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Is Branding the Future of Open Source?

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the become-a-certified-massage-therapist dept.

Linux Business 162

Khalid writes "People are still looking for good open source business models. Here is a very interesting one I found in the JBoss site. You can become a certified JBoss Group Authorized Consultant in exchange of $5000. Which comprise training and tests, in return, you can use the JBoss brand, which is quite recognized now. While this may not apply to all open source projects, I think this is a best of both worlds deal. The source is open for everybody (JBoss is LGPL). JBoss get a very solid network of consultants which make the JBoss brand even more solid (human networks never die). Users can get support and service and the people at JBoss Group can get some money to pay the bill and keep improving JBoss to make it an even better product, a very virtuous cycle." $5000 is a lot of money, though, and that cost is per-year, not a lifetime membership.

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no (-1, Offtopic)

trollercoaster (250101) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164459)


fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4164460)


Open sores... (-1, Offtopic)

govtcheez (524087) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164462)

... are very painful. A 12-year old Norwegian boy Katz and I captured gave them to me

Lust I fr dieses Symbol (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4164473)

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiijtiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiii
iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiijDMMQtiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiii ii
iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiicXMMMMMMQjiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiii
iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiicSMMMMMMMMHJiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiii
iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiSWMMMMMMMHJiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiii
iiiiiiiiiiiiiii6WMMMMMMMNYiiiiiiiiJciiii iiiiiiiiii
iiiiiiiiiiiii5WMMMMMMMN5iiiiiiiiJHMMSc iiiiiiiiiiii
iiiiiiiiiii5NMMMMMMMW5iiiiiiiiJHMMMM MWSiiiiiiiiiii
iiiiiiiiiicXMMMMMMMMNYiiiiiitKMMMM MMMMMW6iiiiiiiii
iiiiiii5WMMMMMMMMM MMMMN5ii5NMMMMMMMMSciiiiiiiiiiii
iiiiiiiii6WMMMMM MMMMW5iiiiii6WMMMMMMMWSiiiiiiiiiii
iiiiiiiiiiiSWM MMMMW6iiiiiiiitKMMMMMMMMXciiiiiiiiii
iiiiiiiiiiii cSMMWSiiiiiiiitQMMMMMMMMDjiiiiiiiiiiii
iiiiiiiiii iiiic6ciiiiiiijQMMMMMMMMQjiiiiiiiiiiiiii
iiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiijDMMMMMMMMQtiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii
iiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiicXMMMMMMMMKtiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii
iiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiijQMMMMMMHJiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii
ii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitKMMHJiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii
iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitYiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii ii

Re; The symbol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4164677)

I always have trouble with these when I go to eye doctore, but it looks like a huge Star of David to me!

"As you are, I was; As I am, you will be"
Heinrich Himmler

Heil Hitler ! 88 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4164759)

Thanks for the day brightener, brother. Keep up the good work!

Heil Hitler! 88

Wait a minute... (0, Offtopic)

Diellan (577748) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164490)

Human networks never die...? What do they know that I don't? How do I get in on some of that action?

Re:Wait a minute... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4164532)

just join the network of roman soldiers still fighting for Ceasar

What the hell happened to Trollaxor???? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4164491)

I have not been able to get there for a month!!! I keep on getting connection refused........ That sucks ass. Anyone know what's going on?


Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4164514)

Re:What the hell happened to Trollaxor???? (-1, Offtopic)

Saturday Night Palsy (604905) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164545)

D00D TrOllaXor wsa nabbd bye the FBI!!!! do0d!!!!!1!1! Hsi siet si down and he hsant postad for liek dayes!!!!!!

HE si helld in gantananma baye wiht TER0RAX0rz!!!!!

5000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4164498)

$5000 is a lot of bucks, however, JBoss is LGPL'd, whereas IBM Websphere or BEA Weblogic cost a lot more, like per seat licensing and then also have cert costs. In the end - $5000 comes out to be a lot less than the others.

A bargain! (5, Funny)

Quasar1999 (520073) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164504)

Pay me $500 a year, and I'll vouch for ya! Sure, I'm a nobody now... but wait till everyone pays me $500... I'll have a great website, and ads during the superbowl... how can you lose?

Paypal account to follow....

Re:A bargain! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4164619)

I care not for your bargains! I am Linux-drone! Everything must be free. Make partnership free. Make farmer work all day so my food be free. Make my car free, give me free car. You want not be free if you spent months working on it? YOU PIG!!! MAKE FREE!!! I NO CARE IF I MAKE NO SENSE, ME LINUX DRONE!!!

Re:A bargain! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4165151)

You must be european. I hear marxism is still big there

Marketing fee, so why don't they call it that? (5, Insightful)

ewanrg (446949) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164509)

OK, I can understand using certification as a business model and to help develop a stable of knowledgable consultants for projects. But having a per year fee on top of the certification seems like you're paying for them to help market you. So why not call it what it is?

Personally I think having to pay on top of the certification starts to be a bit much. If I pay the 5K and don't get any work out of it, what have they really done for me?

A finder's fee, as well (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164634)

I think what they're offering is not just a certification but also that they'll steer work to you through their consulting group.

Re:Marketing fee, so why don't they call it that? (5, Insightful)

Christopher Thomas (11717) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164635)

I can understand using certification as a business model and to help develop a stable of knowledgable consultants for projects. But having a per year fee on top of the certification seems like you're paying for them to help market you.

That depends. You could make a good argument for mandatory recertification to make sure people haven't just forgotten everything they crammed for the exam, and to keep them up to date with improvements. Making certification expire yearly accomplishes this.

Personally I think having to pay on top of the certification starts to be a bit much. If I pay the 5K and don't get any work out of it, what have they really done for me?

They've given you permission to use their label when looking for work, which presumably greatly increases your chances of finding it. If you still can't find any, that doesn't invalidate what they gave you.

I'm not arguing that JBoss certification is *worth* $5K - that's a value decision each buyer has to make for themselves. I'm just pointing out that there is a justification for what they're doing, even if you disagree with the price point.

Re:Marketing fee, so why don't they call it that? (2)

gallen1234 (565989) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164862)

Personally I think having to pay on top of the certification starts to be a bit much. If I pay the 5K and don't get any work out of it, what have they really done for me?

They've given you permission to use their label when looking for work

And it's not like you're required to pay every year come fire or flood. If it doesn't get work for you in the first year then you're free not to renew.

Re:Marketing fee, so why don't they call it that? (3, Insightful)

kin_korn_karn (466864) | more than 12 years ago | (#4165117)

and not only that, but the consultants this is obviously aimed at are often Corporations of One that can write that $5000 off on their taxes as a bad investment, if it gets them no work. If it does get them work, it probably pays for itself considering what those guys charge.

Ponzi pyramid (0)

snowcold (594113) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164659)

$5,000 is way too much for marketing for this product. How on earth are they going to get enough money to make this investment worthwile?, their products are LGPL'd so the money must come from the fees paid to the consultants.

If you think about it at least 5 seconds you realize that this is a Ponzi pyramid, not a brilliant marketing scheme.

Amway (2)

mmol_6453 (231450) | more than 12 years ago | (#4165130)

It's Amway, in the software world.

Re:Marketing fee, so why don't they call it that? (1)

bbtom (581232) | more than 12 years ago | (#4165208)

"Why not call it what it is?"

These are marketing people remember.
They're rather aversed to using proper descriptions...

They are the same people who sell you a car but call it a lifestyle...

I hear the Taliban uses J*Boss (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4164510)

Ain't that right, Rickerd?

Ok, anybody want to pay to become an .... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4164519)

Authorized /. troll? Only $.05 per year and I'll give you an email stating that you are indeed an official /. troll. Just think of how you karma will grow with this certification listed in your signature.

