June 24, 1999 Linux Professional Institute News
Greetings! It's time again to update you all on what's been
happening within various parts of LPI.
In this update, I will cover:
What You Can Do
Board Membership Changes
Completed Level 1 Objectives
Advisory Council Expansion
German "Chapter" Forming
Logo Contest Results
If you have any questions or comments about this update, please
do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you again for your
Note that this will probably be the last update I will be
writing for some time. Responsibility for these notices will be
passing to Jared Buckley, our newest Board member.
Dan York Chair, LPI Board of Directors
Phone: +1-603-268-0691 Fax: +1-603-268-0103
WHAT YOU CAN DO
There are a great number of ways you can help make the LPI project
a reality. Here is a quick list:
1. HELP ANALYZE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN LINUX DISTRIBUTIONS
We need some more help documenting the detailed characteristics
and differences between the distributions of Linux. Faber Fedor has
agreed to coordinate a project to document the distributions. In
particular we are looking for someone to complete and maintain the
SuSE document, and an additional few hands to help complete the
Slackware document are welcome too. Visit:
to see the work that has been done to date by Faber and other
volunteers. Please send any feedback you can to Faber (preferably
as an edited HTML document, with the changes highlighted). You can
also visit the archives for the "linux-cert-program" list at:
to see messages relating to the project. All of this work will
go into creating the distribution-specific exams that are part of
our first level of certification.
2. WRITE QUESTIONS FOR OUR EXAMS
Very shortly, Scott Murray, our director of exam development,
will be putting out a call for "item writers" to write questions
for our first level exams. Item writers will receive some
instruction in the types of questions we are seeking and then will
write items that will be submitted to an extensive technical review
and evaluation process. Writers of items that survive the initial
screening and alpha testing will receive compensation for their
If you have ever had concerns that people who completed other
certification programs weren't really qualified, then please join
with us and help make sure our program is of the appropriate
Please contact Scott Murray (email@example.com) now if you would be
interested in being an item writer when we begin the process.
3. HELP FIND FINANCIAL SPONSORS
Creating a high-quality certification program such as this costs
a significant amount of money. We recently unveiled our sponsorship
program for both businesses and individuals at:
We've already had several major sponsors come on board (Caldera
Systems, Linuxcare and SuSE are the largest) and we are actively
speaking with others. If either your company or you individually
would be interested in donating, we would certainly be interested
to talk to you. If you think your company might be interested, but
are uncomfortable bringing the matter up, please feel free to
contact us and we'll be glad to make the approach.
Please direct all sponsorship inquiries to either myself
(firstname.lastname@example.org) or Chuck Mead (email@example.com).
Please note that while we are incorporating as a nonprofit
corporation, we are not (yet, anyway) a "tax-exempt" entity by U.S.
IRS tax guidelines. Donations to LPI are *not* tax-deductible in
the U.S. as charitable contributions. (But there may be other ways
to deduct such contributions - contact an accountant for details -
and hey, it's for a good cause anyway!)
4. HELP DEVELOP A COURSEWARE APPROVAL POLICY
As we've had a great number of courseware vendors come to us
asking about "approving" their materials, we are considering
implementing such a program. Chuck Mead has just kicked off a
discussion in our Corporate Relations committee. Join the list, or
view the web archive at:
The CorpRel committee will be working on a proposal to send to
5. HELP WITH OUR PUBLICITY WATCH
With so many information technology publications out there -
both in print and on the web, it's next-to-impossible to stay
up-to-date on what's being said all over the place about Linux
certification. We'd like your help. When you see an article (either
in print or online) about Linux certification, can you please send
us the info (article title, publication, date, URL if on the web).
Either send it directly to "linux-cert-pr" if you are a member of
that list (if not, consider joining!) or email it to Evan
Messages sent to linux-cert-pr appear on the archive within an
6. WRITE OR SPEAK ABOUT LPI AND LINUX CERTIFICATION
To date, much of the writing and speaking about LPI and our
efforts to create a Linux certification program has been by members
of the Steering Committee such as Evan and I. But please know that
we are not at all exclusive about that and would encourage others
to help out with writing and/or speaking about LPI and Linux
Many web sites are looking for people to write articles and we'd
love to see more articles out there about Linux certification and
LPI. If you know of a site looking for articles, please go ahead
and write one. We'll be glad to provide some information or
assistance if you need it. Also, if you'd like to write articles,
drop us a note and we may be able to steer you to places where they
are looking for writers (usually the online sites are looking for
writers who will write for free).
