Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

LSB to Provide Standards as Optional Modules

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the step-in-line dept.

Linux 99

An anonymous reader writes "The LSB will begin providing certain standards as optional modules to the core LSB standard that will enable standards flexibility and allow for a wider variety of standards, eWeek is reporing Free Standards Group officials said at the OSDL Enterprise Linux Summit today. The article goes on to say that the FSG is also looking at possibly franchising out the application certification component of the LSB to the distribution providers themselves."

cancel ×

99 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Wait just a second... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11550368)


'Optional' standards?


Explain to me why this makes any sense.

Re:Wait just a second... (5, Funny)

aeakett (561176) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550402)

My favorite part was "wider variety of standards". You know what they say... "The nice thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from."

Re:Wait just a second... (1)

goldspider (445116) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550609)

"You know what they say... 'The nice thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from.'"

And like many other Slashbot mantras, that one doesn't make any practical sense either. For once I'd like an answer to the "why so many standards?" question that doesn't contradict itself.

Re:Wait just a second... (1)

tchuladdiass (174342) | more than 9 years ago | (#11551764)

Here's an example:
A rear reflector isn't required on a bicycle, but if you do have one, then it _must_ be red. So having a "red rear reflector" on a bicycle is an optional standard.

Re:Wait just a second... (1)

goldspider (445116) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552507)

That's two completely separate matters, though.

1. Rear reflector on bicycle.
2. Color of rear reflector.

1 is optional, 2 is not.

Because evolution works. (2, Interesting)

copponex (13876) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550437)

Yeah, yeah. I wish I could force a packaging system on all the distros at one time. On the other hand, whatever packaging system does become the "optional standard" will be the best one out there, or at least the best combination of security/stability and ease of use.

Do you know how many mail handling programs there are? Do you know how many are actually popular? Sendmail used to be the only choice, but now a lot of people use qmail.

Give this GUI Linux desktop stuff some time to mature. In five years, nothing else will compare, no matter what the price.

OS X will still be better. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11550555)

Give this GUI Linux desktop stuff some time to mature. In five years, nothing else will compare, no matter what the price.


Hate to break it to you, but Apple won't be standing still. Linux is decades behind OS X in usability, and while KDE and GNOME are in permanent "catch up" mode, Apple will be inventing new technologies. Linux users are pretty much relegated to being "me too" GUI users, while OS X users will be doing more work more efficiently. There is a reason why more and more Linux users are dropping that pile of crap and moving to OS X. Open Source simply cannot compete with closed source done right: Apple.

Why specify apps and not functionality? (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 9 years ago | (#11551794)

On the other hand, whatever packaging system does become the "optional standard" will be the best one out there, or at least the best combination of security/stability and ease of use.
I don't see that happening.

Rather, why not specify the functionality that needs to be present and the format of the packages.

Don't use .rpm's, use .lsb's instead.

That way they can take the best parts of all the packages and specify them in their own format.

Then detail the functionality needed to install those packages. That functionality can be added to rpm and apt and whatever other managers are out there as those maintainers desire.

Also detail the features/functionality of whatever is used to store the package data.

That also allows those maintainers to add the functionality as they desire.

It will take more WORK than simply saying "use .rpm's with these restrictions" but the end result will be a better designed system.

Re:Because evolution works. (1, Interesting)

bonch (38532) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552437)

Give this GUI Linux desktop stuff some time to mature. In five years, nothing else will compare, no matter what the price.

That's what people five years ago were saying.

I am fully convinced now that Linux will never mature on the desktop due to the very nature of OSS. There are no global standards or goals. Instead, toolkits compete with each other, entire desktops compete, packaging systems compete, and so on. That's nice if you want to preach about "choice" but it won't get you anywhere with a powerful, standardized GUI for the masses, if that is indeed what the goal is. The kind of polish and consistency required to succeed on the desktop is so far away from today's hacky KDE/GNOME-on-top-of-an-X11-protocol desktop environment emulators that it's still a chore just to drag a window around without it tearing up on the screen.

It's sad, because when Linux desktops first came out in the 90s, there was great potential, but I've watched the directions they've taken (look like Windows but with 10x the buttons and sidebars!) and shaken my head. They should have based everything around a standard such as an evolved GNUStep and beaten OS X to the gate back in the late 90s. But that's not how it happened at all.

The motivation in the OSS world is that of scratching an itch. That is a vague, unreliable mantra to rely on. In the commercial world, however, developers have financial incentive to polish up and finish every last detail to complete the user experience, and they are under the reigns of team leaders who make sure everyone follows a single vision, right or wrong, rather than argue and debate endlessly about different ways to do things. Think about it. Darwin/Aqua is a totally new thing that took them about five years, drawing from the same kind of open resources available to Linux at the time. In five years, they had a completely new OS shipped and ready. On the other hand, Linux has been around for an entire decade now, and the desktops still look like they're competing with Windows 98 in a non-accelerated, 2D world of "Start" menus and taskbars. Even Longhorn is finally utilizing a new display format to compete with OS X's PDF via Avalon. Hell, NextStep was using Postscript in the 80s.

A desktop succeeds when it is truly seamless and integrates all of its technologies. OS X has already accomplished that using the same kinds of resources available to Linux, such as OSS and BSD software. Windows finally got there with the NT code and its abandonment of DOS. Linux is still trying to figure out how to have it so users don't have to install TWO ENTIRE DESKTOP ENVIRONMENTS just to run all the apps available. I don't know what it is about OSS interfaces that make them suck, as there is plenty of freeware OSS available for Windows and OS X that looks gorgeous and is a joy to use. I can only presume it's the development environments and developer attitudes.