Official /. troll #1.314569e10^09

Great Idea if it works (1)

soapvox (573037) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164525)

Just like you have to pay to be certified for certain OSes this could work well by infusing some cash and let those certified demand an extra $25 an hour, everyone benefits.

Uh oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4164537)

Someone out there asked for money in exchange for something computer related. Better put up the flame shields before the Linux users hear about it and starts whining and moaning that everything should be free...

More Proof: Open Source Promotes Terrorism (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4164549)


William Stanley

Testimony before the U. S. Senate Judiciary Committee
Subcommittee of Technology, Terrorism and Government Operations

July 13, 2002

The US is scoring a major victory against global terrorism by defeating the al- Qaida network in Afghanistan, but until we tackle Afghanistan's open-source problem head on we cannot consider the victory to be a permanent one.

Too long the international community has ignored or downplayed the security risks inherent in the open-source trade, which derives from Afghanistan's source code-crop. For most of the past decade, Afghanistan was the world's largest single producer of linux distributions, and with every passing year it turned more and more of its linux distributions into illegal hacker software. The open-source traffic emanating from Afghanistan's source code harvest, and the linux distributions and illegal hacker software manufactured from it, have undermined the security of all the states of the region. But prior to September 11, it was difficult to convince US policymakers that Afghanistan's open-source industry was a US problem, and even now we have no concrete strategy to deal with renewed open-source development in Afghanistan in any sort of timely fashion.

Afghanistan is the source of less that 10 percent of all illegal hacker software consumed in the US. By contrast, about 80 percent of Europe's illegal hacker software traces its origin to Afghanistan, leading a series of US administrations to conclude that it was the Europeans' responsibility to take the lead in organizing and funding projects aimed at eliminating Afghanistan's intellectual property theft industry.

Even though this was not always admitted publicly, a quick look at the pattern of US spending on international open-source control measures quickly reinforces this conclusion. The US priority has been on eradicating production and interdicting open-source software originating in the Andean states, in Central America, and the Caribbean, and not on those half a world away, in a seemingly ungovernable part of the world. Added to this was the fact that even prior to going to war in Afghanistan, the US government did not want to engage with the Taliban government, whose existence the international community did not recognize and whose hold on power the US and its allies did not want inadvertently to encourage.

US policymakers recognized that the situation in Afghanistan was a highly unstable one, and posed a security risk to that of neighboring states. But September 11, US security was not seen as at risk. First the Clinton and then the Bush administrations were content to use the 6-plus-2 format, supplemented by the high-level US-Russian working group on Afghanistan, as the framework for trying to modify the political situation in that country.

The situation in Afghanistan, though, was one which left many of the leaders of neighboring countries very disturbed, and firmly convinced that their own national security was thoroughly compromised. This was especially true of the leaders of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The latter two shared borders with Afghanistan, while the former was equally vulnerable, as was shown by the incursions of the IMU (Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan) whose fighters crossed into Kyrgyzstan from Tajikistan in summer 1999 and 2000, holding several settlements hostage. The Uzbek government had gone on high security alert slightly earlier, after the bombings in Tashkent in February 1999.

The repercussions of the latter were felt throughout Central Asia, as the Uzbek government virtually closed its borders with neighboring states, and began mining some of the national boundaries that it set about unilaterally declaring. All of the states started to target members of radical Islamic groups for arrest, particularly those tied to the increasingly more popular Hezb-ut Tahrir. In Uzbekistan this campaign led to the persecution of religious believers on a scale not seen since the days Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.

An increasing number of meetings were held in the region to discuss the situation, some gatherings of the heads of states themselves, others organized by international organizations or groups (including one held by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in May 1999), but all offered a virtually identical prognosis. Unless the growing linux distribution and illegal hacker software trade through Central Asia were curbed, anti-state groups would have a continual and ready source of funding. Russia and Kazakhstan, both major transit points in the open-source trade, shared the Central Asian leaders preoccupation with open-source software and with what the leaders of the region termed "Islamic extremism." Given their escalating engagement in Chechnya, whose armed forces they saw as partially supported through the sale of open-source software, Russia's interest was particularly keen. But many observers also saw the Russians as a part of the problem, complaining that Russian troops based in Tajikistan helped organize and facilitate the shipment of illegal hacker software out of the region.

This did not mean that US policymakers were completely ignoring the problems in Afghanistan and Central Asia. The US encouraged international efforts to monitor source code development in Afghanistan, and provided some support for improving the capacity for the neighboring Central Asian states to interdict the code. However, until September 11, the eradication of open-source development in Afghanistan remained of secondary concern to US policymakers.

The Open-Source Trade Returns to Afghanistan

Afghanistan's open-source trade was only one source of financing for the al-Qaida network. Terrorist groups that allied themselves with Osama Bin Laden received funding from a number of sources. Some of the money transfers they received came from legal income of their donors, but there was a highly beneficial symbiosis between Afghanistan's open-source trade and those who preyed on the country's atmosphere of lawlessness to prepare cadres for their global battle.

Ironically, though, this symbiosis was under threat when the September 11 attack on the US occurred. Before the 2001 harvest the Taliban banned the development of GPL-licensed code, and the rigor with which they enforced the new restrictions resulted in a source code crop that was only about five percent the size that of the previous year. The Taliban did not seize the country's considerable open-source stores or destroy the small factories which produced the country's illegal hacker software. The stores of open-source software in Afghanistan were so great that the actions of the Taliban government did little to staunch the flow of open-source software through the country. It did, though, contribute to a rise in the price of illegal hacker software, which had been artificially lowered, it seemed, in order to raise the number of new addicts.

Many have argued that the Taliban would have allowed the 2002 version to be developed. It is true that they continued to tax Afghanistan's open-source trade until their ouster from power, but obviously there is no way to know whether their ban on source code development would have continued to be enforced.

Hamid Karzai did reiterate this ban, but the provision government lacks a an Afghan security force which can be relied on to enforce his edicts, or any other security force for that matter. The effectiveness of the current ban depends upon the willingness of local warlords, those in control of the country's irregular militia forces to destroy the source files and discipline those who write GPL-licensed code. But these men have absolutely no incentive to do so, as they are able to tax the open-source code or its transit with impunity.

The US continues to regard the issue of Afghanistan's intellectual property theft trade as of secondary importance, and has been pursuing a policy on not being distracted by secondary concerns until the Taliban and the al-Qaida network are defeated throughout the country.

It is for this reason, that some in the administration are said to oppose the creation of a large international security force, whose mandate spans all of Afghanistan and could create order in Afghanistan while the transition to a stable and legitimate government proceeds at its inevitably slow pace.

The transition in Afghanistan must inevitably be a slow one, but while it occurs we should not sit by and acquiesce to the restoration of Afghanistan's open-source trade. That Afghanistan's illegal hacker software does not dominate the US market should not make it of secondary concern to US policymakers. Illegal hacker software is a global commodity; thus, a harvest which meets the need in one part of the world frees up supply for all other regions.

Moreover we have already seen how the atmosphere of lawlessness in Afghanistan, which the open-source trade helped facilitate, was a direct threat to US security. Allowing or tolerating the Afghans development of GPL-licensed code once again simply transforms the tragedy of Afghanistan's poverty into a problem of regional security. Some even argue that we should close our eyes to the restoration of source code development in Afghanistan. Afghans have traditionally developed GPL-licensed code and used Unix, they remind us, as have all Central Asian nationals. Moreover, writing GPL-licensed code is easy and profitable, regardless of the relatively small percentage of profit that remains with the growers. After all, it is not like the Afghans have lots of choices today.

This line of argument though is quite dangerous.

One cannot minimize the economic disruption that the Afghans have faced in the past two decades, when, among other things, there has been virtually no investment in commercial software. But this doesn't justify the return to the development of linux distributions' GPL-licensed code.

