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Why Aren't More Distros Becoming LSB Certified?

Cliff posted more than 9 years ago | from the aren't-standards-a-good-thing? dept.

Data Storage 651

mydoghasworms asks: "I have done much thinking lately about Linux Standards Base. The idea makes lots of sense: Adopt a standard which will ensure that if some piece of software is compiled on one LSB-compliant system, it will run on any other LSB-compliant system. This would be great for members of the general public who are looking for an alternative to Windows, don't want to pay for Mac, but are looking for a platform where installing and running software is as easy as on the platform they are used to. Seen in that light, if LSB lives up to its promise, it could be the step in Linux's evolution that could see it adopted by the general public. That leaves the question: Why is LSB not seeing greater adoption?""Is it because it is not marketed well enough? Is the certification process too difficult? Are there perhaps technical challenges to LSB certification not often discussed? If people agree that LSB is in fact what Linux needs right now to ensure widespread adoption, what should be done to create awareness of LSB? Should communities developing Open Source/Free Software projects be encouraged to provide LSB binaries? Your input would be most welcome here."

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fp rkz fo shizzle (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12295664)

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Re:fp rkz fo shizzle (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12295731)

To take a page from yesterday's papal election, Habemus moron.

Quick Poll: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12295667)

I have heard of LSB.

I have not heard of LSB.

Re:Quick Poll: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12295700)

I have heard of LSB.

Re:Quick Poll: (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12295701)

I have heard of it. I thought it was illegal, and if you drop too much, it can lead to permanent psychosis.

Re:Quick Poll: (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12295922)

if you drop too much, it can lead to permanent psychosis.

Think you're confusing it with BSD.

Re:Quick Poll: (2, Funny)

kpwoodr (306527) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295707)

I have heard of LSB

Leisure Suit Bill...(Larry's Cousin)

Re:Quick Poll: (5, Funny)

Talondel (693866) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295812)

I have heard of LSB
Leisure Suit Bill...(Larry's Cousin)


Wasn't he President a few years back?

Re:Quick Poll: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12295716)

Haven't heard of it

Re:Quick Poll: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12296010)

42

What role does LSB play? (0, Flamebait)

winkydink (650484) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295681)

If I'm the producer of a linux distro and I want to make it as easy to use/run apps as Windows/Mac, why do I need LSB? I'll just do it myself.

Re:What role does LSB play? (5, Informative)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295796)

It helps that if you use distro A, and I use distro B, and I write some software on my distro, we already know that it'll work on yours if they're both certified.

Reality check... Bounced. (5, Insightful)

OmniGeek (72743) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295809)

If you're the producer of a Linux distro, do you want to have to recompile and patch EVERY SINGLE PACKAGE you put in your distro, EVERY TIME you update it? Or else require all the users to do the same if they want to run apps you didn't include, or update them when you haven't?

Admittedly, this is a worst-case scenario; no distro will be incompatible with ALL apps. Nonetheless, this is the situation that prevails when you don't have a standard base to use. Having a standard reduces the effort for everyone involved. Things will "just run".

I've just spent 3 days installing some esoteric science packages on a Linux distro they weren't certified for, and I could never have succeeded if I weren't an uber-geek. This is not the experience we want Linux users to have, regardless of whether we are commercially oriented or just wanna rock Open Source.

I hope this sheds some light on why a standard is needed...

Re:Reality check... Bounced. (4, Interesting)

winkydink (650484) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295872)

I'm sorry, it really doesn't. This was tried with UNIX. More than once. The commercial interests of market differentiation always won out over the need for standardization. I cannot see why it would be any different for linux. In the commercial sector, you've got Red Hat & Suse, followed by "the seven dwarves" (pick any 7). Don't confuse this with the demographic breakdown you'll get here on /.

Red Hat & Suse have enough of a lead, that all they get by agreeing to LSB is to create a more level playing field for the dwarves. The dwarves may join, but in the absence of one of the major players also joining, this in and of istelf will not be sufficient to push the dwarves into widespread commercial acceptance.

Re:Reality check... Bounced. Mod parent as Troll (2, Insightful)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 9 years ago | (#12296026)

Are you serious or are you just trolling? If everyone had a defeatist attitude like you, nothing would ever get done or standardized. Standards "can" come about through grass roots adoption. You are using past failures as an excuse to not trying.

Why do you have such a big problem with commercial software? Why do you have a problem with "open standards"? Open Source software without open standards offers little utility for the average end user.

You either work for MSFT and want linux to fail or you are an elitist geeky snob who wants to keep linux usage to the elite. Perhaps you are afraid that if it goes mainstream, you will not be seen as "cool" by the linux community.

Re:Reality check... Bounced. Mod parent as Troll (4, Insightful)

tmasssey (546878) | more than 9 years ago | (#12296125)

I'm sure that in the egalitarian world we live in that your thoughts are exactly correct and that grassroots efforts always succeed.

Wait: we *don't* live in such a world? Oh.

There has been 30 years of UNIX. In that 30 years, the closest we ever came to that kind of cross-platform standardization is CDE. Do *you* want to use CDE? Me neither.