Linux is fun to play with for me, but I would use it as a server alongside the BSDs. It is far, far, FAR from ready being a mainstream, accessible desktop to bring computing to the masses. The community attitude is simply not in the right place to cater to users (right now, users are often looked-down upon as nuisances who complain to much rather than pristine sources of human-computer-interface feedback). There's simply no academic or artistic approach to bringing a mainstream desktop to users in this community. It's all about "Micro$haft is doing this? Well, we'll do that but with five more buttons and the ability to move it anywhere on screen!" There's a distinct lack of taste or culture to the desktop offerings, though the least bad I've used would be Gnome.

Just my opinion.

Re:Because evolution works. (2, Insightful)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 9 years ago | (#11556936)

Think about it. Darwin/Aqua is a totally new thing that took them about five years, drawing from the same kind of open resources available to Linux at the time.

I must have missed the point at which desktop Linux had 1000+ developers working on it and a billion dollars to play with.

In five years, they had a completely new OS shipped and ready.

No, they did massive imports from code bases they either bought or were BSD licensed. It's certainly not "completely new".

On the other hand, Linux has been around for an entire decade now, and the desktops still look like they're competing with Windows 98 in a non-accelerated, 2D world of "Start" menus and taskbars.

Linux has had hardware accelerated graphics for a very long time now. You must mean hardware window compositing, but ... wait. It has that too, albiet still an immature implementation you need a good box to run. But that's true of MacOS and Longhorn as well.

I won't bother replying to the rest as it's simply provocative opinion (there's a shorter word for that).

Re:Because evolution works. (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 9 years ago | (#11563284)



Linux has 1000+ developers, and you don't need a billion dollars. The point I was making, which clearly shooshed right over your head, was that Darwin draws from open source technologies like BSD.

No, they did massive imports from code bases they either bought or were BSD licensed. It's certainly not "completely new".

They installed a Mach kernel with BSD subsystem, created a new version of the NeXTStep APIs called Cocoa, and created the Aqua interface on top of it. Yes, it's a new OS, unless you're going to discount every operating system that draws from other sources, in which case Linux would be one of those.

Linux has had hardware accelerated graphics for a very long time now. You must mean hardware window compositing, but ... wait. It has that too, albiet still an immature implementation you need a good box to run. But that's true of MacOS and Longhorn as well.

The classic OSS response. "We have it too! Well, not really, it's immature and 'coming soon.'" Referencing random unfinished Sourceforge projects whenever someone mentions features Linux doesn't have makes you look foolish. Meanwhile, you didn't refute the point whatsoever--OS X uses the GPU for its window compositing. Let me know when GNOME/KDE get around to it.

I won't bother replying to the rest as it's simply provocative opinion (there's a shorter word for that).

I acknowledge your lack of a valid counterargument.

Next.

Re:Because evolution works. (properly formatted) (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 9 years ago | (#11563319)

I must have missed the point at which desktop Linux had 1000+ developers working on it and a billion dollars to play with.

Linux has 1000+ developers, and you don't need a billion dollars. The point I was making, which clearly shooshed right over your head, was that Darwin draws from open source technologies like BSD.

No, they did massive imports from code bases they either bought or were BSD licensed. It's certainly not "completely new".

They installed a Mach kernel with BSD subsystem, created a new version of the NeXTStep APIs called Cocoa, and created the Aqua interface on top of it. Yes, it's a new OS, unless you're going to discount every operating system that draws from other sources, in which case Linux would be one of those.

Linux has had hardware accelerated graphics for a very long time now. You must mean hardware window compositing, but ... wait. It has that too, albiet still an immature implementation you need a good box to run. But that's true of MacOS and Longhorn as well.

The classic OSS response. "We have it too! Well, not really, it's immature and 'coming soon.'" Referencing random unfinished Sourceforge projects whenever someone mentions features Linux doesn't have makes you look foolish. Meanwhile, you didn't refute the point whatsoever--OS X uses the GPU for its window compositing. Let me know when GNOME/KDE get around to it.

I won't bother replying to the rest as it's simply provocative opinion (there's a shorter word for that).

I acknowledge your lack of a valid counterargument.

Next.

Re:Wait just a second... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11550502)

Say, someone may want to compile VIDEO for LINUX modules, but may not want to take the arduous time required to actually go about recompiling the kernel and doing everything for oneself, but some distributions (like knoppmyth) may want to include video packages and still remain within the LINUX standard base. So ha.

Computer Oxymorons (1)

WebCowboy (196209) | more than 9 years ago | (#11551846)

Hmmm..."optional standards"...kind of like "advanced BASIC" and "*Micro*soft Office Professional" (a product that a friend remarked some time ago was so big it should've been sold on its own hard drive instead of floppies or CD-ROMs).

Having "optional" standards makes sense. I think a few posters here haven't been able to catch the clue--this doesn't mean "parallel" options like an option for debian or red-hat style package formats. The options are just an extension of what the FSG has done with LSB 2--it has already been broken into modules and with LSB 3 more modules will be added that do not have to be included to be an LSB certified OS or app. The BASE modules are required for all compliant software. For the "server" options there will be libraries and daemons that must be available that are not appropriate for desktop use. Similarly having X and a desktop environment and sound libraries on a server just to meet a standard is stupid, so they are part of an optional "desktop" standard.

I think that is what has been one of the barriers to widespread adoption of the LSB--in order to be able to say you are LSB compliant in the past you couldn't depend on C++, GNOME/KDE or some other fundamental components of modern distros--you either had to not use such components or bundle them with your install (making your package very large). Soon a GUI/Desktop app can say "LSB/Desktop compliant" and a web server application can say "LSB/Server compliant" and OS makers can market an LSB desktop OS without including irrelevant server components.

Without optional components in the standard you could end up with something like what you have with MS Windows--a desktop OS that (until quite recently anyways) had open ports and services that do nothing for users but consume resources and introduce security risks, and a server OS that requires megabytes more RAM and drive space so that it can provide pretty graphics, media player, paint program, etc in its default installation.

