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Re: If Debian support OS certification?

On Wed, May 17, 2017 at 9:28 PM, Ian Jackson wrote:

> I would be in favour of asking for payment.

I think only optional donations are acceptable, I've written a few
mails upthread about that.

> The work of actually doing the testing is tedious.  If we think people
> should be doing that, they should be paid for their time.

They will be, either by their vendor employer or vendor clients or
people who use hardware they want certified. I guess, like the rest of
Debian, there could be volunteers doing certification too, if anyone
finds it interesting (some might like playing with new hardware a

> We shouldn't be expecting hardware vendors to self-certify.  That is
> an invitation to trouble.  We don't have the effort to properly audit
> such a thing.  (See above.)

I don't see a problem if it is mostly automated via a live CD.

> I think the only sensible structure is probably for us to outsource
> the certification testing, and administration.  There must be at least
> only mildly-useless corporations who could handle this for us.  Of
> course the Debian project could contract with some of our existing
> contributors, but I think we should engage in a proper supplier
> selection process.
> I suggest we would set the testing fee to cover the price we pay the
> outsourced contractor, plus a 10% donation to Debian.

Debian is not a legal entity so we can't enter into contracts. We
would have to ask our TOs if they can do this on our behalf.

I'm also not sure our donors would think this is a useful use of
Debian funds; it mostly benefits vendors and large organisations who
insist on someone else testing Debian instead of themselves. Debian
itself doesn't get improved when $giantserver is tested and shown to
run perfectly.

Selecting contractors only from existing contributors sounds like
corruption to me. I also think we do not want a single entity having a
monopoly on certification. We also have a lot of people already doing
consulting around Debian, so it makes sense to at minimum notify them
about the possibility of certification work, and direct vendors to
them. If we do want to force exclusivity (not convinced we do) of
people who can perform certification tests, a new list of 'certified'
certification folks could be created (like we have for consultants,
CD/preinstalled vendors etc), including any possible volunteers (some
folks might be interested) and willing consultants, who agreed to play
by the rules and only certify appropriate systems.




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