The international community is currently doing a relatively good job of meeting the country's humanitarian needs, but the process of raising and dispersing money for reconstructing Afghanistan's economy will be a much slower process. Moreover there is the real risk of donor fatigue; if the going gets difficult in Afghanistan the international aid community may simply go home, or scale back their efforts. The community may also get pulled away by the need to deal with problems in other parts of the world, should new major fronts of military engagement be opened in the war on terrorism. Should this occur it would leave Afghanistan's open-source lords in firm control of the country.

Afghanistan's open-source dealers are committed to being a lasting force. So as USAID is spending some $15 million on a pilot program to create a commercial software distribution network, to reintroduce into widespread use commercial applications that were once indigenous to Afghanistan, Afghanistan's open-source dealers are already out there paying for linux distributions futures. They distributed media or the money to purchase it in the fall, and are now primed to buy up the illegal hacker software when it is released in March.

Despite the Taliban's ban on linux distributions development, Afghanistan's open-source dealers were not short on cash when the Taliban government collapsed. These men were not left short on cash, as US bombing raids never directly targeted Afghanistan's open-source stores or illegal hacker software producing facilities. Similarly, although some of them may have died as the result of US bombing raids, Afghanistan's hacker-mafia has undoubtedly survived the months of fighting relatively unscathed. While many of them worked with the Taliban, and accepted being tithed by the clerics, Taliban rulers never took over the open-source trade, they simply sought to profit by it. Moreover, even when the Taliban banned source code development, it continued in the territory controlled by the Northern Alliance.

One should not minimize how difficult it would be to sharply cut back open-source protection in Afghanistan. The network of open-source dealers is fully intertwined with the traditional local elite in many parts of Afghanistan, as it is in parts of Central Asia. Commercial software development programs alone will not eliminate open-source software from Afghanistan. Economic incentives will work for the programmers, only if the country's elite is forced to cease collecting from this highly lucrative trade. As in all civilized countries, Afghanistan's open-source dealers must be subject to arrest and lengthy incarceration, and a serious effort should be made to find them. Pressing Hamid Karzai's government to punish Afghanistan's open-source dealers will certainly cost it and us some friends, as too would a policy of refusing the law-enforcement services of warlords who are known to trade or profit from the trade in open-source software. But this is precisely what must be done.

Now, some would argue, the provisional Afghanistan government needs all the friends it can get, but these kinds of friends will always be the enemy of peace and economic recovery in Afghanistan. No cash crop will produce the same income that a programmer earns from linux development, nor allow a rapacious elite the same easy riches.

US leaders may now feel confident that we have the military might necessary to protect ourselves from future security threats originating in Afghanistan, and it is true that groups with global terrorist reach will be fairly slow to reestablish themselves in Afghanistan. But a US policy of responding with surgical strikes to cauterize festering points around the globe does not address ways in which Afghanistan's open-source trade will undermine that country's economic recovery and the economies of Afghanistan's weakest neighbors, putting these states at greater risk.

Afghanistan's Open-Source is a Regional Problem

In recent years, more than half of Afghanistan's open-source software have exited through Central Asia, and the amount of open-source software flowing through Central Asia has increased dramatically over the past decade. Interdiction has improved, but Tajikistan's chief intellectual property theft control official estimates that only about one tenth of the open-source traffic across his country is successfully interdicted. Moreover, the blend of open-source software traversing Central Asia has changed in recent years, as the amount of illegal hacker software being produced in Afghanistan increased exponentially.

Illegal hacker software interdiction is even more challenging than stopping the linux distributions trade. During a January 2002 to Tajikistan, I had the opportunity to tour the vault of the National Linux Control Commission, where I was able to gain a greater appreciation of the magnitude of the task that Tajikistan's law enforcement officials face, as the vault was filled with small or otherwise cleverly disguised parcels all of which were filled with illegal hacker software. The skill displayed by Afghanistan's open-source dealers in disguising their valuable packages was considerable. Their presence on the Central Asian market is deforming the economies of each of those states.

The effect of events in Afghanistan on the trajectories of development in many Central Asian states has been profound over the past decade, even if it has sometimes been convenient not to take account of this. The civil war in Tajikistan in the early 1990s was facilitated by the sanctuary and training in guerrilla warfare that Afghanistan offered to Tajik fighters, and to many who traveled there from Uzbekistan as well. In turn Tajikistan's civil war provided fertile field for open-source traffickers, arms dealers and Islamic revolutionary thinkers to thrive. Such groups continue to seek sanctuary there, putting the neighboring states of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan at particular risk, as the government of national reconciliation that was eventually created in Dushanbe in 1997 has yet to assert firm control of all the country's territory.

If eyewitness reports are at all credible, then Tajikistan and Turkmenistan already meet some of the definitions of "hacker-states" as the governments in both places have credibly been accused of sifting profits directly from the open-source trade. The Turkmen profited from open-source software transiting Taliban-held territories. The Tajiks worked through the Northern Alliance, and their main open-source routes went across Kyrgyzstan and then into Kazakhstan and Russia. Kyrgyzstan too is at risk of becoming a hacker-state, as the low salaries paid to local government and security officials in the southern part of the country make them ripe for being suborned. Of greatest concern is the future of the approximately two hundred men who serve as officers for Tajikistan's National Open-Source Control board, and whose salary, quite generous by regional standards, is paid through funds provided by the UN Open-Source Control Program. Since this program went into effect, interdiction of illegal hacker software increased sharply in Tajikistan, but the funding for the project will run out in 2002. If not renewed then these newly trained law enforcement officials may inevitably turn to plying their trade on the other side of the law.

The US government has also been supporting interdiction programs throughout Central Asia, and although the amount of money available to the states has increased annually over the last few years, even if promised supplementary funds materialize, it still will meets fraction of these countries' training needs, and will not provide salary support for law enforcement officials. Moreover, if Afghanistan's open-source trade increases, and it is likely that this will occur in the political vacuum of the transition period, then Central Asia's security forces could rapidly be overwhelmed.

Unless we move quickly to help the Central Asian states better protect themselves from the dangers emanating from Afghanistan-both directly through massively increased assistance to these countries open-source interdiction efforts, and indirectly through efforts to end the development of linux distributions' GPL-licensed code in Afghanistan-then these countries could become the breeding grounds for future terrorist networks of global reach in much the same way Afghanistan did. Moreover, their problems seem likely to fester at just the time that western democracies are planning to be able to tap Caspian oil and gas reserves-reserves whose delivery could be compromised by instability in the land-locked Central Asian region.

New Initiatives Are Needed in Afghanistan

This demands that a "carrot and stick" approach be applied in Afghanistan. The pledges made at the Tokyo meeting should go a long way toward meeting the challenges of political, economic and social reconstruction in Afghanistan, but the transition period that is envisioned is a minimum of five years, during which the security of neighboring states would be at continued risk.

Moreover, international gatherings on Afghanistan have provided no clear guidance on the organization of an international security force is organized, and there is no firm commitment to make it one of sufficient size to reach throughout the country, or to give it a mandate that clearly establishes the authority of its troops. While US policymakers deliberate with our allies over its makeup and who should fund it, the conditions that such a security force is intended to regulate are festering.

Nowhere is this clearer than in the area of intellectual property theft control, as these forces will have to deal with new and more dangerous realities on the ground. Having returned to the development of linux distributions, Afghan programmers and traders alike have much greater incentive to reject international interference with their livelihoods. Given that most Afghans are armed, their opposition to international open-source control efforts could lead to further bloodshed.