I think it's a great move. Multiple/optional standards are only a problem when they cover the same thing (VHS/Beta, RPM/DEB, DVD+RW/DVD-RW, etc etc etc...) and this is just providing some needed granularity to the standard. As long as it doesn't get too fragmented it'll be great for software distributors (LSB/Desktop, LSB/Server would all that would be needed in the software requirements list instead of a list of arcane dependencies).

Re:Wait just a second... (1)

I8TheWorm (645702) | more than 9 years ago | (#11553610)

I think the whole post was based on a bet to see who could use the word "standard(s)" the greatest number of times in one sentence.

It's very simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11553633)

Have you never heard the expression, "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em"? ;)

Re:Wait just a second... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11554232)

Is it so difficult to understand ?
For example an optional java standard. You don't need to install java to be LSB compliant but if you install java you have to do it as defined by the standard.

Re:Wait just a second... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11554717)

Standards are always optional. A standard is not optional if it is stipulated in a contract for work, i.e. company x will produce part q to meet specifications theta and beta and standard aleph. still it's the statement of work that must be met which happens to include this "standard." Or sometimes a company will design a product to meet a standard out of the goodness of their heart. The later almost never happens unless the consumer demands it (an implicit contract). More often than not the use of a standard is determined by organizations with a lot of money to buy re: governments. Once a standard is used in a goverment project it's often adopted industry wide.

woot (1, Funny)

Shardin (696999) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550375)

yay for more standards MS can ignore!

Re:woot (1)

DaHat (247651) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550491)

Why would you want Microsoft doing anything with regards to the Linux Standards Base?

I suppose the one case compliance would be useful would be with MS Linux [mslinux.org] .

Re:woot (1)

Shardin (696999) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550593)

I don't want them doing anything... whenever they touch standards they always mess them up.. this is one they can safely ignore and should steer clear from!

You don't get it! (1)

eldacan (726222) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550762)

By making tons of standards (optional cause it would be hard to respect them all) eventually Microsoft will HAVE to respect some! THAT's the idea!

standardize this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11550384)

The only thing better than standards are optional standards!

But... (0, Flamebait)

Jack Taylor (829836) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550387)

Who will standardise the standardisation of the standards groups?

Re:But... (1)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550572)

We're currently leaving our options open on that one.

Re:But... (1)

Jack Taylor (829836) | more than 9 years ago | (#11560220)

To clarify, my original post *was* actually meant to be funny. Sheesh! ;)

Re:But... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11550748)

Standard standardization standards will be standardized by the "Standard Standardization Standards for Standardizing Standardization Society" (SSSSSS).

...a wider variety of standards (1)

R.Caley (126968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550423)

The old observation that standards are wonderful because there are so many of them springs to mind.

Can't wait for the optional RedHat module and the optional Suse module and... but that's silly, they'd have to franchise out... er...

Re:...a wider variety of standards (-1, Redundant)

4A6F656C (530559) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550450)

Reminds me of the following quote:

"The nice thing about standards is that you have so many to choose from." - Andy Tanenbaum

Re:...a wider variety of standards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11551417)

Andy Tanenbaum, and I still wonder why they intentionally are making their standards worthless? Why do the controlling members of the LSB want to see it destroyed?

mmh... why franchising ? (1)

jon1012 (831761) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550434)

A certification should be awarder by a consistent comitee, why franchise it ? Alsoi, the modularity of standard is a really good thing because of the development cycle of new application and technology reducing at an higher rate these years. What I'm waiting for is something like "Appli. server LSB", "Web Server LSB" etc... With consistent versionning (no more specific distros range of application versions...).

How many "standards"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11550435)

allow for a wider variety of standards


Yes, we need several "standard" ways to do a particular thing. For example, do you need a standard way to store documents? text files, HTML, XML, PDF, DOC, take your pick. We don't need a wider variety of standards.

Want More Standards? We've got'em (2, Funny)

Colonel Panic (15235) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550436)

will enable standards flexibility and allow for a wider variety of standards

Bummed that there is only one LSB standard?
Wish you could make your own standard?

Don't worry, more LSB standards are on the way!

Don't like the LSB?
You can choose from:
* The Mandrake LSB standard
* The RedHat LSB standard
* The Gentoo LSB standard
* The Debian LSB standard ...and the list goes on...

Re:Want More Standards? We've got'em (-1, Redundant)

BridgeBum (11413) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550536)

The wonderful thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from.

Re:Want More Standards? We've got'em (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550565)

Sounds like object oriented databases to me...

Re:Want More Standards ... NOT! (1)

quarkscat (697644) | more than 9 years ago | (#11560496)

The decision to make LSB modular basically
boils down to the fact that each major
Linux distribution ISV "agreed to disagree"
on a unifying standard. This preserves their
IP, their branding, and also their revenue
stream. It does NOT forward a unifying LSB
common standard for all to adhere to. Methinks
it will also lead to chaos among the F/OSS
application/tool suite ISVs to try and support
different flavors of GNU/Linux. I can forsee
a RedHat version of Apache (LAMP) competing
with a different Suse version, etcetera.

All in all, I don't think this is very good
news for the linux community as a whole, or
for the struggle against the (un-named) 800
pound gorilla in the opposing corner.

What does LSB stand for? (1, Funny)

Riddlefox (798679) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550440)

Why do we need more standards defining the Least Significant Bit?

Back when I was a youngin', we had us our big endian and little endian computers, and that's the way we liked it!

Seriously, why can't articles explain what all of the acronyms mean?

For crying out loud, Read The Fine Article (2, Informative)

sczimme (603413) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550547)


Why do we need more standards defining the Least Significant Bit?
...
Seriously, why can't articles explain what all of the acronyms mean?