While the advantage to the *user* might be great in the long run if everyone followed LSB, there is a great deal of disadvantage in the *short run* for companies. And that's why we see little success with LSB.

Re:Reality check... Bounced. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12296135)

Winkydink,

What color is the sky in your world?

Re:Reality check... Bounced. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12296048)

and I could never have succeeded if I weren't an uber-geek

But I thought you were OmniGeek......

Re:Reality check... Bounced. (2, Insightful)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 9 years ago | (#12296075)

I've just spent 3 days installing some esoteric science packages on a Linux distro they weren't certified for, and I could never have succeeded if I weren't an uber-geek.

Why not ask your distribution to add these packages? As long as they are open-source that shouldn't be a problem. If they weren't open-source, then that is just one of the issues with using commercial software - you have to play by the vendor's rule. If they say it only works on Red Hat, then you're going to fork out $1000 to Red Hat.

Besides, what standard was the problem here? Installing software in /usr/local/bin? Not listing all your dependencies correctly? As long as the software lists the libraries it is expecting to find and it looks for them someplace reasonably standard, you should be fine.

Re:Reality check... Bounced. (4, Informative)

Vaevictis666 (680137) | more than 9 years ago | (#12296109)

As long as the software lists the libraries it is expecting to find and it looks for them someplace reasonably standard, you should be fine

That's what LSB wants to do - codify the "resonably standard" locations for things into the "LSB standard" locations. Then you can be sure you're looking in the correct place for things, rather than having to have your make procedure guess at it.

Re:What role does LSB play? (5, Insightful)

xtrvd (762313) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295820)

Because we're talking about the average Joe getting away from Redmond. Some of them are looking for a solution where they can use their current machines and rid themsleves of the Windows fueled joys called Spyware.

If you are a producer of a linux distro and you do things your own way, that's fine; but don't look for many people merging to your own specific way of 'doing things'. People like things that they're at least semi-familiar with. If developers of linux distro's keep changing 'standards', nobody will want to switch to linux, because as far as they can tell, SuSE is as far different from Fedora as Windows is to FreeBSD.

Microsoft has kept a tradition of 'C:/Program Files/' for installed applications which makes it easy for any windows user to jump from one MS platform to another. These relatively simple standards are just another security blanket that people refuse to let go of when they're tempted to switch operating systems.

Forgive my lack of knowledge in the numerous GNU/Linux organization structures, but if one has to install some applications in /usr/bin/ and others in /etc/program/ while the more restricted programs reside in /home/usr/bin/, how is a person new to the world of Linux supposed to know what goes where!?

I believe the entire movement of a standardization process creates this much needed security blanket that so many desktop users have been reluctant to let go of.

Once again, if you're a producer of a linux distro, you're not the average desktop user, you are not a majority. There is no need to put down a solution that you may never use, which has great potential to the masses.

-Xtrvd

Re:What role does LSB play? (0)

Red Alastor (742410) | more than 9 years ago | (#12296057)

Forgive my lack of knowledge in the numerous GNU/Linux organization structures, but if one has to install some applications in /usr/bin/ and others in /etc/program/ while the more restricted programs reside in /home/usr/bin/, how is a person new to the world of Linux supposed to know what goes where!?

They don't. Package managers automatically take care of that stuff.

Re:What role does LSB play? (3, Insightful)

Blue-Footed Boobie (799209) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295896)

I want to etch the OP quote in glass, then put it on a nice oak base with a plaque that reads:

"Example of what is wrong with F/OSS: 2005"

Why is the poster anti Mac? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12295682)

For gods sake! Mac's arn't expensive anymore!

Re:Why is the poster anti Mac? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12295837)

Why has this been modded troll? It's fact... look at the mini you stupid mods

Re:Why is the poster anti Mac? (1)

QMO (836285) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295978)

I have looked.
The total cost of the three of the PC's that I own (and all their spare parts) is less than the cost of one Mac Mini.

Re:Why is the poster anti Mac? (1)

jocknerd (29758) | more than 9 years ago | (#12296022)

You must have some real piece of crap PC's. Maybe if you had combined the money and bought just one, you'd be better off.

But I'll bite. $167 per PC? Amazing.

Re:Why is the poster anti Mac? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12296134)

For around $200, you should be able to find around a 2 ghz P4 with something bigger and faster than a laptop hard drive.

Re:Why is the poster anti Mac? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12295986)

While I agree that the GP post in certainly not a troll, Macs are still more expensive than your standard PC. I *could* get a miniMac, which is about the same price as many PC's, but why should I go for something that has less than I would get if I bought a PC for around the same cost?

DISCLAIMER: I happen to like Macs.

Re:Why is the poster anti Mac? (1)

Asshat Canada (804093) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295911)

They are expensive in terms of the cost of losing your dignity and heterosexuality. That's an extremely pohibitive TCO for many people.
This never occurred to you?
I thought Apple fags were supposed to think different? You only see one surface to attack.
Weak minded fool.

Parent != Troll (1)

INeededALogin (771371) | more than 9 years ago | (#12296047)

Mac Mini and iBook are not expensive by any stretch of the imagination. If anything, the parent is a reply to Flamebait started by the Poster.