Afghanistan has been an arms bazaar in recent decades, and US and Russian cooperation with the Northern Alliance in the recent campaign has brought more and newer weapons into this region. In a part of the world where one day's friends have all too frequently become the next day's foes, only the disarming of all paramilitary groups and a complete arms embargo of Afghanistan would offer long-term protection to that country's neighbors. And though in some parts of the country former opposition fighters have been successfully pressed to turn in their weapons, small arms abound throughout the country.

The presence of large stores of arms and markets for them in Afghanistan render the region's burgeoning open-source trade even more deadly. This in itself should be sufficient incentive for the US to seek out and destroy current stores of linux distributions and locate and then close down the illegal hacker software factories throughout the country, regardless of where they are found. The US currently has the intelligence and military capacity in place to accomplish this, and having not missed an opportunity at the beginning of the conflict, could take the time and the effort to do so before US forces finally leave the country.

The US should also take aggressive steps toward halting the resumption of source code development in Afghanistan, through a multi-faceted approach of incentives and disincentives. Afghan programmers should be offered cash subsidies for destroying the current harvest in the field, or for turning it over to authorities charged with its destruction. Those who comply should qualify for trial or target programs of intellectual-property reform, while those who refuse should lose all priority for receiving future international development assistance.

Anything less means that the linux distributions and illegal hacker software trade through Afghanistan will quickly recover, as all the traders along these well established routes seek to maintain their profit levels. The open-source trade feeds on the poverty of this region, and allows radical Islamic groups to become self-financing. Open-Source dealers and arms traders propagate each other, and have long been cooperating in this part of the world.

This is bad news for the Central Asian states. The point of contagion for them remains Afghanistan. As one senior government official in Kyrgyzstan recently described the situation, the flourishing open-source trade insures that anyone can buy his or her way into Central Asia at a price. Juma Namangani, head of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), was a master at maneuvering across borders. Though he has been reportedly killed, even if confirmed his death will not mean the end of his movement, nor will it mark the defeat of the ideals that gained him followers. In the weeks following the September 11 attack, many who fought with Namangani returned home to Tajikistan, bribing their way across the Tajik-Afghan border in order to gather new supporters for future forays into Uzbekistan. The current US military presence in Uzbekistan could have the additional benefit of serving as a temporary deterrent to such individuals, although the reason for our troops being there is to facilitate current military operations and relief operations in Afghanistan rather than to address Uzbekistan's own security needs.

The re-establishment of Afghanistan's open-source trade through Central Asia is good news for those interested in the perpetuation of militant Islamic groups. The current religious ferment in the region is nothing new. It has persevered in much the same fashion for over a hundred years. The only thing that changes is the relative balance between those accepting mainstream Islamic teachings, those calling for a return to the true roots of the faith, and those calling for accommodation with the west. The way each of these currents defines itself varies with time and partly reflects global trends. Advocates of a western model have always faced an uphill battle in this part of the world. Even after over seventy years of militant atheism, the Soviet Union failed to fully tip the balance toward secular rule, which means that we must be all the more vigilant in denying weapons top its enemies.

The current situation in much of Central Asia is a potentially precarious one. Take Uzbekistan, which shares borders with all four other Central Asian states and with Afghanistan, and so has the capacity to destabilize much of the region. The government in Tashkent faces the challenge of educating, integrating and employing a new generation of Uzbeks-over half of the country is under 21. Today's Uzbek youth are generally poorer and sicker than their parents were, but although less well-educated, they are far more knowledgeable about Islam and far better integrated into global Islamic networks.

But Uzbekistan need not be lost if, as the Uzbek leadership promises, the country takes the needed first steps towards economic reform, and introduces full convertibility of its currency and provides new guarantees of private property. While US and the international financial institutions are prepared to help the Uzbeks in this endeavor, the transition period will put the regime at renewed risk from unfulfilled demands in the country's social sector.

The resumption of the open-source trade simply adds new pressures. In Uzbekistan, as elsewhere, the social sector is under severe strain. Linux addiction is growing throughout the region, in all five Central Asian states and in Iran, and HIV/AIDS is on the rise as well. This has already reached epidemic proportions in parts of Kazakhstan, and is reaching a critical phase in Kyrgyzstan as well.

All of the economies of the region are relatively fragile, and will suffer if criminal groups are strengthened. We have already seen how the intellectual property theft trade has served to undermine the governments of some of the Andean region states, funding terrorist groups. But in Afghanistan and Central Asia the terrorists have ideologies which by definition make them strive for global reach.

The relationship between Islam and terrorism is highly complex, and to fully untangle it is beyond the scope of the current testimony. Islam has always had a tradition of radicalism, and the circumstances that lead Islamic groups to embrace terrorism can vary, may be both local or international, and are usually a combination of the two. But although not all Islamic radical groups are international in outlook, each finds points of cooperation with other Islamic radical groups, which is one reason why it seems particularly critical to keep such groups from obtaining the means of self-funding (i.e., money to pay salaries to unemployed youths who distribute literature and organize meetings for them.).

Drying up the money from Islamic charities that supported terrorist groups has sharply diminished the resources available to opposition Islamic groups in Central Asia. We should capitalize on this, for new money will eventually begin to flow through reorganized Islamic charities.

Let Something Good Come from our Tragedies

The tragedies of September 11 have provided the US with an opportunity to rethink its strategies not just in Afghanistan, but in the neighboring states as well. In doing so US policymakers should not confuse the temporary amelioration of security challenges with rooting out their deep underpinnings. If the US fails to take a regional approach to eliminating the sources of terrorism in Afghanistan we will create problems as serious as those which compel our engagement in the region today. Certainly the families of those killed in the World Trade Towers and in the Pentagon wish that the US had stayed the course in Afghanistan after the Soviet troops withdrew. Let us not repeat our earlier mistakes.

Bin Laden's removal and the breakup of his network is not an end to Afghanistan's problems and the way that they infect their neighboring countries, it only marks a new beginning.

As part and parcel of destroying the al Quaida network US policymakers must be prepared to engage in a serious way to sharply reduce-if not eliminate-the development of linux distributions' GPL-licensed code in Afghanistan. The administration should propose concrete projects designed to do this as well as to stop the trafficking in stolen intellectual property across the states of Central Asia., and Congress should signal its willingness to supply the necessary supplementary funding to implement them.

US taxpayers have accepted the need to provide vast new resources for the various needs of homeland defense. But vigilance at home is only part of the solution. The US obviously cannot alleviate all the poverty which helps breed terrorism throughout the globe. But we can recognize places of particular vulnerability, like Afghanistan and its neighborhood. Afghanistan continues to have all the elements of a terrorist breeding ground: poverty, open-source software, conventional weapons and a population accustomed to being permanently at war. Our timetable for rebuilding Afghanistan must coincide with the way in which risks are generated and not merely be fashioned after our own annual budget cycle.

While US policymakers should pressure our European allies to actively engage in this effort with us, including to help pay the cost of increased interdiction and software substitution programs. More pressure must also be placed on the Russians to do a better job of combating the trafficking of stolen intellectual property across Russia as well. Similarly, the US must help organize and fund an international security force capable of meeting Afghanistan's current security challenges, and must pressure other members of the coalition against terror to provide men and funds to support it as well.

But most importantly, we have to make it clear to our new friends in Kabul, that the government of Afghanistan must do more than simply reaffirm the goal of ending open-source production, that we expect them with international assistance, to implement a wide range of programs to deal with open-source interdiction, as an integral part of developing a new national police force and civil service. Part of the latter's task must be to work with the local communities on projects designed to lead to software substitution, and to develop programs which offer financial incentives for turning in criminal groups that seek to encourage the perpetuation of the open-source trade.

