AW: LPI-DE stops working

martin f krafft madduck at
Wed Jul 31 13:16:53 EDT 2002

also sprach kara at <kara at> [2002.07.30.0033 +0200]:
> How could exam source be translated if noone asked me for it? Noone
> on your staff has license to the TDL source that is used for the
> exams, and if you were given hard copies of those exams, then I'm
> even more concerned. No development in any language should be
> happening outside of LPI's Exam Development.  If it is, then it's
> not LPI...

I was referring to a message by Torsten on lpi-de-core (I believe) in
which he said that he and Taki had almost completed the translation.
I've not seen it nor do I know this for sure. But I surely stand
behind what I said: being fluent in both languages, and, excuse me for
blowing my own trumpet, rather good in each, I will happily volunteer
my time to help with the translation to minimize costs. This pffer
applies to a company not planning a "half-assed" strategy over here
(you have excused usage of this term, right? Or help me find a better

> You are correct that YOU aren't going to get permission to publish
> those German exams, collect fees, etc. No affiliate will be granted
> license to publish LPI exam source, collect exam fees, etc on their
> own.  This must be completed through LPI Inc. Affiliates are not
> franchises. 

Okay. We can deal with that.

> The proposal discussion, as I understood it, discussed a market
> growth path, providing accountability that LPI-DE had grown as an
> organization through sustaining a certain sponsorship goal and
> growth in exams outside of what already exists that LPI INC would
> work with LPI-DE to develop and publish LPI Exams in a German
> Language by region at Level 1, and would later determine market
> growth support for Level 2 (which is due to the fact that overall
> Level 2 hasn't gained in candidate growth in any region). The same
> goal is achieved, but the responsibility and administration for the
> project remains with the central organization (LPI-INC).  

I think we also buy that, as long as LPI Inc. looks beyond their
plates and takes our word for granted. As Peer said, one of our major
problems is that we felt like having to fight for permission to work
for LPI Inc. all the way. Administration and all that jazz may just as
well stay with y'all, as long as we don't have to enter a lengthy
discussion every time that some of the procedure in Germany requires
some form of change, major or minor. You remain the head of it all, no
discussion on that. However, we would like to be recognized as smart
enough and working *with* you towards the *same* goals. So if we
isolate a need for change, consider it even though you wouldn't see it
necessary in your environment. That's all we're asking for.

> I apologize that this accountability is only obtained through
> numbers of sponsorship levels and candidate numbers. If these
> numbers, reflecting growth of number of German LPI candidates,
> growth in amount of German based revenue, and growth in Levels of
> German affiliate sponsorships are not considered valid by German
> business, then I would like to know what the alternatives are.
> That's the kind of support an affiliate would give to help build
> a program in their region.

I'd put quality before that all. LPI has but one chance against other
similar instituttions already in place over here, and it's quality. As
soon as that's known, the numbers will grow. The entire thing is
wonderfully circular.

> > Do you see my point on why we chose to get started and *then* get back
> > to the community? Or do you see it as an attempt to set loose and
> > eventually do LPI-DE without LPI Inc? Or just generally as some form
> > of arrogant German behaviour?
> No, I can't see your point. I understand the eagerness, but I have great 
> issue with the approach.

Then I think you are failing to see the urgency for LPI to act if they
ever want to set foot on the German market. I am sorry for putting
this so harshly.

> If the central part of our (and your) program is the certification 
> program, how is it that you can develop a full plan that meets our 
> development requirements if noone ever even talked to me, the primary 
> person responsible for ALL of that?

The full plan we developed made up the foundation. Anything pertaining
to LPI itself failed, didn't it?

> You've been involved with us long enough to know that we don't just
> write questions and publish them.  The psychometrics involved in the
> initial exam development process, the reviews, and the translations
> are tedious.  Then throw in the technical details of TDL licensing,
> score reports, data collection, candidate management, and large
> publishing fees required from each testing center, and the equation
> gets very very long.  To give you an idea of the problems, there are
> still issues that are not resolved today that happened 2 years ago
> with respect to our first Japanese translation of Level 1.  

So then, why are we still discussing the German exams, why have we not
already started their translation??? Is it really that you must be
convinced of their utter necessity before instituting them? *That's*
what's incompatible with the German market.

> It's just not that simple.  And while I cringe every time someone
> tries to throw nationality arrogance into the argument, the simple
> fact is noone asked what would be involved in a translation.  You're
> fully aware that we are a pscyhometrically valid program.  Noone put
> that in your plan. Noone.  That's not arrogance or lack of on
> anyone's part.  

Noone excluded it from our plan. Fact is that I consider these
questions not *that* hard to translate. German also tends to be
a language that's more precise and clear, leaving less room for
ambiguity, if that's not what you want.

> Assumption, eagerness, lack of knowledge and lack of communication
> has no language barrier.  As a community member myself, I am eager
> to reach into new regions, learn the difference in business and
> culture.  As I'm not already a trained business or marketing droid,
> I'd like to think that I'm more malleable. However, all I'm ever
> told about is "American business doesn't work", and "American profit
> company" and other terms which do nothing other than boil blood
> amongst colleagues.  This adrenaline tactic isn't going to do
> anything good for anyone.

I apologized. However, we were unable to find another explanation for
Chuck's decisions. LPI Inc. is non-profit and in as such they are
limited in their ability to take risks. But the conservative attitude
made you lose a once-in-a-lifetime chance: you had people willing to
give up their regular lives to support LPI. Ye, it was so sudden and
seemed rather organized (I assume), so you decided to take it easy and
refuse rather than take that step.

LPI's quality is something I (for one) am going to sustain with my
best(est) efforts. For those who know me and my involvement with other
projects, I think you can conclude that I value quality over
everything else. I am involved with Debian and similar non-profit,
quality-oriented organizations in Munich. And between Debian and LPI,
there are many many parallels. Even though financial issues seemed to
be paramount to our discussion(s), noone of us ever really had
financial interests per se. I was in this because, as you said, I've
been with LPI almost since its inception and know what it's about.
I've come to appreciate its values and its meaning. I've also had
reasonable exposure to the German training and certification market to
identify the unsatisfied need for a certification standard based on
LPI. And that's why I invested numerous hours of my sparse time, even
drove half way through Germany and back on weekends between courses to
represent LPI or attend LPI-DE meetings.

What can we do to gain your trust and be able to help LPI into the
German market, which is, suffice to say, not at all going to be an
easy endeavour.

> The proposal I read focused simply on being set up as an LPI
> franchise and not an affiliate.  It mandated resources from LPI-Inc.
> without providing any basis for accountability or proof of growth.
> It provided no security for maintaining LPI Inc standard
> requirements.  It provided no insight to the differences between LPI
> Inc's current market within Germany and this difference in business
> approach that you keep referring to.

It wasn't a proposal. It was the pre-stage to drafting one, and it
already failed because of a hostile attitude that we felt.

> An affiliate is our gateway to local regions.  Gateways are
> bi-directional.  We give you the product to build a program around
> the product to your regional community, and you give us the feedback
> required to build that product.  

Yes, but this satellite position doesn't allow us to react quickly.
Moreover, as displayed perfectly by the current situation, you are
making our job all the much more difficult. Rather than being smart
enough and approrpiately timely to address the needs of the German
market, we also need to convince an international group of every
single step we see fit. That's *not* the way that international
cooperations work.

martin;              (greetings from the heart of the sun.)
  \____ echo mailto: !#^."<*>"|tr "<*> mailto:" net at madduck
linux: because a pc is a terrible thing to waste
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