Here is your big pointy hat - go sit in the corner.

From the FIRST PARAGRAPH of the article:

The Free Standards Group has decided to move away from a single, core LSB (Linux Standards Base) specification, and is instead going to break this down into different modules that can be combined to give a server or desktop LSB standard.(emphasis mine)

Re:For crying out loud, Read The Fine Article (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11550681)

You get a bigger pointy hat for the spelling in your sig:

What is it, Lieutenant Sebastian?
It's just the Rebels, sir - They're here.
My God, man! Do they want tea?
No, I think they're after something more than that, sir. I don't know what it is, but they've brought a flag.
Damn, that's dash cunning of them!


Nothing about matches, unless you saw him live and then I'll forgive you.

Re:For crying out loud, Read The Fine Article (1)

Riddlefox (798679) | more than 9 years ago | (#11551173)

Heh, thanks for pointing that out. I read that paragraph two or three times trying to figure out what LSB meant, and my mind just totally blanked out the parenthetical part. I've been writing papers, and I use the reverse format - I would've written "Linux Standards Base (LSB)," and gone on to use LSB for the rest of the paper.

I'll say a dozen Hail RTFA's and promise to be a good slashbot in the future.

No problem... (1)

sczimme (603413) | more than 9 years ago | (#11551319)


Heh, thanks for pointing that out. I read that paragraph two or three times trying to figure out what LSB meant, and my mind just totally blanked out the parenthetical part.

Remember 'Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally'? Parentheses and exponents should be parsed first. :-)

I've been writing papers, and I use the reverse format - I would've written "Linux Standards Base (LSB)," and gone on to use LSB for the rest of the paper.

That would have made more sense, of course, but we must work with what we have.

I'll say a dozen Hail RTFA's and promise to be a good slashbot in the future.

That's the spirit! :-P

Re:What does LSB stand for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11550596)

Seriously, why can't articles explain what all of the acronyms mean?

To put it bluntly, because: this ain't "news for newbies". If you can't deal with a random unexplained unfamiliar-to-you acronym here and there, you should go to a better web site.

Re:What does LSB stand for? (2, Funny)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550676)

According to the article:

"To make for easier processing and power saving, the LSB can now be fixed as a one OR a zero (according to which standard you use) for ALL operations.

1) Fixing this bit means one less digit to process (or shift) because its state is now globally known - for 16-bit computations, this will save a nominal 1/16th of the effective processing time, thus speeding up programs with only a marginal loss of numerical accuracy.

2) Because the bit no longer needs to be toggled between logic states, that saves the energy wastage of 4-6 transistors per flip-flop or gate per processor cycle (or 1 FET/CMOS gate for DRAM-type memory) - considering that modern CPUs operate at millions of cycles per second, the energy saving, although fundamentally measured in picowatts, soon adds up to a siginficant amount. Future developments on this power saving feature may see the 'recovered' energy recycled onto the national grid as a chargeback to the consumer or used to charge domestic appliances, portable devices such as cell phones and MP3 players etc."

Re:What does LSB stand for? (1)

ESqVIP (782999) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550801)

Agreed, I was about to comment that.

Posted summaries are supposed to be descriptive.

Re:What does LSB stand for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11551932)

It may be modded "funny", but for crying out loud, this is the exact same field of expertise (computing) and they go and use an already-used acronym...

in computing terms, LSB = Least Significant Bit.

Oh wait, someone screwed up and ALSO used LSB for another computing term...

So it can either mean Least Significant Bit *or* Linux Standards Base now.

Next thing you know, Microsoft will advocate the use of LINUX in enterprises...

Large Integrated Network of Unified Xchanges.

Next time, check if the acronym already exists in your field before using it.

Bad idea.... (2, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550461)

...let's see now. You have a fringe OS (at least in the desktop space), with a bunch of incompatible standards (deb, non-lsb rpm, ebuild etc.) and instead of actually getting one standard used (how many USE lsb packages?) they're going to make more?

At most, they should have TWO - LSB-server and LSB-desktop. Not a "LSB-foo-bar packet" which doesn't run on a "LSB-foo" machine. The rest? Forget it.

Kjella

Re:Bad idea.... (1)

frankthechicken (607647) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550579)

Could not agree more.

Unfotunately wherever you look at human endevours, unless there is an all powerful overseer (i.e. like Microsoft), standards tend to get tossed around for ages until one becomes generally agreed upon due to its popularity, which is then used, though it tends to always be a compromise of a sort. And during this period, people tend to be interested in arguing than furthing the actual project.

The cases are many and varied, take nomenclenture of living organsims/geological time periods etc. In every case there groups who feel their method is the correct method, and in many cases seem willing to fight to the death for their cause.

This initial compromise by LSB is pathing the way for these kind of squabbles, which can only be "A Bad Thing".

Re:Bad idea.... (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 9 years ago | (#11551781)

This is creating an all powerful overseer (ie LSB) While not that powerfull yet they are gaining. Many distrubitions are supporting the LSB and those that don't will be doomed to thier nitch for better or worse.

with LSB we have one LSB with diffrent levels for diffrent applications giving a common base to anyone who follows it.

before LSB we had Redhat Linux, Suse Linux, Debian Linux, Mandrake Linux, and many others all with very little common ground.

Re:Bad idea.... (1)

wawannem (591061) | more than 9 years ago | (#11551216)

RTFA, what you suggest is exactly what they are proposing:

As such, there will be different modules, and assembling a set of modules will give you the LSB server standard, while assembling another set of modules will give you the LSB desktop standard going forward

Re:Bad idea.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11551949)

RTFA yourself and think about it. From the quote,

"...while assembling another set of modules will give you the LSB desktop standard going forward"

What is implied is assembling some of the modules that equate to LSB server standard along with some modules that equate to LSB desktop standard will allow you to claim to be LSB compliant even though you still won't be STANDARD.