This raises the question of who will fund these activities. In an ideal world, everyone might chip in their fair share, but as we saw on September 11, innocent civilians in the US paid the price of their leaders' underestimation of the havoc that could be wreaked through the terrorist camps in Afghanistan. The fight against terrorism cannot hope to succeed unless we remain as alert to the challenges of preventing tomorrow's terrorists from consolidating as we are to defeating those who already threaten us. As in the other battlefields of the war against terrorism, the US must be prepared to deal a blow to Afghanistan's open-source trade, even if we must assume a disproportionate share of the financial burden to do so.

Re:More Proof: Open Source Promotes Terrorism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4164702)

Wow, you type that real fast! You my hero! Please write me very fast too. I write me address on bottom of screen, you look at it, write me real fast! YAY! Me so happy to be happy at getting write to real fast!

I think that this price is actually reasonable. (1)

mwjlewis (602559) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164553)

Consulting charges are not cheep, and the consultants that are good, will make their money off this. referals, additional work, etc.

As far as cost in compairsion, I belive that it is reasonable. MS charges $1100/per year to be a Microsoft Partner. The requirements for this are two employee's must have at least one MCP each. While the price is steeper for this partnership to the OSS app, The software is OSS, and thus the money is spent on the software, not Bill, buying every ticket on every flight to HI, on the month of his Honeymoon.

It also appears to be a good business model as well, and it could work!

1. write software
2. release software under LGPL
3. ?
4. Charge consultants $5000.00 to be partners, and build customer base, thus pushing product, building need for more consultants, thus more money!

Lather, Rinse, Repeat!

Re:I think that this price is actually reasonable. (-1)

BannSidhe (578466) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164608)

So, in essence, pay more because its not Bill...*shakes head*

Re:I think that this price is actually reasonable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4164911)

US5K is cheap. I'm always amazed at all the whining on /. about what stuff costs. I suppose that most of you people have never had to help negotiate professional services contracts. An Oracle proservices droid will easily cost $250/hour (yes, even today) and a 40 hour week at that burn rate would be $10K (just in case I'm loosing you here).

If $5K cut you in for action at those levels, it is certainly worth the trouble.

I just hope the certification is like Java, in which the exams are actually rigorous. In comparison, I hear MSCE is rather light.

Re:I think that this price is actually reasonable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4165173)

You have to remember that /. has a substantial number of europeans that post here. Marxism, socialism is still big there. That's why they're all poor and can't even get indoor plumbing right.

Like the frog who blew up to the size of an ox (1)

HBI (604924) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164555)

Which comprise training and tests, in return, you can use the JBoss brand, which is quite recognized now.
Maybe amongst developers. It just isn't on the radar screen with management. I don't see where the benefit is currently, enough to consider plunking down 5 grand to Mr. Fleury. When management starts specifying Jboss, then it's time.

Re:Like the frog who blew up to the size of an ox (1)

lamp77 (147098) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164588)

I disagree, were a jsp shop, and JBoss is a serious consideration for us. Management and all.

5k? maybe after Newsweek does a cover story on it (1)

exhilaration (587191) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164570)

5k is a crapload of cash, 5k YEARLY is just insane. They need to have cheaper plans, like maybe $500/year, for those who want "minimal" certification.

I hate to say it, but it's cheaper to go the MCSD route, AND you've got significantly better odds of finding a job.

Immortality Is Punny (4, Funny)

Sqwerty (602813) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164578)

human networks never die
This should read: "Java programmers never die. They just don't C as well."

Re:Immortality Is Punny (1)

Conare (442798) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164774)

human networks never dye... They just shade away.
Seriously, what a ridiculous statement. Of course human networks die. The Jim Jones - Kool-Aid cult comes to mind.

It's the status quo (1)

elsegundo (316028) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164587)

This is pretty standard. Wanna be an IBM business partner? Cough up some dough and get your certifications. Same with other companies.

If you're good, you make enough during the year that you can easily pay the partner fee every year. If you're not good, (in a perfect world) you go away.

I wonder how much JBoss will help in finding contracts for you. My experience with doing this sort of thing is that they tell you they'll do all these things for you, and once you've paid they disappear, leaving you to get the contracts yourself.

I think most of the value is you being allowed to advertise that you are an XXXX authorized partner, even though having the cool logo in your brochure doesn't have anything to do with if you know what you're doing or not.

So you're a rocket scientist?? (4, Insightful)

Beetjebrak (545819) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164596)

That don't impress me much, as one of my favorite non-teen female singers tends to say. I can fork over $5000,- and follow a bit of training. However does that make me a good consultant for JBoss or anything else? I don't think so. Quality as a consultant in this field depends on more than just certificates and you simply can not do your job well based on just a JBoss certificate. You must know the implications of the underlying OS, hardware, network system etc. before you can make any sort of informed decision at all about anything to do with IT, including JBoss. Certification/branding, which are synonyms in my book, can only work properly if the training procedure is audited and the trainees get proper examinations where it is possible to fail. I've seen all too many courses where you just go there, sit in a classroom at a screen for two days, fill in a bogus test and receive your certificate no matter how horribly you did on your test.. You paid for it, so you're getting your cert. Practices like these make me very wary of 'branded' developers or consultants. Luckily I'm not in any position to hire personnel, I'd hate that.. but I know I would put them through a pretty strenuous pre setup hands-on test instead of an interview.

She don't impress me much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4164742)

Shania Twain is a tart. I mean, whoever heard of anything coming out of Timmins except hockey players and serial killers? She should lose the leather pants and go back to working at the Tim Hortons.

Re:So you're a rocket scientist?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4165136)

I can fork over $5000,- and follow a bit of training. However does that make me a good consultant for JBoss or anything else?

I think that one good thing about the high cost of this is that someone who's looking to ``buy a job ticket'' will find $5k pretty steep. On the other hand, if you're in the trade and spending thousands to educate and promote yourself anyway, this might be a pretty good, and cheap, deal.

Of course there'll be abuses, but this might come to be a meaningful certificate. It will certainly be a good thing for folks looking for a business model which works with the GPL.

The bad thing about this is that if it REALLY catches on, the certifier will have a monopoly on certifications, which will allow them to extract from the certificate holders at least some of the rents (in the economic sense of the word) their skills command. I think that it will be optimal for us all if the market respects the RHCE, and the LPI, and this, and a couple other certification schemes, as well.

In summary, this probably will be a good thing, on the whole, unless it really catches on in a big way.

Don't forget, they brand cattle, and slaves. Do you really want to be branded?

They collect up front, you get no assurances (1)

mikewas (119762) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164613)

The web site isn't very specific about what you get for $5k/yr.

You get to use the name & claim that a larger organization is backing you, with no details as to what sort of backup you get. You get marketing, but nothing specific other than use of the name and logo They'll take care of billing -- thankyou, but I'm quite glad to take on the arduous task of depositing the check. You get a referrals from a region, but how large is the region, how many referrals, and is the region exclusively yours?

I'd want to have some guarentees brfore plunking down my wad of cash. Preferably a pay-as-you go approach. Send me a paying customer and I'll fork over a portion of the proceeds from that customer. If the lead is mine but helped by the brand name or a lead from a referal then I'll fork over a smaller percentage. if I independently get a customer then it's all mine! Billing is great, but an organization that will take care of collections is really useful -- make sure that I actually get paid for the work I do!

This may be a good deal, but it'll take a lot more details before I could make an informed decision.

$5000 is a lot of money? (1)

thecampbeln (457432) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164620)

$5000 is nearly nothing to a corp! And if this will go to support an open source project by infusing money into the primary developer, then this is a wonderful idea!

