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From Berin Loritsch <>
Subject Re: on better release and version management
Date Tue, 23 Sep 2003 20:38:32 GMT
Stefano Mazzocchi wrote:

> Certification, more than anything is a stamp on "trust".
> When installing something, the question a user poses wants answered: can 
> I trust this? can I build my software on this?
> Certification provides an answer to this simple (yet vital!) question, 
> expecially in an environment where, potentially, *TONS* of blocks, 
> written by all sorts of companies, will come into existance.

Certification is a procedural thing.  It can also be an administrative
nightmare.  Some of these things can be addressed through version numbers,
etc.  However, in the end it is always up to the application assembler
to validate whether the block is usable and stable.  Even if it isn't,
the assembler may still choose to use it knowing the risks.

> A certified block will not be bugfree (no software can be!) but we 
> guarantee that is supported, which means that we'll continue to maintain 
> and improve on that functionality, which we consider important enough to 
> support it officially.
> A certified block is a block that is here today and is guaranteed to be 
> evolved tomorrow.

Really all we are talking about is some marker on a web page for any
particular block?

> Any other block is here today, but might not evolve at all tomorrow.

Hmm.  This could be something along the lines of BCEL where it just
works, and there is very little to do for evolving it.  It is still
"supported" in that sense.

> We will make the blocks officially supported, "certified", only when the 
> cocoon development community feels this is good to do and it's *safe* 
> from a community management perspective.
> Certification says nothing else.

I would use a different work.  For example: if all we are saying is that
a block is supported, then use the word "supported".

Certification has some connotations that are not included in what you
are describing.  For example:

* There is an official standards body that is in charge of certification.

* The block has undergone acceptance testing, and an official standards
   body has declared that it has passed that testing.

* There is a certain contract that any issues with the certified object/
   person can be mediated by that standards body.

For example, when you think of someone who is Java Certified or MSSE
Certified (or just plain certifiable ;P ), what comes to mind?  When
you think of J2EE certification, what comes to mind?

I would highly recommend steering away from the use of the word certified
unless you intend to establish a standards body to oversee an official
certification process.


"They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety
  deserve neither liberty nor safety."
                 - Benjamin Franklin

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