Re:Bad idea.... (1)

wawannem (591061) | more than 9 years ago | (#11562278)

You say tomato, I say tomato...

I did read the article, and I don't get your implication one bit. The implication I got was simple, there is a need for a set of server APIs and a set of desktop APIs. Although I don't necessarily agree for a few reasons: 1. the current purpose of a significant number of linux desktops is to develop/deploy software that will most likely be hosted on a server system. 2. if the group working on the standard has reached this far out, they are stepping outside of a useful scope... They seem to be creating a distro rather than defining the standard set of APIs for all distros.

To get back to the point at hand, I was simply pointing out that the grandparent (was it you?) indicated that the creation of more standards was ridiculous because having a desktop standard and a server standard is all that is needed. I pointed out that this was what the article suggested. The section you quote is pretty clear, "while assembling another set of modules..." How you came up with [paraphrased] mixing/matching modules from each will allow you to claim LSB compliance [/paraphrased] is baffling.

So go ahead and pick another random sentence from the article then come up with some BS inference and hopefully with enough bolding and capitalization you can once again imagine you made an intelligent observation.

Re:Bad idea.... (4, Informative)

drew (2081) | more than 9 years ago | (#11551318)

I think you miss the point of the LSB. LSB is not a package format- there is not such thing as an "LSB package", and deb, ebuild, rpm, etc. have nothing to do with the LSB.

LSB defines a set of libraries and applications that will be present on all LSB compatible distributions/installations. It specifies things like kernel version, libc version, etc. so that a commercial application provider can say that "This application is certified to work with LSB 1.x" instead of "This application is certified to work on redhat 7.2, and may work on debian 2.2, suse 8.0 and possibly other installiations that have kernel 2.4.x, glibc 2.y, and foobar 3.0"

What they are talking about doing now is adding optional components to the LSB. That way an application provider can say for example "This product is certified with LSB2.x + LSB Webserver 1.y" without having to add a web server as part of the LSB and thus requiring it to be installed on non-server computers. Likewise the current LSB defines few (if any) X toolkits, libraries, applications, etc. so in order to say that a commercial desktop application will run on any LSB certified platform, providers would have to statically link a lot of libraries that are already present on most desktop linux machines because the LSB doesn't include them. Also, as the article points out, there is a lot of interest in having Java be part of the standard, but so far they have not made it required because of the licensing issues. This way, Java installations could be standardized but made part of a separate module so that they would not be required for all LSB compliant installations.

However, while having optional modules for the standard doesn't seem like a bad thing to me, the idea of having the distibution providers doing the certification seems like a mistake.

Re:Bad idea.... (1)

teg (97890) | more than 9 years ago | (#11551683)

I think you miss the point of the LSB. LSB is not a package format- there is not such thing as an "LSB package", and deb, ebuild, rpm, etc. have nothing to do with the LSB.

(A previous version of) RPM is actually part of the LSB standard.

Re:Bad idea.... (2, Informative)

kaisyain (15013) | more than 9 years ago | (#11551726)


LSB is not a package format- there is not such thing as an "LSB package", and deb, ebuild, rpm, etc. have nothing to do with the LSB.


You might have to have a re-read of the Linux Packaging Specification section of the LSB. The LSB does not currently require that packages be in RPM (although it is "encouraged" and in the future may be required) but there definitely is an LSB package format and it is RPM.

You've hit the core problem. (2, Interesting)

khasim (1285) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552040)

However, while having optional modules for the standard doesn't seem like a bad thing to me, the idea of having the distibution providers doing the certification seems like a mistake.
Bingo. What incentive does Red Hat have to ensure LSB compliance in addition to (or instead of) Red Hat compliance?

The original stated purpose of the LSB was to guarantee that an app you got from an ISV who had certified that app against the LSB would run on any LSB compliant system.

If Red Hat certifies an ISV's app against the LSB implementation that Red Hat has, where is the guarantee that the app will run on a Debian LSB system? Or even a SuSE LSB system?

In which case, you're back at the beginning with the "problem" that a package built for Red Hat will not be guaranteed to run on a SuSE box.

Re:You've hit the core problem. (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 9 years ago | (#11554145)

Presumably, if red hat certifies too many applications as LSB when they won't run on Debian, their license to certify gets revoked. Maybe they could say 3 separate distros have to certify an app for it to get full certification

Re:You've hit the core problem. (1)

drew (2081) | more than 9 years ago | (#11555933)

but the point of the LSB was that vendors would only have to do one certification, rather than certify against every distro. if they still have to certify against multiple distributions, it doesn't gain the community much, because app makers wll go back to just certifying against redhat like they used to.

Re:Bad idea.... (1)

Donny Smith (567043) | more than 9 years ago | (#11551775)

deb, rpm, ebuild, emerge - those aren't standards, they are just ways to pack or install software. Windows also has several installers.

The article says that indeed there will be two LSB's, the server and the desktop variety, and people will be able to do fine selection of sub-varieties. For example, if you build a Linux distro for notebooks you might want to follow the LSB-desktop standards with an additional compliance with some sub-standard guidelines or specs for notebooks, power saving, touch-screens, etc.

First ... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11550472)

First "Michael Sims has been fired" post. To make up for his failings, he's being replaced by a newcomer to the slashdot team. Some guy called Roland.

Michael Sims sucks (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11550477)

LOL @ Michael for getting kicked out of the editor's list. Take that, you domain hijacking moron. wc

Re:Michael Sims sucks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11550541)

Woah now, what's this??

whoops... (3, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550483)


when I read "Standards as Optional" I thought this was a story about Microsoft.

Please explain this to me (2, Insightful)

goldspider (445116) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550495)

What is the point of having so many standards? Why have all these "standards" if everyone is using a different one?

