible groups of people in other countries
> can't simply license the LPI English-language source material (at
> no cost) and decide for themselves how to offer LPI testing in
> their country/region.
I'll take a stab at answering this one. In short, yes there are a few
reasons why this isn't an optimal solution.
1) Quality Control - LPI is a non-profit that exists solely for
the purpose of advocating Linux by producing a globally
respected Linux certification program. In order to achieve
that goal, our exams have to be of uniformly high quality
around the world which is a non-trivial task. Doing
translations properly is expensive and time consuming and one
or two bad translations in big market(s) could have a very
negative impact on the worth of the certification as a whole.
2) Cost Recovery - As Evan has pointed out earlier, translation
while expensive is just a very small part of what it takes
to create a certification. Licensing this out to other
groups leaves us with the difficult problem of figuring out
how to recoup our costs of development. We're a non-profit
but we can't keep developing exams without money. The
accounting and auditing overhead alone would take a
significant amount of time and resources for both LPI and
anyone we licensed our IP to under a scheme like this.
3) Protecting LPI's Intellectual Property - Our pool of exam
questions is our most valuable asset, and if for some
reason that intellectual property was released to the
public, then our certification would become worthless
unless we immediately and completely rewrote all of our exams.
If the questions and answers were all available to anyone
who could do a Google search then passing the exams would
become just another "boot camp" or "exam cram" session that
neither the Linux community nor employers would be interested
4) Agency Problem - How do you identify "responsible" groups
consistently across multiple cultures and languages? Handing
the future of the program to a group as you've suggested
above requires a very high level of trust and trust
is largely built on communication. Take the LPI-DE working
group for example. Here we have two highly motivated groups
of very talented people who all want to achieve the same goal
but despite that we're stuck in the middle of a very severe
communication problem! So, as if it's not apparent
from this thread, even in cases where everybody wants the
same thing communication can still be a very hard thing to do.
Without communication it's hard to build trust and without
trust sharing our IP isn't likely.
I hope this helps to answer the question of why LPI Inc needs to be very
careful about how translations are handled and how exams are delivered.
Anyone else feel free to chime in.
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