Print publications are good, too. For instance, I had an article
in the June ";login:" published by USENIX and then an article in
the July "Linux Journal." Scott Murray & Alan Mead are planning
to submit an article on their survey process to a psychometrics
journal. Articles might be appropriate for local or regional
newsletters for training organizations, user groups, etc.
Also, if you're interested in speaking to local groups, we will
soon be making some presentations available online (in Applixware
format so far, probably HTML, too) that you could use. For
instance, Faber Fedor recently spoke to a local association of
technical educators in his state.
If you are interested in writing or speaking, please feel free
to contact either Evan (firstname.lastname@example.org) or I (email@example.com). Feel
free, too, to go ahead and just write... we'll be glad to look over
articles if you'd like us, too.
7. IF IN GERMANY, HELP WITH THE NEW GERMAN "CHAPTER"
As described further down in this article, there is now an
effort underway to create a German "Chapter" of LPI that would help
translate informational materials into German and also write/speak
about LPI certification within Germany and in the German language.
More details will be available soon, but in the meantime, please
contact Mark Semmler at:
Please read the text below for more information.
8. JOIN OUR MAILING LISTS
If you haven't joined one of our committee mailing lists, where
more of the work is going on, visit:
After being on our Steering Committee list since its formation,
Josh Arnold recently indicated he needed to step aside because of
other committments. He intends to stay subscribed to the mailing
lists and hopes to be able to contribute to the Program Committee
on an ongoing basis. We thank Josh for his willingness to step
forward and help lead, and we do hope he can continue to be
involved as our efforts move on.
With Josh's departure, the Steering Committee/Board took some
time to identify what roles we needed to fill. We next considered
who had contributed to the LPI effort in some meaningful way and
spoke to a couple of people about joining the Board. At this time,
we are pleased to announce Jared Buckley's addition to the LPI
Board. Jared stepped forward to lead the Naming committee and has
been an active contributor to several of our mailing lists. During
the day, Jared works for Texas Instruments in Dallas, TX, where he
supports the WAN and administers several covert Linux servers.
Please join us in welcoming Jared to the Board. His new
responsibilities will include helping create newsletters such as
this and generally helping to coordinate volunteer participation.
He may be reached online at "firstname.lastname@example.org". (He will soon have an
"lpi.org" address as well.)
Over the last month, a dedicated group of participants worked to
finalize the objectives for the first exam (T1) and the generic
portion of the second group of exams (T2). These objectives were
finalized in early June, allowing courseware developers and
publishers to know what they should orient their materials
We will soon have a web page online providing a simple list of
the final objectives. In the meantime, you can visit our management
LPI ADVISORY COUNCIL EXPANSION
We are pleased to announce our expanded Advisory Council. We
continue to receive great interest from a wide range of
organizations. Our current Advisory Council membership includes
(listed alphabetically by company, asterisk (*) indicates recent
Jim Higgins, Caldera Systems, Director of Education Services
*Chris Tyler, Canadian Linux Users' Exchange, Certification
*Jim Lacey, CompUSA, Director of Operations
*Fiaaz Walji, Corel, Certification Program Manager
*Stephen Solomon, Course Technology, Senior Acquisitions Editor
*Phil Carlson, ExecuTrain, VP of Business Development
*Katalin Wolcott, IBM, Mgr of Linux Services Development, IBM
*R.J. Bornhofen, Global Knowledge Network, Linux/Web Curriculum
David Mandala, Linuxcare, VP of Education and Certification
Mark Bolzern, LinuxMall, President
Jim Dennis, Linux Gazette, "The Answer Guy"
Jon "maddog" Hall, Linux International, Executive Director
Phil Hughes, Linux Journal, Publisher
*Stuart Trusty, Linux Labs, President
*Julie Rowe, New Horizons Computer Learning Centers, VP of Products
Nancy Maragioglio, New Riders Publishing, Editor
Lonn Johnston, Pacific HiTech, VP North America
Donnie Barnes, Red Hat Software, Director of Technical Programs
*David Conran, SAGE (USENIX) Certification Committee
*Anita Booker, SGI, Global Customer Education Manager
Patrick Volkerding, Slackware, principal developer
Marc Torres, SuSE, Inc., President
*Dr. Lindsay F. Marshall, UK Unix User Group, Chairman
Deb Murray, UniForum, VP Professional Training &
Ken Kousky, Wave Technologies, CEO
We had a great meeting with our Advisory Council members at
LinuxExpo (you can see the pictures at http://www.lpi.org/expopix.html)
and appreciate all their support!