I always regarded standards as some level of uniformity and consistency. And yes, I know that standards restrictions can impede innovation, but I think there's a time when one "best" method of doing something should be chosen as THE standard.

Re:Please explain this to me (1)

0BoDy (739304) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550672)

Microsoft has "standards" API's etc, that aren't defined, documented, etc. Standards mean that we can compare software, even (especially) different branches of the same software (i.e. linux) on an even playing field. we can say " Redhadt defines their standards this way, suse this other way, and gentoo a third." this information lets me build ebuild that work in suse, and rpms that work with gentoo. they're standard formats like ogg, aac, or mp3. why use a !doctype statement, when almost all doctypes are or can be unique: because its better to know or be able to find out, than to not know

Re:Please explain this to me (1)

goldspider (445116) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550760)

I think ogg, aac and mp3 are good examples of my confusion. Yes they are all different technically, but essentially are the same thing: a compressed audio format.

Now I don't know which audio formats are open and which are closed, but let's assume for the sake of simplicity that ogg offers the best quality/size ratio out of the open formats.

Would it not make sense, then, to make ogg THE standard open compressed audio format? Wouldn't that make things like open source media players much simpler to create and (heaven forbid) less bloated?

Re:Please explain this to me (1)

0BoDy (739304) | more than 9 years ago | (#11551622)

ok, I thought ogg was the open sandard sound format but I understand. it's still better than saying "apple has a format" and "linux has a format" and "M$ has a format" we know what the formats are. they're defined. also, someone pointed out that the diferentiation with the various standards pertains to OS USE (i.e. desktop vs Server) which actually makes sense, you don't really want to require application compliance for the desktop and a server the same way, then linusx becomes widows, running X on a server, etc

Re:Please explain this to me (1)

espo812 (261758) | more than 9 years ago | (#11551433)

What is the point of having so many standards?
The nice thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from.

Re:Please explain this to me (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 9 years ago | (#11554195)

Because we need different things, as someone else said. At the moment if you want to call your app LSB certified, you have to pretty much statically compile everything, which is a bad thing. If there were a "LSB gui" addon mandating X, gtk and qt in a particular place, a "LSB server" addon mandating perhaps a sendmail-compatiable mta and a webserver and database accessible through some standard interface, you could make any kind of app for the particular LSB. This is ultimately about expanding the LSB, but they don't want to make the additions mandantory or distros which inplement the full LSB will become incredibly bloated.

Re:Please explain this to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11554949)

That makes more sense to me. Thanks for clearing that up.

a wider variety of standards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11550512)

a wider variety of standards

maybe i'm missing something, but how is that a good thing?

Congratulations (2, Funny)

iwrigley (78138) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550521)

It's not often you see the word 'standards' five times in one sentence. Now if only that sentence had actually made sense...

Closed standards for Open Source? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11550549)

Is it me, or does anyone else find it ironic that the main standards effort for Linux distros (LSB) has been closed to Debian and other community efforts? While instead catering to the big, commercial interests.

We don't need closed standards for Open Source.

Re:Closed standards for Open Source? (1)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 9 years ago | (#11551362)

Do you want big, commercial interests to take interest in linux or not? Face facts. The average Joe Blow does not want to recompile the kernel, check for dependancies or make an application.

They also do not want to be relegated to choosing from poorly implemented GUI apps. What they do want is to use a platform with closed source GUI applications they are familiar with. Without these apps, linux will never take a significant chunk of the desktop market.

I think open source is great for infrastructure but I do not have confidence in them providing the GUI and desktop applications because, quite frankly, most OSS GUIs suck monkey balls.

Re:Closed standards for Open Source? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11556862)

Personally, I'd rather the big commercial interests would keep their fingers out of Linux. Joe Blow can keep using Windows, I don't give a damn what he does.

Re:Closed standards for Open Source? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11551991)

Go to the LSB website and look at the list of members. Debian is listed. Debian not being LSB compliant is the fault of itself.

Thank you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11553412)

Thank you. It seems LSB has changed significantly, and I stand corrected. At least, from what it looks like on paper.

It didn't always used to be this way, and I had written them off back then. Now I will probably sign up with an individual membership and see how they really are.

If it's true that individuals can indeed have the type of voice that they claim, this is a Really Good Thing.

what are the chances? (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550616)

what are the chances that this "standardization on difference" will lead to a single standardized LSB which all distros can comply with, honestly?

The best thing I can see coming from this is that every distro would be "required" to have a bunch of garbage packages to comply with the LSB now. Some distros (redhat for corporate reasons? debian for philosophical, minimalist reasons?) won't comply, I imagine, and we'll have a mess.

What was wrong with the plain LSB, anyway? Oh, that's right - pricks like RedHat decided they were the standard, and didn't need to comply with some piddly forum's decisions.

Sounds funny but makes sense... (5, Informative)

crazy blade (519548) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550679)

The LSB will begin providing certain standards as optional modules to the core LSB standard that will enable standards flexibility and allow for a wider variety of standards...

Upon first reading the above I almost laughed. What good are standards if they are flexible and come in great variety? Then I did what no other self-respecting slashdotter would dare to do: I started RTFAing...

What these guys are saying is we should have different standards for different types of machines (e.g. Servers vs Desktops) which are based on a common denominator. Therefore the addons to the standard may go into greater detail for that type of usage.

I guess they want to make the standard stronger in some directions, while at the same time not encumbering types of distros which need not concern themselves with the gory details of something they don't include. I guess that sounds reasonable...

MOD PARENT UP (-1)

0BoDy (739304) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550764)

thank you for your extremely insightful & informative comment, you clearly don't belong here. . . read the article. . . bah!

Re:MOD PARENT UP (1)

crazy blade (519548) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550994)

Hold your horses!!! I never said I read the article:

I
started RTFAing...