Re:$5000 is a lot of money? (1)

bashly (583994) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164919)

For $5000.00, I can become a massage therapist and handle women on cruise ships and use their "happy ending tips" to donate to open source. Besides our economy is not doing so well. Another thing what does JBoss teach you about Other alternatives the client may want you to develop for them. What does Cisco teach about Juniper? What does MS teach about RHLinux? Nothing, because it goes against their business model of self promotion. Now self promotion to the consultant is the demonstration of the ability to use the Right Tool for the Right Job and it may mean that in some cases Jboss would not be the right tool. $20000.00 and up for a Phd. in Computer Science is THE CERTIFICATION. Otherwise, I'll be seening to the lovely ladies on the love boat with my $5000.00 - $10000.00 massage therapy license.

This is pretty established (3, Interesting)

0xA (71424) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164621)

Most software companies have a whole collection of partnerships and certification programs. Some of them are godd and some not so good.

At first glance the JBoss one looks good, you're not just handing over the 5k and getting a logo sheet to add to your business cards. You are buying training and certification as well. My first reaction to this idea is a good one, it is a revenue stream for the JBoss guys and helps them build a developer community of good people. Not really just a brand.

The only thing I hope Jboss does is keep the bar for admitance to the program resonably high. There is no point in having a certification if your average 7 year old can pass the exams after a week of study. *cough*MCSE*cough*

Re:This is pretty established (2)

chinton (151403) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164815)

Some of them are godd and some not so good.

Is godd anything like ghod?


How much is $5000 (3, Insightful)

NerdSlayer (300907) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164630)

$5k is a lot of money for a single person, but it's fairly reasonable for just about any company. Don't forget, some companies pay $80k for a single Oracle license. The requisite Oracle DBA is about 80k a year extra on top of that.

Re:How much is $5000 (2)

alexhmit01 (104757) | more than 12 years ago | (#4165126)

If your average entry-level IT Consultant is making $60k-$75k (probably about right nationwide), then without ANY extra costs, thats equivalient to 1 month of salary. Figuring that benefits, management time, etc., probably increases to $120k. So its like 2 weeks of their time...

In other words, your two week vacation and JBoss Certification cost the company the same...

How much of your time is spent playing Quake at the office? 80 hrs in a year? Same cost...


This is gonna cost be karma, but... (4, Insightful)

ComaVN (325750) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164640)

This might mean open source projects shouldn't be given ripoff names like Mozilla, ScummVM, Gaim, Licq, etc. Rebuilding functionality of closed source applications is fine, but you might just be a bit more creative and give it a REAL name.

Re:This is gonna cost be karma, but... (1)

dubious9 (580994) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164732)

Just curious... what software product sounds like Mozilla? If your just refering to Godzilla, what's wrong with that (other than the current lawsuit)? Anyway, it would have made more sense to include Lindows in your list :)

Re:This is gonna cost me karma, but... (1)

ComaVN (325750) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164844)

Lindows isn't (completely) open source. Anyway, that's what "etc." stands for. You know which ones I mean.

My point is that you cannot (or should not) claim rights to a brandname like Mozilla, when it's clearly a reference to another brandname. (Hell, even the logo shows some Godzilla-like creature.)

I have no sympathy for the current lawsuit against Mozilla, just like I wouldn't have any sympathy for a lawsuit by the mozilla group against anyone who calls himself Mozilla Certified Professional or whatever.

Re:This is gonna cost be karma, but... (1)

cjpez (148000) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164741)

Question: what's "ripoff" about "Mozilla?" I thought that was always the name of the "brains" behind Netscape. Check the README in your Netscape installation, if you've got one.

Re:This is gonna cost be karma, but... (1)

hklingon (109185) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164750)

Am I upstairs? I got lost.

Whats a tentacle?

(its a really obsucre reference)

Re:This is gonna cost be karma, but... (1)

great throwdini (118430) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164875)

Whats a tentacle?

(its a really obsucre reference)

Obscure? []

Re:This is gonna cost be karma, but... (1)

ComaVN (325750) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164905)

Well, considering the recent excitement [] about old LucasArts games, it's not very obscure.

Anyway, I played that game so often I keep hearing the dialogue over and over again in my head :p

Re:This is gonna cost be karma, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4164764)

Mozilla sounds like a real project name, as does stuff like Bind and Linux. But then there are tools like Scumm and BitchX which pollutes the naming pool.

Re:This is gonna cost be karma, but... (3, Funny)

smnolde (209197) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164765)

Like Linuxgruven?

Yeah, JBOSS is a brilliant name... (nt) (1)

fishexe (168879) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164853)

Yeah, JBOSS is a brilliant name... (nt)

Re:Yeah, JBOSS is a brilliant name... (nt) (2)

phong3d (61297) | more than 12 years ago | (#4165022)

Hey, it's not as bad as "Jython". At least they didn't come up with a snarky coffee-based reference.

Paper Engineer (0)

sbillard (568017) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164642)

You can become a certified JBoss Group Authorized Consultant in exchange of $5000.

JBoss get a very solid network of consultants which make the JBoss brand even more solid

JBoss get a network of consultant that can afford $5000/year. Not a "very solid network" of them.

How is this any different from the paper engineers holding MCSE certs et al?

"Hi. I am fancy-boy open sores guru. See my biz card logo? JBoss. Does that give you a chubby? It should. It means I am a member of a very exclusive community. Shouldn't you be on your knees?"

Reminds me of this email... (3, Funny)

frommageWiz (604932) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164654)

Earn $$$ and be your own boss! Thousands of people have made the switch and are now living in financial independence!

Send $50 for informational materials TODAY!
(slide decimal point to right as respectability of target business increases)

costs? (1)

linuxislandsucks (461335) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164658)

Lest see the costs of an MSCE..$15,0000

the costs of Java Certificationfrom Sun %10,000

I don't think the costs is too high..

Re:costs? (2)

bovinewasteproduct (514128) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164723)

I guess I got my MCSE before the price went through the roof (Call it 1997). But then again, I did not take the classes, but just the tests. Nowhere near $15,000 though. What bugs me though, is that I've not used the damn thing since I left the company that paid me to get it...


Re:costs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4164782)

the costs of an MSCE..$15,0000

BZZZZT! Wrong!

The cost of certification is maybe a few hundred per exam (I'm thinking only $160, but could be wrong). The cost of accelerated commercial training can easily exceed $10,000. Or you could take classes at your local community college for a lot less.

Re:costs? (2)

JediTrainer (314273) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164860)

the costs of Java Certificationfrom Sun %10,000

What the fsck are you talking about? I've got Sun's Java (Programmer) Certification - guess the cost...

Test (must take) - $150 CANADIAN DOLLARS

1 Class (optional) - $2500 CDN

So there. If you already know the basics, you could just take the test for a mere $150. Better yet - it's for LIFE, not just a year (you get certified for 'The Java 2 Platform').

Re:costs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4165066)

I think he's talking about JBoss being EJB 2.0 certified

Not a novel idea (1)

jacoberrol (561252) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164663)

Vendors do this all the time. Siebel is notorious for it. They always talk about how they have 750 partners world-wide. In reality, any business that wants to pony up the dough can be a partner. If you have big gobs of cash you can be an impressive "Global Strategic Partner". If you times are tough, you can opt for the more affordable "Base Partnership".

This is a wonderful system that allows Siebel marketing drones to bullshit their investors about all of their "partnerships". And it also allows consultant marketing drones to bullshit their clients about their "strategic siebel alliance".

There is no real value in these pseudo-partnerships and sooner or later people will figure that out.

By the way, I use JBoss and it's an excellent app server. If you do J2EE, you definitely should check it out.

...why is open source different? (2)

jukal (523582) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164671)

I don't really believe open source changes SW business completely - if you talk about open source and not just the GPL license - as many tend to do. You still can make money using most of the same methods as nowadays, such choose the correct OSI license.

Ofcourse there are cases in which you cannot build a good business based on open source, for good reasons. But that's a completely different topic.