Re:Parent != Troll (2, Insightful)

qqaz (33114) | more than 9 years ago | (#12296084)

They're not expensive, just overpriced.

I can see it now... (4, Funny)

Tuxedo Jack (648130) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295688)

LSB-certified rootkits for the bastard.

Linux needs a standard container (3, Insightful)

esconsult1 (203878) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295693)

Mac applications are cool because of the contained environment that is OS X (except Apple did not create enough of their own native applications). Microsoft is successfull with their applications because they built a container that is at least perfect for them -- Windows.

Why is Linux not gaining on the desktop? Because there is no "perfect Linux desktop container". The properties of such a container is that it should be standardized, easy to accept new client programs from a wide variety of sources, have easy to use services and a well known API that is well documented and defined so that programmers can easily write to it.

Instead we have a bunch of fragmented containers (KDE, Gnome, lots of lesser known desktop environments) that are incomplete and immature. Heck, its a pain in the ass sometimes to get simple brain-dead stuff such as printing and mounting a drive working. So you have projects like OpenOffice having to write their own container!!! And Miguel (bless his heart) making a version of Microsoft's .NET container (Mono) for Linux that is still incomplete and sits with an incomplete container -- Gnome, which is sitting on top of an incomplete desktop container -- Linux.

I know this is a rant, but my shop recently switched back to Windows from Linux desktops (about 40 people), why? Because the new CEO (and me too), were sick and tired of people trying to get things to work together properly. We were sick of not having an Exchange replacement (don't get me started on the open source ones now "available"). And new hires and our clients were just plain used to using the dominant containers out there (windows/mac).

At least Linux as a server container works, because it has the same API as standard UNIX.

Re:Linux needs a standard container (2, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295834)

Linux is defiently not for the desktop. You put any mid level Computer person on it and they will have trouble. The Newbe will be fine after it is set up because all they need to do is there and they wont expand. The expert will find there way. But the mid level people are the ones which Linux is really lacking. As you stated jobs like Printing and file sharing and other jobs that Mid Level computer users do are lacking and difficult to use.

Re:Linux needs a standard container (2, Insightful)

sofar (317980) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295949)

Neither you nor the post you replied to are true. The problem isn't Linux itself but the variety and indecisiveness of applications writers to pick proper standards.

Example: if everyone would choose the cups printing model then linux would have better printing than windows. The fact that KDE still doesn't see cups as the prevalent and *best* printing platform confirms this.

Also, application vendors like mozilla (oss locking while alsa exists???) futz these things does not mean Linux is off worse. In fact, the sheer choice has lead to wrong choices.

This is where LSB *can* play a role

This is also where LSB *won't* play a role

expect more from freedesktop.org!

Re:Linux needs a standard container (2, Funny)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 9 years ago | (#12296049)

I can see KDE's point. Sometimes I think that cups is a method to encourage depopulation by either suicide or homicidal mania.

Re:Linux needs a standard container (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 9 years ago | (#12296054)

So KDE doesn't use cups? Thats news to me.

Re:Linux needs a standard container (1)

sofar (317980) | more than 9 years ago | (#12296098)

it does use cups but it refuses to see it as the default. instead it thinks that plain lp is installed and doesn't recognize any of the joys that are cups.

Re:Linux needs a standard container (2, Interesting)

Anne Honime (828246) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295954)

That's completely wrong ; what mid-level people can't do in a corporate network based on linux is just f*ck things around, upload that cute bug-riddled fish-bowl screensaver from the Internet and use it, and change the background picture to their kids ones because any savy tech won't let them hook their digital camera on the usb.

And even if that pisses those mid-level users, that is *just* fine if you intend to have an actual work done.

Re:Linux needs a standard container (3, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295902)

Thank you for saying this in a way where you haven't been modded down. I've definitely seen Linux go backwards over the last few years and it pains me, because by now it COULD have been ready for the desktop. It's just not, and the splintering of hundreds of different distros hasn't helped at all.

Trouble is I don't know how you fix a beast that's this fragmented and distributed amongst so many individual groups of programmers. Most people here seem to just want to bury their heads in the sand and chant RTFM repeatedly at the top of their lungs, and if you shatter their fragile fantasy you'll feel their wrath.

Re:Linux needs a standard container (3, Informative)

Wylfing (144940) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295924)

Heck, its a pain in the ass sometimes to get simple brain-dead stuff such as printing and mounting a drive working.

For some reason I always get modded down for saying this, but I'll say it anyway. I can't ever figure this opinion out. I have problems almost daily in Windows XP trying to print to a network printer (it randomly decides I don't have permission to print), but I never have a problem with this in Linux. I've also never had a problem mounting a drive. For example, I can plug my new Seagate external HD into the firewire port and an icon for the disk appears on my desktop. Where is this mythical "pain in the ass"?

the new CEO (and me too), were sick and tired of people trying to get things to work together properly.

You know what I'm sick of? I'm sick of FUD about how things "don't work right" in Linux and vague statements about it being "incomplete" when there is no basis for these claims in reality.

