Saturday, September 17, 2005

Live from NYCBSDCon

Dru Lavigne gave a comprehensive talk on BSD Certification at NYCBSDCon. She introduced a couple of members of the group, gave a status on progress to date, and also introduced the BSD Usage Survey. See the news page on our website for information about the Usage Survey. She also discussed some details about the new website, and and how you can help.

Wow- what a difference a few days makes! We are now at almost 500 responses on the Usage Survey. Europe has pulled ahead of the US for responses (53% v. 40%). Also, many, many different types of uses for BSD are turning up: firewalls, hosting, SAN, streaming video, IPv6, attack and penetration platforms, AAA. Very interesting!

We had a bad glitch yesterday with the Survey- a fiber channel interface and then some SAN problems. This was right after Axel Gruner announced us on the popular German BSD site The survey is back up and we hope that our German friends will take the German Usage Survey. Thanks to Axel for translating as well.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Usage Survey, Incorporation Details

The BSD Usage Survey is out! Help promote BSD by taking and advertising this short (19 questions) survey. This page has information and links to the survey and press releases in four languages. More languages as the translation teams get them ready. We've only just released the survey and already there have been 106 responses! That's amazing! Tantalizing tidbits from the first day: FreeBSD and NetBSD are almost neck and neck (62 to 53); major users are IT, academic, ISP; 46 responders have greater than 76% of all servers are BSD; Europe and North America lead the locations- but there still is no response from Antarctica. Wonder why? Hmmm... lot's of penguins there....

The survey will run at least through Sept 30th. Please help us promote this important survey! Thanks!

Looks like we will be incorporating in the US as a non-profit. There are still some details left, but looks like we'll do the Delaware route, and file with the IRS as a non-profit 501(c)(3) after that. More details next week.

NYCBSDCON is right around the corner. Dru will be giving a talk on BSD Certification. If you're in the city- come on over. There is a small registration fee of $40 (ok, maybe not that small but hey- you should have registered before Sept 10). Check out the rest of the lineup here.

Some good progress this week on the Certification Requirements document and business plan. Still major work to go there.

Friday, September 09, 2005

This Weeks Progress

Several more conversations with vendors regarding testing, test preparation, psycometrics, etc. We're in contact with at least a half-dozen organizations. So far, they've all expressed an interest in working with us. Several have offered to help us with a 'writers workshop' where they show us how to write good questions for tests; how to keep track of them in an 'item bank' (database); and how to move things from creation to analysis to preparation to delivery. Some are exclusively based on Microsoft products, and while that doesn't turn us completely off, it make things awkward from a usability standpoint. Discussions are continuing and we hope to narrow the field late next week.

We've also begun the process of incorporation. We're looking at both the US 501(c)(3) model, and the Canadian Incorporation:Not-For-Profit model. Both have advantages. We're also checking with both the NetBSD Foundation and the FreeBSD Foundation to learn from their experiences. So far, we don't see any reason we can't be a 501(c)(3). More to come on this important topic soon.

The BSD Usage Survey is ready. The English version has been sent to the translation teams. We hope to have at least a couple of translations ready by the release of the survey on Monday, Sept 12. This is an important survey and we want to get the word out about it. It's much shorter than the first survey- only 19 questions. Look for the announcement on Monday.

There were some lively discussions on the email list this week on both a code of ethics and on the business plan. Check the archives for details.

Just a followup note on the business plan- yes we do have a plan. Yes, we are actively developing it. Yes, we will publish it. If you have questions, comments, concerns or would like to help, send an email to the public list. Most of what needs to be done is to research the market in three specific areas- BSD usage (hence the above survey); other Unix certifications (Solaris, HP, Linux, others) for recent certification numbers; and finding a good gauge of employer interest. If you have info on these topics please send us a note.

The NDA is ready- the only outstanding item is the jursidiction. We will have to wait for incorporation for that. We'll post the text to the public list for comments this weekend.

Finally, the Certification Requirements document for the first certification is starting to take shape. Here's a question- would you like 75-100 hard questions, or 50 harder questions? Ahh, the pain of testing... :-)

Sunday, September 04, 2005

NDA, Online Testing, Certification Names, Usage Survey

Progress on several items:

The NDA is in final draft. A lawyer prepared it, but it still needs some tweaks about contact info, jurisdiction, and use of public keys for exchange. Group members are reviewing now- it should be finished in a few more days.

Several conversations this week regarding online testing. We're researching partners to help do curriculum development, psycometric analysis, and test delivery. So far, discussions have been good, but this will take a while. One candidate looks promising, but we're pursuing several others for our due diligence.

The final vote for the initial certification names has been distributed to BSD Certification Group members. We had to have a preliminary vote to narrow down the possibilities from around 60 (Section 3.2.9 of the Task Analysis Survey Report) to eight or nine. The vote closes next weekend. Results will be announced on Sept 12. The names are part of the Certification Requirements Document for the initial certification outlined in the Certification Roadmap.

Finally- we've released a test version of the BSD Usage Survey to the BSDCert mailing list today. We wanted the BSDCert list members to have a chance to make comments and suggestions before the final copy of the BSD Usage Survey is released next week.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Another Important Item...

is our Business Plan. We are developing the plan now. One of the harder things to estimate is the BSD market- BSD system usage, worldwide, for any of the four major projects. I've looked for previous market studies and haven't found much at all.

There was Henry Norrs SF Chronicle article, the controversial security study, and Sean Michael Kerners article in

Not surprisingly, the most informative article was from Netcraft, and it provided the most specific detail on BSD usage yet- 2.5 million FreeBSD servers in use in 2004. Perhaps they have additional detail on the other projects.

If you have any information on BSD usage, (production, staging, lab, personal, whatever) we'd like to hear from you. We are currently developing a survey to gather this information.

Ideally, we'd like to know:
  1. Which BSD flavors are in use and how many of each? (FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, DragonFly BSD)
  2. How many BSD systems are in use?
  3. How many admins are maintaing these systems?
  4. What services are being provided?
  5. How large is the organization?
  6. What industry?

There are a few more questions. A sample set of questions is being posted to the BSDCert mailing list today. The actual survey will be announced in the next few days.

Comments and suggestions are welcome here or on the list.