Of course, I never got to the end. See? I think I'm finally getting used to this place. Now, with a little bit more effort...

Re:Sounds funny but makes sense... (1)

iabervon (1971) | more than 9 years ago | (#11551201)

Or, more importantly, not requiring a lot of inappropriate things for applications that only need other things. There have been UNIX standards in the past which have specified that you need to have a web server and X, even though most people don't use both on the same machine. The worst thing for security and stability is things that are kept running but never used, because they are easy to forget to update. On the other hand, a lot of desktop code could use standardization, such that, if you are trying to use a desktop program on a desktop system that follows the standard, it will be more likely to work. (And if you try to use a desktop program on something that's not supposed to be a desktop, it can be clear that it isn't supposed to work)

posix (2, Informative)

bile (169020) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550738)

Posix has optional sections of it's standards. Like multiprocess locking. Which isnt implimented in Linux before 2.5 because of the clone threading model.

Way behind the W3C (1)

kahei (466208) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550845)


Sure, this is 'standards creep'. But it's just baby standards creep compared to the W3C.

These guys aren't working on more than one version concurrently. They aren't working on more than one 'level' for each version. They aren't working on more than one 'platform type' per level per version. Without techniques like that, they can never become the awesome standards mill that the W3C is.

Sure, this plan of theirs will result in a linear increase in the total number of standards. But these are baby steps.

optional standards (1)

pyros (61399) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550923)

I would hope this means that you can still have and LSB compliant system without having to have an SMTP daemon installed. I freaking hate that. If you want to install one on your machine, go ahead, but quit requiring me from putting one on mine where it's unwanted. I don't want log files mailed to root every night on my desktop machine with no servers running. If I need to read a log file, I will read it directly out of /var/log. But somehow I doubt that will be the case.

Standardization of standard standards. (1)

Transcendent (204992) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550970)

The LSB will begin providing certain standards as optional modules to the core LSB standard that will enable standards flexibility and allow for a wider variety of standards, eWeek is reporing Free Standards Group officials said at the OSDL Enterprise Linux Summit today.

1, 2... 5 instances of the word "standard" in one sentence.
Just a little overboard?

Re:Standardization of standard standards. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11553974)

from the department-of-redundancy-department dept.

Re:Standardization of standard standards. (1)

Proteus (1926) | more than 9 years ago | (#11555269)

1, 2... 5 instances of the word "standard" in one sentence.
Just a little overboard?

Nah, pretty standard really...

Dear trolls, YHBT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11551392)

I would like to announce that Anti-slash is closing shop, after having been the biggest and most successful troll of all time, especially aimed at trolling the trolls themselves. For months we styled ourselves as freedom fighters, exploding petty grievances against Slashdot (OMG, dupes! REVOLUTION D00DZ!) and generally stirring up all the petty crybabies we could find. All of those who really believed our crap and signed up to Anti-slash, posted our 'manifesto' and campaigned for us ... well done! We have totally fucked pwned your stupid asses. And now thanks to your overblown shit-stirring, you've managed to get an editor fired, congratulations!
Once again ... I HAVE SO FUCKING TROLLED YOU ALL. You fail it times a hundred.
You'll note that our website (http://www.anti-slash.org) has been down for some time now. It won't be coming back, as it's served its purpose of baiting all you pussies. One final 'Well done' to the brave anti-slash crew!
Yours with love, Ackbar

As long as the core remains (1)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 9 years ago | (#11551524)

As only as they keep the core and only offer optional standard for different market segments (server/desktop/embedded), I'm ok with that.

I do hope, however that the strongly encourage everyone targeting the desktop space to remain consistent in what they offer.

I don't think many of you have much experience with developing closed source applications where you must depend upon certain minimum dependencies being on each machine you install the binary on. I think many of you don't even have any real experience with developing software (open or closed source) and are mainly consumers of these open source projects you vehemently defend and comment on.

If you guys did have experience with that, you would know how important it is for the average joe user for you application to run out of the box without any need for tinkering.

Honestly, if you guys don't get your act together, instead of gaining market share from MSFT, you will start loosing it to Apple instead. The OSS community should get off their high horse, stop listening to freaks like RMS and look at Apple for ideas to borrow concerning application development.

Here are some things that Apple as done right:
-consistent user interface standards for different application types/classes.
-consistent base install to write software against.
-packaging additional proprietary extensions with the third party application (avoids dll/so/framework hell).
-easy to understand/use API with sufficient documentation

Linux can have a real future if they provide easier install/uninstall and a robust base set of libraries closed and open source binaries can be built against for distribution to the general public.

Re:As long as the core remains (1)

jasonjacks0n (762945) | more than 9 years ago | (#11578402)

Nice post. I agree wholeheartedly with every point you make .. except this:
The OSS community should get off their high horse, stop listening to freaks like RMS

The fact is, there is nothing inconsistent about taking the approach you advocate (and I agree with), and working toward the important goals RMS is concerned with.

You're advocating things like increased standardization, increasingly looking to leaders in innovation like Apple for ideas (rather than just to market leaders like MS), increasing attention to ease-of-use and ease-of-deployment concerns, etc. RMS advocates acting to preserve the freedom of infrastructure software and data-exchange components, protecting ourselves against corporate interests, limiting the damage done by IP law, and so on. There's no conflict there.

Freedom and pragmatism are, 99% of the time, not at odds with each other. They are separate goals with a common solution in Open Source.

A different interpretation (1)

bombshelter13 (786671) | more than 9 years ago | (#11551758)

People've been going on and on about how it's silly to have different versions of the standard using examples like having a Debian LSB and a Mandrake LSB, and so on, which to me just seems an absurd way to do things.

I haven't read TFA, but the first interpretation that struck me seems to be one that few people have mentioned so far. Perhaps, having multiple standards doesn't mean there are multiple standards for the same basic thing, but that each basic thing has a standard that a distro can comply or not comply with seperately of others.