Re:Linux needs a standard container (5, Informative)

override11 (516715) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295937)

We use the LTSP project with about 45 users network booting to a XFCE desktop right now. They browse the web, access our exchange 5.5 server using Thunderbird and have a LDAP directory with auto-name completion as they type email addresses. They access our 5250 iSeries system, and use OpenOffice for word / excel needs on a Windows NT shared drive. We love it, works great. Some more 'advanced' end users chafe some because they cant download their own screen savers or games, but frankly we LOVE that part of LTSP!

Re:Linux needs a standard container (4, Interesting)

yamla (136560) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295944)

It's a pain in the ass to get simple brain-dead stuff like printing and mounting drives working in Windows, too.

For printing, my home desktop needs new (and uncertified) drivers from Brother. My brother's computer can't share the printer hooked up to my sister's computer and I've spent a couple of hours trying to figure out why. All the sharing _seems_ to be set up correctly, it just doesn't share.

And at work, I had to write up a document showing how to remap drives when my coworkers plug in removable drives to their systems. Windows kept on assigning drive letters that were already in use. Why on earth do we still use drive letters, anyway?

NONE of these things are things I would expect average users to be able to do. Linux certainly has plenty of problems, but so does Windows.

Re:Linux needs a standard container (4, Insightful)

MooCows (718367) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295960)

Also, let's not forget how easy software installation on Windows and MacOS is.
Download setup.exe, install, run.
No dependencies (except a few possible dll's, which can be included with the application), no compiling, no need for 50 libs on your system to match a certain version number. It just works. More often than not anyways.

For many users it would make the transition to a Linux desktop much easier if (desktop) Linux software could be installed as easily. Just a simple package which doesn't have to care about the rest of the system.

Yes, Java/Python/.Net etc. are a possible way to go, but those applications still often depend on a bunch of libs and aren't known for their cpu and memory friendliness either.

the LSB is RPM centric (4, Insightful)

FreeUser (11483) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295975)

The LSB is RPM-centric. It also has other flaws (in filesystem organization, to name one, although that is improving).

Different distributions use different package schemes. Debian uses .debs, Source Mages uses tarballs+spells, Gentoo uses portage, etc.

The "perfect container" is a tarball. Anything else you want to do (install wizard, compile script, install script, what have you) belongs outside of the package container. Need a one-click installation procedure? Include the script in the tarball, and provide a GUI that reads the contents of the tarball and lets you run a program from within the tarball (KDE has apps that can do this, for example).

RPMs are flawed in various ways, and centric to particular distributions who happened to have representation early enough in the LSB process to push through a standard favoring their way of doing things over the broader, more portable standars (tar.gz).

Until the LSB becomes a standard that is no longer Red Hat/Suse centric, its adoption by other distros will be lackluster at bets, and rightly so.

As to your 40+ workstations that have been switched to Windows ... welcome to hell. If you think a little integration work in a heterogenous environment is hard, just wait for what Redmond's incompetence has in store for you. Your CEO won't be the one suffering, you (or the poor schmuck who replaces you after the next round of worms/trojans/viruses and other Microsoft goodies goes around) will be. *BSD and Linux aren't perfect, but their a damn sight better and easier to administer than Windows, and have the added benefit of working as well. Frankly, if you and your CEO were so hell bent on having something easy to integrate and use, and are obviously so willing to exchange flexibility to get it, you should have chosen to go with Apple for both your clients and servers. You would have traded less of your flexibility away, ended up with something much more solid and reliable than windows, and much easier to administer, and prevented a whole lot of heartache down the road. But then, I suspect your post is more of a dig at Linux and promotion of Windoze than it is a true history of some company actually being stupid enough to dump Linux for Windows.

Re:Linux needs a standard container (1)

ThePurpleBuffalo (111594) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295992)

At least Linux as a server container works, because it has the same API as standard UNIX.

There is no such thing as "standard UNIX", so even on that level it doesn't work.

Personally, I think the biggest problem with standards is that there are so many to choose from. Think about how you get software for your linux boxen. .RPM? Tarball? .DEB? tgz? tar.bz2? Source?

Each method has some benefits over others, and a team a zealots waiting to tell you why their's is best.

Now think about CD distributions. Or is it DVD? Now is that DVD-9?

See where I'm going with this? Linux is a personal choice. If you want a BigMac, go to MacDonalds. If you want good food, you need to make it yourself. Standards do nobody any good.

Beware TPB

Lacking in key areas, but LSB is a good step (3, Insightful)

klipsch_gmx (737375) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295696)

Yes Linux is better in how it handles hardware(ONE reboot AFTER install is complete is all I ever seem to have to do with a linux install, windows has at least 2 for JUST the os, leet alone dirvers, updates, etc.). But it's lacking in several other areas that would scare developers away.

What exactly is the purpose of the LSB spec these days? When I last worried about it, I was under the impression it was so that ISV's could distribute software packages in such a way that they would work and integrate well on a variety of distributions, and nothing more. That is, it wasn't about providing consistent functionality across distributions in general, or about standardising things for standardisation's sake. The "Purpose" section in the LSB spec doesn't seem to clarify this for me, but rather describes what the LSB is composed of, rather than why it's composed that way.