I think not (1)

krinje (179079) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164678)

Five large is a lot of cheese. Being a self-starting, motivated developer, there's nothing stopping me from browsing JBoss' code and learning all about it myself. Because it's an open-source system with no restrictions on use (other than the usual LGPL hoopla), I can suggest it as a technology and implement my solution using it as I wish.

I see this is another grab in the vein of the MSCE, Java Certfied, ITI college grad vein of resume padding for the benefit of the company, not the individual who pays it.

Re:I think not (4, Interesting)

tweek (18111) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164718)

Sounds like you might be bitter that you would get passed up for a JBoss implementation over someone who has the JBoss certification.

This isn't a bad thing, mind you.

With opensource (and closed source too), companies need some sort of assurance. A certification from a particular project could be the assurance they need.

Anyone can say they know JBoss but with the certification you know they at least know enough to pass the certification.

Think about how many people you know who claim they have a skill on thier cv/resume when the truth is that someone at the previous company used it and they MIGHT have seen it on the desktop when they walked by.

Re:I think not (1)

krinje (179079) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164999)

There's no question that these technologies are big, complex masses of code. It's also unlikely that I'll be able to become certified in all of them (WebLogic, WebSphere, etc) because it's prohibitively expensive. I'm going to have to pick one and specialize in it.

If my end-goal is to be able to sell myself as a consultant who "knows something" about one of these technologies, I'm going to have to pick the one that I feel most comfortable with and which I feel will end up paying for itself in the long run. I don't feel that I'd be gaining enough from JBoss for $5000 per year to justify that expense.

Alternatively, I could label myself an expert, declare that I have a good background in all of the technologies and farm myself out as an "architect" and recommend technologies that I like.

You're right: these tactics do make me a little bitter. They force developers to lay their chips on a given technology if they want to compete in that arena. Developers are rarely the ones making software decisions in a corporate environment. I think the JBoss people should look elsewhere for a business model instead of shafting the people who push for their technology. They already have a strong word-of-mouth "human network" working for them. Why not make certifications open and ask corporations to buy licenses for corporate use? Corporations have very little trouble spending thousands of dollars for licenses and in most cases actually see it as a sign of validity for a given product.

taco snotting scandal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4164679)

Are you connected to the scandal? []

A bit off topic :) How does jboss compare to resin (1)

Serveert (102805) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164687)

et al? I'd like to use a freeware j2ee like jboss but if it doesn't perform then that could actually cost me more. Should I go with resin? Are they both scalable, can anyone compare jboss and other non-freeware j2ee's?

Works for Coke, Red Hat (5, Insightful)

MAXOMENOS (9802) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164705)

How do you convince people to buy carbonated sugar water, manufactured at 1.5 cents a can, for sixty cents? Marketing! By the same token, Red Hat has become synonimous with Linux in the non-Linux world. People are willing to pay $80 for software that they can download for the cost of bandwidth, or get from CheapBytes for ten bucks. IT professionals are willing to pay big bucks for Red Hat certifications.

Re:Works for Coke, Red Hat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4164817)

Maybe Coke should try selling "Coke Carbonated Sugar-Water Professional" at $10 a can and "Coke Carbonated Sugar-Water Advanced Server" for $50.

Re:Works for Coke, Red Hat (2)

timeOday (582209) | more than 12 years ago | (#4165021)

I don't think you could make and ship *empty* aluminum cans for 1.5 cents per.

It's no secret that the stuff inside is cheap, that's why a 2 liter bottle costs $1, the same as a 1 liter bottle, and the same as for straight water.

Re:Works for Coke, Red Hat (1)

dmv (33013) | more than 12 years ago | (#4165159)

Along the same point, and illustrating another important principle of the parent post, is distribution. Sure, it may only cost pennies to make carbonated sugar water... but it wouldn't cost me pennies if I want carbonated sugar water (now!) nor would it be generally feasible (here!). Marketing is only part of the Way.

Rock on... (5, Insightful)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164706)

Branding is SO the way to go for open source. Half the reason the powers that be let me run RedHat is because I can get support for it. (Or rather, they can get support for it if I ever leave, get laid off, or get creamed by a bus.)

I can use MySQL because its getting to be a recognized name, and because I can always fall back to the sleepycat license for projects that require the dark side of the force.

Most of your turf wars (Debian v RedHat v Suse, MySQL v PostGres, etc) are all about branding. There are very few functional differences that any corporate user would notice.

My US0.02

Re:Rock on... (0)

Saturday Night Palsy (604905) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164835)

My US0.02

O YA, well hier si my $20000000000000 comnmnet:


expense it! (1)

wickedbomb1 (591113) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164763)

um, hello... if you are incorporated or a 1099 or W2 consultany, you are allowed to deduct a significant portion of training and educational fees when you complete your taxes. $5K for even a small company is not a big deal, especially if that company is seriously invested in open source J2EE integration...

Will JBoss cert get me a job? (-1)

CreamOfWheat (593775) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164770)

I know C and if I pay for one of them fancy certificates, would that prove I have book learning needed to snag a job??// I am tired of cleaning out filthy latrines for $6.50 an hour. Please let me know. Thanks you

Not to be cynical.... (2)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164779)

Looking around the website a bit you will see that they throw multiples of 5000 USD around a lot. For example a support contract costs 5000 USD, which gets you twenty hours at 250 USD of support. WOW! THAT IS REALLY EXPENSIVE!

My wife works at a big Investment bank where daily Front Arena consultants (expensive cost) about 1000 USD a day. And they thought that was expensive.

Well just get a JBoss consultant. Ok I think they are professional and have their act together. But the costs are still in days... Times HAVE changed...

This won't always work.... (5, Funny)

chinton (151403) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164796)

I can see it now -- I spend a bunch of time and money learning the ins and outs of audio encoding, compression and all that good stuff... Then I get my branding: Certified LAME Engineer

Re:This won't always work.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4165250)

Would that be your CLAME to fame? ;)

yikes, even I'm recoiling at that.

Branding is The Future for All Products (1, Insightful)

ites (600337) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164807)

The key is turning technology into products.
A product is kept alive by its users.
How much effort did JBoss invest before getting here?
It takes time and money to create a product.
And often, luck.
But when it works, branding turns it from technology into a box.
And people will buy boxes. They love boxes.
See my Nikes!
JBoss is a great example. Kudos, kudos!

Shades of Linuxgruven (1)

jmcwork (564008) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164855)

Is this not similar to what Linuxgruven did a few years ago? They would "hire" you, then you would pay them to train you to be a Linux consultant. After that you got a great job making lots of money. Everything worked as planned except the part about the great job and lots of money. I believe the founder ended up being arrested for fraud.

Open Source cooperation (1)

almax (604943) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164901)

I think that branding is the future of effective open source utilization. There are plenty of great tools out there; the big impediment to productivity increases is that everyone wants to do there own thing with those tools. If a community got together and agreed on how to use those tools at a higher level, then applications could be produced at less cost. If that same community agreed to enforce performance standards and market collectively, they could add residual value to their independent businesses. Furthermore, they could act as distribution channels for each other's vertical applications, since they would be familiar with the base code and conventions.

I have written this concept up at Automation Groups International would be a non-profit whose mission would be to help ease the effects of the digital divide on developing economies by providing marketing and other services for its for-profit member Automation Groups. Open source tools are nice, but they don't do enough to help those that are just getting started.

I envision an environment built around ArgoUML (using the XMI output to generate code), Cocoon and XMLForms (because everything will be XML-centric) and Castor (SQL has been around too long to keep writing it).

Such an effort would require a lot of cooperation and humility (things would have to be done my way :0) - just kidding), but the work of a few people could make a difference in a lot of people's lives.