So, for instance (making up names for hypothetical distros and programs for the sake of example), the LSB Packager standard might specify the use of gnupackager, the LSB Window Manager Standard might specify the use of SpiffyWM, and the LSB Compression Standard might specify the use of Linzip.

The ZippyLinux distribution, which uses gnupackager, SpiffyWM, and Linzip, would be compliant with all three standards.

On the other hand, the MondoLinux distro, using gnupackager for packaging, SuperWindows for a window manager, and Linzip would be compliant with the LSB Packager Standard and the LSB Compression Standard but would not be compliant with the LSB Window Manager Standard.

A compression GUI frontend might specify that it runs on distros compliant with the LSB Compression Standard and the LSB Window Manager Standard, and you'd know from reading this that it would work on SpiffyLinux but that MondoLinux might have problems.

If this is the approach they're taking, it could be quite useful.

Bad news for Red Hat? (1)

Donny Smith (567043) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552126)

>any users perceive a lack of strong Linux standards, and that is creating a barrier to their adoption.

To me this reads: users, ISVs and hardware OEMs are sick of having to buy or deal with Red Hat for every Oracle on Linux they sell.

In other words, people don't want one or two or three enterprise distros - they want one server standard so that they can choose among all Linux distros.

Now, if Debian (someone mentioned them being excluded) doesn't like something about it - that's too fscking bad... The community can't sort these things out as they have almost no say in the enterprise domain.

>"The key conundrum is that the LSB is a complex specification, and we want to avoid duplicating the certification efforts the Linux vendors are already doing."

Oracle on any Linux! Not so soon, but ultimately.

> Zemlin said he is not asking users to require LSB compliance for their applications as yet. "Today, it is only being specified at the distribution level," he said.

Read: We can't deal with everyone and everything right now, please ask your distribution to LSB certify first, then when LSB 4.0 is out we'll tighten the screw and put pressure on application vendors to certify as well.
By LSB 5.0 you'll be able to move your data and apps between distros in seconds....

Nasty scenarios:

1. Everyone gets certified
Imagine how many engineer months it will take to RH to get compliant. Then imagine CentOS getting the same certification without any effort (as they build from the Red Hat Enterprise Linux sources).
As the cert will probably be free, then imagine which of the two distros will the average company use - the $1,500/year RH EL or the free CentOS...

2. Sun gets certified
Sun, of course, doesn't like RH's domination. I don't know if it's technically possible, but it's easy to imagine Solaris for x86 being one of first OS'es to get the certification for LSB-server OS and then hang that in front of RH's nose (and their customers). What's even "worse" (depending on one's MS stance) is that real standardization is going to be great for Microsoft - they'll finally need to do only one compatibility and cross-platform effort for Linux-related shit.

Novell and Red Hat do have some apps that work on top of their distros, but the thing is those aren't really the best of the breed, so I think tough times are on the horizon. It did sound great a year ago - RH Enterprise Linux with value added thingies like Red Hat Network, RHCE, the apps, etc. - but both them and Novell will have to work harder just to defend what they've gained so far.

Re:Bad news for Red Hat? (1)

bombshelter13 (786671) | more than 9 years ago | (#11559845)

Solaris get certified? While I haven't read the details of the proposed standard, I'm pretty sure that given the name, for a distribution to be certified it has to be, at the very least, well... ~A LINUX DISTRIBUTION~. Solaris may be Unix but it definately isn't Linux, whether closed-source or open. If they certify Sun they may as well certify Microsoft.

"LSB" "distro-x" "F/OSS"? /me sticking with *BSD! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11553164)


8 years? 10? (FBSD2.2.5) not sure, but when i started exploring ms_alternatives, i chose *BSD because it seemed (to me, at the time) to be "simpler" because they seemed more homogeneous. every time i "discovered" YADistro(tm), in the back of my mind i'm hearing "we don need no steenkin LSB!". on the other hand, the idea of a "desktop standard" and a "server standard" could be a good idea across ALL of the F/OSS community ... such as it is ..

especially if the F/OSS community were to ever do "open source" stuff that included more than just Linux!! reading through these comments, i'm reminded again about how much the "Linux community" is beginning to look more and more like the "proprietary community" (ok, so it's a community of one, but..) with so much of your/their efforts seeming to require a lot of work to run on "your older step-brother"; the closest thing we have, today, to Unix, IMHO. (right, i know "Linux Is Not UniX". so sue me; i'm a "traditionalist"!) it just seems so weird to have to have a "Linux(an "open source" "os") compatibility layer" to run "open source" software on FBSD(another "open source" "os"). (yeah, i know; one is a kernal and the other is more of a "fuller" operating system.)

(how many others in the house had RPGII included in their earlier computer training? (20 years ago ... wow; where does the time go?!) "down with OOPS! long live ASM!!" <b,eg; d&ra,vf>)

MS-KILA

Fi8s6t post? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11554541)

What's the point of standards? (1)

demon_2k (586844) | more than 9 years ago | (#11558440)

What's the point of standards, if there'll be veriations to them? Till now when im downloading packages all i have to worry about is what is my distribution based on. If it's debian based i get debian package. With one standard you get one package that can work on all distributions supporting that standard. Now we'll have "optional" extra bit and what's next? One standard for one thing another for something else. Now I'll have to worry about standards. Is my linux distro standard zyx or xyz, is there a difference and are they compatible. Maybe i got all this wrong...but, if i didn't. I don't think this is a good idea.

Least Significant Bit (1)

Big Nothing (229456) | more than 9 years ago | (#11560368)

What has Least Significant Bit to do with Optional Modules?

Gawd I hate it when people use abbreviations without giving any explanation whatsoever.

Here - take away my slashdot membership card.
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>