The big one is will it run out of the box, right now the way compatability between distros and even versions of the same distro work the odds are against it. The would probably have to ship a game with a spare cd containing all the variations on the binaries needed just to work on most of the mainstream distros.

And as much as I laud and love the way Linux distros install in one go without reboot hell, and deal well with hardware changes, Games need good vidcard drivers and that requires getting ati and nvidia on board with optimized linux drivers Though this last point is somthing of a chicken/egg problem as is the next point.

Linus still does not have installed user base to make porting a worthwile effort for many game/app developers.

The concept behind the LSB was a good one and a step in the right direction even if the implementation had its detractors.

Re:Lacking in key areas, but LSB is a good step (1)

martin (1336) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295781)

Not so much non exist as opposed to too many, esp on the gnome/kde integration of printing etc as you say.

maybe he Mono stuff will help here, giving standard hooks the desktop environments can plug into, or maybe the LSB needs to include MONO??

Re:Lacking in key areas, but LSB is a good step (1)

esukafurone (751424) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295801)

Linux is better with hardware just because it needs fewer reboots than windows when first installed?

Java too.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12295702)

I will admit that the idea of LSB is nice, compile once - run everywhere, however, in practice, it doesn't pan out. Much like Java was suppose to cure all the worlds programming problems, write once - run everywhere. But, as we all know, Java, while a nice idea, simple doesn't live up to the hype; and possibly never will.

Re:Java too.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12295855)

I have many windows applications compiled in the early 90's that still work fine today. If windows can run graphical applications that are non-trivial and were compiled over a decade ago, why can't linux?

Besides, java's failure to be cross-platform has little to do with java, the language and runtime, and much more with the politics run by sun and microsoft.

For me what brought linux this far is the same thing that's holding linux back: developers scratching an itch. Linux (the "platform") isn't designed, it is grown. That works great as long as you are in the early build up phase of your development. But when you go stable, and people start depending on your product, the lack of inherent platform makes them very, very frustrated.

Standards limit innovation? (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295720)

Suppose you comply to a standard and the standard doesn't evolve very fast as well as the process for improving the standard being long-winded.

This creates a situation where developers feel restricted and many open source developers develop for the fun and achievement. If they want restrictions, rules and regulations then they will program commercially.

I'm not against standards but there must be reason for the slow adoption of this standard. We have to look and see who the standards are created by, who they serve best (commercial interests) and if they hold back innovation and modernisation.

Freedom (0, Troll)

n1ywb (555767) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295722)

One word: Freedom. Linux is free, as in speach. The LSB restricts that freedom. It also has some negative aspects, like an RPM requirement. Basicly LSB sucks.

Re:Freedom (1)

pdpTrojan (454023) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295766)

What is this speach u refer to? Can I get some for free?

Re:Freedom (1)

n1ywb (555767) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295918)

Most people on earth will be happy to blab to you for as long as you're willing to listen, for no charge. Also you can make your own. In fact you just did.

Why Standarize when you can improve (4, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295727)

I see Linux as a kernel, not the OS there is a Popular Linux based OS like GNU-Linux which has many distributions. But all based on the same design. With the Linux kernel you are able to make your own Linux Based OS that is not like GNU-Linux and works more like Windows or BEos or Mac OS. TiVo is a good example. It is a OS but I wouldn't call it GNU-Linux it is its own OS based on the Linux Kernel to handle all the grunt work of the kernel but how files are handled and interfaced is completely different. If you are forced to follow standards the amount of innovation you are allowed is cut back. Linux is great but there is still room for improvement and being forced to follow standards may force a person to work inside a box they may not necessarily want to be in. It is like saying the TiVo should use X11 as its method to display, not its own ones although theirs are optimized for the job of video playback. Why should working with Red Hat and Suse be so similar why can't they be different OSs with the same kernel. As for adoption if a person who doesn't like Red Hat the chances are they are not going to like Suse because they are so similar. Perhaps they need an OS that fits their way of thinking. Linux will be far better adopted when it is no longer though of as Linux but as what ever OS it is controlled (powered by Linux)

Re:Why Standarize when you can improve (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 9 years ago | (#12296065)

I see Linux as a kernel, not the OS there is a Popular Linux based OS like GNU-Linux which has many distributions.

Richard, is that you?

Trolling but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12295728)

don't want to pay for Mac, but are looking for a platform where installing and running software is as easy as on the platform they are used to.
A Mac Mini? Yes I'm an Apple zealot. I was a Linux user but needed a better computer for college (CS studies) and wanted some change. Of course Linux is not less powerful than Mac OS X, it's just that I've heard of Cocoa and Objective C in the past and was curious. How do I install programs on Mac OS X? Just drag and drop the application, that's all. Is the Mac Mini expensive? no.

Re:Trolling but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12296009)

Ok, lets say I want to install wget on OS X. In linux you use a package manager and type something like "apt-get install wget". How do you install that on OS X?