GERMAN "CHAPTER" FORMING
When I knew I was going to be in Munich teaching some classes,
(yes, Linuxcare expects me to actually do some work for them, too,
and not just work on LPI!) I sent out a note asking if anyone would
be interested in meeting. Juergen Off from frontsite AG contacted
me and we arranged to meet.
Juergen and his colleague Mark Semmler brought me to the
Biergarten in the beautiful Englisher Garten part of Munich and we
had a very enjoyable evening eating, drinking beer and flipping
somewhat randomly between talking in English and German.
Along the way, Juergen and Mark commented that there really
wasn't much discussion of Linux certification within the German
media and Linux community. They asked "what can we do to help
spread the word here in Germany?" As we talked, Juergen suggested
the idea of having a local German "chapter" of LPI... all three of
us were intrigued by the idea and discussed the idea at length.
After that night, we exchanged more email and also shared the
idea with others we knew in Germany. The others at frontsite AG
were quite interested, as were the folks at SuSE with whom I
The LPI Board considered the subject and we, too, thought it was
a great idea and gave the go-ahead to the frontsite AG folks to
start a discussion and make it happen. Since there was so much
interest, we thought this German chapter would be a great pilot
program to see how this idea can work.
Mark Semmler wasted little time and sent off a note to the
"linux-cert" mailing list asking if people would be interested. His
full message, which includes his German text, can be found at:
Since this newsletter is going to a global audience and is
written in English, I'm including only Mark's English text below so
that you get a sense of what he and the others are proposing.
I know already there is great interest in meeting at the
upcoming LinuxTag in Kaiserslautern, Germany on June 26th &
27th. It will be great to see what comes out of discussions
Please contact Mark at "email@example.com" if you are
interested in becoming involved with this effort.
------ Begin Included Message ------
Subject: LPI Germany?!
Date: Thu, 24 Jun 1999 01:32:19 +0200
From: Mark Semmler
We are tracking very interested since a couple of weeks the mailinglists
of the LPI and we are just fascinated by the thoughts and the dynamic of
During a meeting with Dan York early this month in Munich, the thought
was born, to create a german-speaking chapter of the LPI.
The goals of this "chapter" should be:
- promote the idea of LPI Linux certification through local
media, conferences, publications, etc.
- maintain German-language mailing lists and a web site
(in German) to promote discussion of Linux certification issues
- translate English LPI marketing and information materials into
German for distribution within Germany
- assist in identifying people/companies that can perform
the translation of exam items (questions) into German
- organize discussion groups and local meetings that bring
together key players within the German training and larger
information technology industry to move Linux certification
- communicate ideas from the German-language discussion groups/lists
back to the English-language discussion groups/lists
- translate LPI news releases into German and distribute them
to appropriate German news media
I'm sure there will be other tasks which develop as well.
This chapter should be organized like the LPI.
Means: non-profit and independent.
We offer to host and to maintain the mailinglists and the webspace for
such a project on our servers. The domainname could be
"(www.)de.lpi.org" and/or "(www.)german.lpi.org".
Who is interested?
Juergen Off, Mark Semmler, Jens Kiefer,
Heiko Franssen, Thorsten Linstead
------ End Included Message ------
LOGO CONTEST RESULTS
Those of you who have followed our web site and the past
newsletters are aware of the Logo Contest that we ran for quite
some time. There were some pretty amazing entries submitted by some
very talented people. We set up a poll on our web site to get some
idea of what viewers thought. In the end, the simplicity of Jorge
Otero's design seems to have captured people's attention. You can
check out all the designs at:
Messages posted to an LPI list are posted to the web archives
within an hour. Note that we are still working on restoring the
historical archives after a server crash, so they only contain
There is, however, an archive of the "linux-cert" mailing list
going back to last November when this all began. It is still active
and can be found at:
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