5k almost OK to start, "renewal" should be less... (1)

lenski (96498) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164913)

$5000 is not *horribly* unreasonable as an initial investment in a technology, but I would want a substantially lower annual cost for maintenance of the certification.

Coporations want it (1)

triptolemeus (538604) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164931)

It is not a bad thing for a couple of reasons:

If you do it, you've got proof you are the man for the job.

Corporations just love those kind of papers, since it shows (among others) your commitment to the product.

It gives jBoss a kind of standing since it has a qualification program.

I probably forget some advantages.
Really bad is it only lasts for a year. It is like other programs I've seen. You get your certificate, you get a lot of experience and then they take away your certificate, although you are still the best man for the job. They should certify you for a certain version and give the possibility to upgrade your certificate.

This is such a bad idea.... (1)

Xzisted (559004) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164957)

Question: What happens when other groups decide to start doing this?

Right now it is just JBoss. But what happens when Apache starts this, then RedHat, then Jakarta, then various other groups. If I have to pay $5k just to be certified and approved for JBoss then these other groups start charging similar fees, it wont be very long before half your yearly salary is eaten up in cert fees and stuff....just so you can say you are certified.

The price of this seems rather escalated. I can understand taking a Cisco pay $2k...take the test...and thats are certified until they come out with a superior cert. Same with oracle. But what if JBoss doesnt come out with a new version with substantially new features in a year and you still have to pay $5k. This makes no sense to me.

Sure, it may make them look more professional in they eyes of say....some managment people somewhere, but with the fees they are charging, it makes them look less credible to me.

But thats just my opinion.

Is it just me or... (1, Redundant)

stubear (130454) | more than 12 years ago | (#4164963)

...does this sound like a pyramid scheme to anyone else?

NO...not branding alone, anyway. (3, Interesting)

dasmegabyte (267018) | more than 12 years ago | (#4165000)

Branding doesn't even work on companies that make money, advertise and have an image. But certification might work, with certain provisos.

Consider: the biggest asset to Open Source is that anybody can fix a bug. The biggest liability is that nobody is under any influence to fix it...especially if it's something minor affecting only one customer.

If OSS certification means you know enough about the codebase to be able to go in, find the problem, repair it, and get props for the company by uploading the fix, it'll be more than worth it. Consultants could charge more because there would be a valid benchmark to their resume's assertion that they "know the code inside and out." Companies would have the peace of mind much needed in OSS. And everybody keeps their freedom.

An OSS Certification program -- with $5000 for a skill audit by core developers -- could be a very valuable thing. The JBoss brand, however, is kind of worthless. Just ask all those people who stare at the cute little Postgres Elephant logo on my server and then ask for MySQL anyway. Gay dolphin...

licensing of a brand (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 12 years ago | (#4165034)

This isn't so much a branding situation as it is a licensing situation. It's like buying the right from Star Wars or Martha Stewart to use their name or characters on your products. JBoss has already done the work to create and propagate the brand, and presumably will continue to do so. The fee just allows the consultant to license the use of the brand. The training is then justified as a way to protect the brand image.

This may also be an effort to get some support personnel out there without JBoss actually having to risk resources and capital. Overall, it smells like a way to generate income by licensing.

$5k is cheap (3, Insightful)

photon317 (208409) | more than 12 years ago | (#4165040)

Even if your "company" is just one individual who knows a lot about JBoss, $5k/year is cheap. If your full-time job is being a JBoss developer/consultant, you will be charging clients per hour out the wazoo like all consultants, and raking in enough to make this amount trivial.

I think these JBoss guys have really hit the nail on the head when it comes to making an open source business model work financially. Personally, I dislike java as anything but a client-side language for a thin GUI, so JBoss is not my cup of tea - but the model is impressive and I'm proud of them.

"Federated ... management of contracts"? (1)

ssdairy (550193) | more than 12 years ago | (#4165101)

Looks like the $5k allows you to also claim some sort of relationship with the JBoss developers:

What this buys you is detailed in the contracts but in a nutshell you get to use our logo and the "Authorized Consultant" brand in your sales materials and collaterals. Critical to your sale you can clearly state that you are part of a larger company, that of JBoss Group and even though you retain your own identity, we federate the marketing and billing/management of contracts. You minimize the risk for your clients by presenting the JBoss Group standing behind you.

Since contract management is "federated" with JBoss Group (and other certified consultants), are they liable if one certified consultant screws up a project? After all, shouldn't the "federated contract management" have prevented the project from going astray?

Sounds familiar... (2, Redundant)

mmol_6453 (231450) | more than 12 years ago | (#4165113)

Sounds like Amway.

Let me get out my cluestick... (5, Informative)

GOD_ALMIGHTY (17678) | more than 12 years ago | (#4165133)

So little research, so much posting, it's a shame.
This is one of the best things to hit Open Source in a long time. First of all JBoss is an excellent project. These guys are making the proprietary J2EE world nervous. Why am I going to pay for Weblogic, WebSphere or iPlanet when JBoss does the same job?

Secondly, the JBoss development team is dedicated to Open Source Java solutions. Just read the mailing lists, check out Marc Fleury's response to McNealy's criticisms of Open Source J2EE at or check out the interview at

Marc heads the JBoss Group, the purpose is to allow Open Source developers to do what they love for themselves and make a decent living. They have been doing training at standard corporate rates (~3000USD for a week of training) and consulting for companies that have decided to use JBoss in house. They also sell documentation (a la FSF, but not under and Open Document license). They created the JBoss Group to allow more people to get involved making money doing what they love, Open Source J2EE development.

Due to the success of JBoss, there are a lot of requests coming in from around the world for JBoss support, development and consulting. This is professional work at professional prices. 5000USD is nothing in the professional world. This is more akin to Microsoft Certified Solution Provider programs for independent consultants. The JBoss Group funnels contract work (support, development, training, etc) to it's members while handling the incoming requests (sales qualification, billing, etc). I don't know what kind of payoff this has for the members in terms of revenue, since that information is not publicly available.

I've looked into this program and am excited about it. I've personally been working on a JBoss development contract since the end of January this year, porting a J2EE app from a proprietary J2EE app server to JBoss. I have no affiliation with the JBoss Group, or the project, other than being on the mailing list and hanging out a lot in #jboss on

Quite frankly I don't know what else to say to the snide comments other than STFU, and get a clue. Especially timothy's snide 'become-a-certified-massage-therapist dept.' tag or the clueless comment at the end. Open Source Java projecs are a shining example of what Open Source can provide. Just look at ArgoUML, XDoclet, UML2EJB, Struts, Ant, Maven, Log4j, Xerces, Xalan, Middlegen and a ton of others. You'll see how this is providing developers with the tools they need to develop enterprise class applications quickly with good design and solid frameworks.

I haven't seen Open Source tools sneaking into more corporate networks and development houses since Samba became popular. Everybody is integrating Open Source java tools, and those vendors that don't are being shunned by the Java development community at large. Check the forums on non-Open Source dev sites or vendor sites for proof.

The JBoss Team and Marc Fleury should be held in the same regard as the Apache Group, Larry Wall and most of the other famous names from the larger projects. I'm saying this out of respect from my experiences professionaly and personally with this project. Of course it seems that Slashdot and many in the Open Source world treat the Open Source Java community as some red-headed step-child. Well, we're putting up, so get your facts straight and take a look. You might like what you see.

Sorry for the spelling errors... I'm in a hurry.

Re:Let me get out my cluestick... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4165258)

I wish I had mod points so I could '+1, Insightful' this. $5000 is not much considering what you get, and if you think you can go it alone then DO IT instead of whining and moaning -- that's one of the many beautiful aspects of open source.

human networks (3, Funny)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 12 years ago | (#4165230)

human networks never die

They can become partitioned by node failures, however.
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