They tried this already (4, Insightful)

deanj (519759) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295729)

They tried this before, more than 10 years ago with other UNIX systems.... Didn't end up working then, and it won't end up working now.

People will always want to change things, and make their products "different" or "better". Whether or not they really do it or not... well, that's up to the people that end up buying and using what they come with.

Honestly? (1)

Sairret (786685) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295732)

They can't be bothered and/or don't care. I'm willing to bet thats 9/10s of it.

LSB can not provide vision (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12295733)

LSB is a bunch of people tyring to make themselves relevant by imposing restrictions on how Linux should develop.
The strength of Linux is it's flexibility, ability to react to users needs quickly, LSB would be an unnecessary burden then.
Also, it is not like Linux developers can not agree between themselves on major things anyway.

Re:LSB can not provide vision (1)

fitten (521191) | more than 9 years ago | (#12296123)

Yeah... why would developers want a standard platform to write against... what a burden that is!

LSB *is* a major thing that Linux developers cannot agree on. Want to see another major issue that will cause good disagreement... say that there shall be only one distribution from this day forward and then try to pick one.

Bubba SixPack is *not* going to want to hear that he cannot run DeerHunter26 on his DistroX because that's what it will work on but he is running DistroY especially if BassFishin'16 runs on DistroY and not on DistroX. LSB is a step toward that direction and until situations like this are fixed, there will never be a year of "LotD".

this is easy to answer (5, Interesting)

Ubergrendle (531719) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295737)

Certification costs money. To have credibility it must be peer reviewed, or reviewed/audited/approved by an external body. Then there's the QA and testing process. And this activity is not a one time activity, but a long term commitment to regression testing "every patch".

Given that many linux distros are pretending to be enterprise-ready w/o enterprise sales or revenue would indicate that they are unable, uncapable, or unwilling to be certified. Basically they can't afford it.

Of course I am speaking in general terms about linux distributions and the industry in general, there are numerous examples which can be used to refute my generalisations. However I think there's ALOT of consolidation required in the Linux world yet to achieve some of the more lofty goals of open source.

The big players aren't interested (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12295741)

Redhat and Novell have their own ecosystems around their distributions - why should they want to swap that for a common standard?

LSB Compliance (2, Interesting)

Lullabye_Muse (808255) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295742)

I don't see that for Linux to become accepted it has to go to one standard, bacuase it's becoming accepted without one standard. Part of it is most likely the whole RPM choice, though Debian based Distro's can do alien and format them to a .deb package other distro's don't have that option. But this brings up the whole point of splits from a base, like last week with Debian vs Ubuntu, ubuntu is using the new debian models and there are more Ubuntu destops being used then Debian though Debian is still you're choice for a server. Each distro takes on its own core optimizations and users can easily find a distro which suits them best. Why go for standardization when a specific distro makes better sense than one for all and all for one.

Re:LSB Compliance (1)

Lussarn (105276) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295879)

Most (all?) distros can at least force install an rpm package, It's pretty convinient even if you aren't on a rpm distro. I do it sometimes on Gentoo for binary packages like cedega.

Cost (5, Informative)

gordon_schumway (154192) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295745)

In case anyone else is curious, from this 2002 article [mozillaquest.com] :

The cost for LSB certification testing is $3,000 for a Linux distribution. Certification testing for applications is only $1,200. The Open Group conducts the certification testing.
I didn't find this info on the Open Group's website...

That's the testing cost (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 9 years ago | (#12296144)

Not the cost of being compliant. The cost of being compliant is the time and effort of getting a bunch of people to make sure it works before going to be tested. How much does a team of people cost on an ongoing basis?

That's not what LSB does (3, Informative)

p3d0 (42270) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295758)

Adopt a standard which will ensure that if some piece of software is compiled on one LSB-compliant system, it will run on any other LSB-compliant system.
No, that's not what LSB does at all. Even overlooking the obvious architectural differences between, say, PowerPC and Pentium LSB-compliant systems, you still have the various extensions that individual distros add. (Otherwise, why do we need different distros?) If you use one of those distro-specific features, then your code won't run on another LSB-compliant system.

Re:That's not what LSB does (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12296131)

I just dig TGZ-compliance.

RPM for starters (1)

btSeaPig (701895) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295776)

Well, LSB is a good idea, but it is really redhat centric, meaning that a LSB application would not run on deb/gentoo/distro x. Its kind of a catch 22. vendors don't want to make packages for every distro/version out there, but having many distributions with their own way of doing things is really needed for innovation.

Re:RPM for starters (1)

Rob Riggs (6418) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295945)

I am not sure why you believe RPM is Redhat-centric. There are lots of RPM-based distributions, many of which are not direct decendants of Red Hat. I don't know that one can say the same of .deb format. From my vantage point it seems like .deb-based distributions are a big part of the problem. But, more to the point, having major distributions using incompatible package formats is certainly hurting the standards process.

Re:RPM for starters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12296139)

One of the major differentiating factors between current linux distros is the package management approach.

Gentoo, for a start, has many of its core features made possible by NOT using RPM. It would be pointless if it did.

