Actually I've read that post mentioned above. First of all I think it barely constitutes a breach of the agreement (even if the candidate is bound by that agreement). Even if he/she is, by all means it should be determined by the point of law, not by instinct, as far as only an extract of a small part with totally different wording is concerned.
The quote by the moderator appears in 2 places as far as I can found - one in "SUN CERTIFICATION PROGRAM POLICY ON CANDIDATE MISCONDUCT"(the Policy), another in the "Pre-Test Agreement"(the Agreement). As you need to click to accept the Agreement only when you do the Test in an examination center, whether the Agreement is applicable to part 2 assignment is doubtful. We never need to click any button before downloading the assignment from galton website. So the following discussion only investigates whether the part 2 assignment is bound by the Policy.
Since it's more accurate to interpret the meaning of any single sentence or paragraph in a wider context, I try to interpret its meaning by reading the whole Policy. I believe the main rationale of the 'Pre-Test Agreement' and the Policy is clarified in a paragraph quoted from the Policy as below:
"The credential conferred by the Certification Program delivers its greatest value to you only as long as the Test is secure and continues to operate as a measure of personal knowledge and skill. Sun requires every candidate for Sun Certification to assist in maintaining the integrity and security of the Tests."
And the quote by the moderaor is actually only part of a larger paragraph, as follows:
"The content of all tests and test materials are proprietary and confidential information of Sun. Candidates may not disclose or share any of the content of these materials; nor may candidates ask for, write (in any media), publish, or otherwise disclose any test questions or answers."
Both of these confirm my assertion that Sun mainly concerns about the Test questions they designed for use in the examination centre. That's the reason why we only need to click the button when we do the test in the exam center. If these questions are released, the credential of the certificate will be in doubt.
For the part 2 assignment: Firstly there is no time-limit. Secondly, you can submit the assignment only when you paid Sun the fee, not at your wish. As such, even if a candidate get the assignment earlier it'll never DEVALUE the certificate as he/she is given an UNLIMITED time in the first place!
We understand it's the moderator's prerogative to delete any threads which he/she deems in breach of the javaranch policy. However whether it's actually the situation in this case I'm really in doubt. And the quality and popularity of this kind of forum to a certain extent depend on whether the moderator can exercise this discretion wisely. Being said so, alas... I agree myself that the easiest way to resolve a controversial issue like this is to remove it before it matures. Anyway, let's improve ourselves along this line.
[ April 28, 2002: Message edited by: Kevin Yip ]