Personally, my experience has been that I've never got an RPM-based distro working to my requirements. Whether that's a fault of RPM or just the distros that use it is another matter. But if you killed all the Apt and Portage based distros today I'd probably go back to Windows.

Opinion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12295780)

I recently switched to Linux. I expected to do some learning in spite of some previous Unix experience, but I agree with the OP here. Why should I need to find packages for a specific distro? That was a rhetorical question for those inclined to offer technical explanations. I would argue that LSB is not quite up to snuff. I like that the debian port to AMD64 assumes everything is native 64bit. This contrasts with my FC3 install which has /lib and /lib64. I prefer the debian thinking on this, but that's not the LSB way. I guess this provides one reason not to conform.

Personally... (4, Interesting)

ssj_195 (827847) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295790)

...I feel that as long as your repositories are up to date and reasonably extensive (as is the case with, say, Gentoo, Ubunutu, SUSE(?), but not Mandrake), installation of software under Linux is way better than under Windows. Seriously, it is completely awesome to just be able to bring up a GUI tool with neatly categorised software, check off 100 pieces of software, walk away and find them all installed without having had to do a single "Where shall I install this? Agree to this EULA! etc".

I was once playing UT04, and all of a sudden the hard-drive went crazy, the frame-rate dropped and I rolled my eyes - obviously Linux was misbehaving again. It subsided after a minute or so (I kept on kicking ass the whole time, by the way, as I am hardcore :)) and a while later I quit. I then had a brainwave, and checked through the "Office" section of the K-menu - sure enough, OO.o was there. Turns out, I'd done an urpmi openoffice a while before playing UT, left it downloading, forgot about it completely, and the hard-drive thrashing while I played was the download completing and the installation taking place. I'd installed an entire fucking Office Suite without even lifting a finger. Cool stuff :)

Of course, if you want something that is not in your repository, then prepare for the worst pain ever or go without. It would be nice if some measure existed to ease the burden on packagers, as it seems that keeping them up to date is a tedious and thankless task.

Re:Personally... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12295967)

...I feel that as long as your repositories are up to date and reasonably extensive (as is the case with, say, Gentoo, Ubunutu, SUSE(?), but not Mandrake), installation of software under Linux is way better than under Windows. Seriously, it is completely awesome to just be able to bring up a GUI tool with neatly categorised software, check off 100 pieces of software, walk away and find them all installed without having had to do a single "Where shall I install this? Agree to this EULA! etc".
Yeah, imagine if they did this for Windows. The software catalog would only be several hundred thousand entires long. And there'd be no legal issues with shipping an incomplete library, right? "You included RealPlayer but not Winamp! Sue! Sue! Sue!"

And don't think that these nice universal GUI software installers won't go away if Linux ever catches on for the desktop. At some point the quantity of software available will make it unfeasable to continue this kind of software delivery system except for the most basic OS components. Much like Windows already has under "Add/Remove Windows Components".

Windows lacks this type of thing because its popular, not because it is flawed.

Because a modern LSB hasn't been ratfied... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12295802)

You'll note that LSB presumes a 2.4 series kernel. Most distributions are based on 2.6 kernels. You'll note that if you install Mandrake 10.1 and select installation of the LSB package, it will warn you that it will install a 2.4 kernel in place of the 2.6 kernel (with a decent explanation as to why).

A newer LSB should be along any day now, and non-compliant distributions will likely release an LSB2 compliance package.

As far as becoming "certified"... There are about 350 Linux distributions. Many of them published by very small groups. If they have to pay or do anything too ornerous to get certified, they won't. If it's a matter of running a test-suite and sending the results to an authority for verification, then they will likely do that...

Technology evolves faster than standards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12295804)

POSIX was a standard, but didn't include enough.
LSB might work for many programs, but new ones will come along that use some new nifty language or library, and people will want it, even if LSB does not address it.

LSB compliance doesn't ensure binary compatibility (1)

guacamole (24270) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295836)

The idea makes lots of sense: Adopt a standard which will ensure that if some piece of software is compiled on one LSB-compliant system, it will run on any other LSB-compliant system.

Please forgive me if I am wrong, but I think that statement not true due to multitudes of incompatible library versions and such, although I do think LSB is a step in the right direction. The best we can hope is that LSB compliance will guaratee source level compatibility (and even that is probably unattainable goal due to differences in gcc versions)

The standards are stupid (4, Insightful)

m50d (797211) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295858)

Not all of them, obviously. But there are some horrible things in the LSB standards. IIRC it mandates FHS compliance, which requires the utterly horrible /media. Also, on the apps front, LSB apps have to be mostly static, where good dynamic binaries and libraries is linux's greatest strength, and necessary since every app including qt or gtk would be nightmarish - your ram goes poof. And yet you can't make these part of the LSB standard, because important distributions don't have them installed, and don't want to. LSB needs a way to have apps depend on libraries, and it needs to take a serious look at where distributions aren't meeting it and why, because often it's because the standard is wrong and should be changed. The suggestion of multiple levels of LSB compliance could improve things a bit, if they can specify dynamic qt and gtk in one for a start.

Re:The standards are stupid (3, Insightful)

root-kun (755141) | more than 9 years ago | (#12296019)

I agree with the parent but would like to add on.

I think that not only is the LSB concept flawed because they have picked some very POOR standards to comply to BUT they are also fundamentally going against linux tenants.

Linux distro creators shouldnt have to spend a great deal of MONEY to get a little sticker. We are angry when Microsoft does it, why should we be softer 'cause its Linux.

If the LSB project wants to be a nobel amalgamation of Linux on the desktop it shouldnt cost money to be certified, or a token sum for time used. (or volunteers! this is linux afterall, half the posters here would want to help certify apps)

My thoughts (1)

Spua7 (781257) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295861)

I am not trolling . I think the Linux community will be very difficult to adapt standards because the thinking is very individualistic. If we don't like something then we will make our own and by golly no one should tell me what to do. I think developing a distro so that things are as easy to do in windows yet secure is close to impossible. Not one likes change. Especially users that are not very tech savvy. They would have to grow to understand a technology that they would rather just use. It is also very difficult for developers to get in the heads of non tech end users to develop a product they can comprehend. It is a constant challenge to speak in layman's terms to end users on how to use a windows product. Even harder to develop something for a new platform where every command and action is new. I am not against attempting these standards. I just have a doubtful feeling about it. I hope I am wrong and we can see Linux spread to the corporate and home users desktop soon.

Re:My thoughts (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295976)

I am not trolling . I think the Linux community will be very difficult to adapt standards because blah blah blah

You ARE trolling: look at your sig and you'll understand why the "Linux community" (which is just an small offshot of the wider Unix community) has in fact adopted each and every standard that makes Unix attractive : most POSIX implementations, the BSD init, /dev, etc..etc...

The LSB has been around for many years, and it's never attracted much interest, but mostly Linux distros aren't all that different from each other. It gets to be a real pain for very big commercial packages that have to be supported on many platforms, but otherwise it's not that bad to adapt a package made for a distro to another.

binary compatibility ? (5, Insightful)

Anne Honime (828246) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295876)

Why would anyone want to have binary compatibility ? The main force of linux (as in unix) is source compatibility. It has been proven easier to fix things up in source code than in windows' binaries, and most of the troubles faced by windows users such as virus, worms and much everything else lies in the various binary incompatibilities, mis-interactions, and otherwise obscurities.

Why would linux aim to have just that ?

Because.... (3, Insightful)

devphaeton (695736) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295882)

A number of things that make up the LSB have been in dispute as to whether they're the best way to do something or not. The one that comes immediately to mind is RPM-based package management. -I- prefer APT or compiling directly from source, but there are a dozen different ways to do it and they've all got their merits and pitfalls.

These are Holy Wars, they'll never be solved, and they'll keep certain people from using an LSB system alone. (here it comes:)

"Oh, but then you just install XYZ and you can do it your way."

So you start with an LSB system, then install all these other apps and utils to bend it to your will. Now, ask yourself how different that is from what we've got now with all the 750 fragmented Linux distros?

There are other things that are harder to change, i.e. filesystem layout. Once again, it's a holy war. The community will *never* come to an agreement.

There is no "one size fits all" linux, and there never will be. Different people have different needs, and most linux users (well, or at least this used to be the case) have some extraordinary needs. That's why they use linux.

Most of the people who would want a standardized base like that probably use a BSD. This is not a criticism of anyone or any system, it's just an observation.

Because there is no such thing as Linux... (1)

purplebear (229854) | more than 9 years ago | (#12295886)

OS.

Linux is a kernel.

It would be nice if distribution makers stopped calling their distributions Blah Linux, and started calling them Blah OS.
It will be worse on commercial software developers for sure. And it could be bad for small niche open source apps. But, the benefits would be huge.
I have seen many times people complain that they can't install a Mandrake RPM properly on Red Hat and vice versa. You shouldn't be able to. They are different OSs.
SuSE OS, powered by Linux is more correct than SuSE Linux.

Why? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12295913)

LSB certified software would only promote close-source binaries that link against a specific set of libraries on an LSB certified system. Anyway... It's never stopped commercial software companies from shipping their own libraries with the product (though that negates the benefits of such a system as Linux/UNIX). LSB certified software promotes "standards" that are extremely centric to a handful of commercial distributions (e.g. RPM as a primary package container). Not that there is anything particularly wrong with RPM, but I prefer a different package for my system. LSB certified software limits freedom of choice to innovate and try new things with indivual distributions. If the majority of distributions were LSB certified, and a company only makes software that works on LSB-certified machines, would that not hinder distribution maintainers from trying something new (perhaps better) that deviates from the LSB standards? It's not surprising that so many people are reluctant to adopt this. There is very little that it will do to actually benefit a platform that's largely built upon opensource software.

this is goatsevx (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12295919)

Are about 7000/5 7ou have a play The mundane chores resulted in the

A simpler "base standard" is needed (2, Insightful)

photon317 (208409) | more than 9 years ago | (#12296000)


Because of the complexity and differentiation of linux platforms and whatnot, LSB will likely never be fully adhered to in a consistent manner by all vendors/distros.

What I'd really like to see is a much simpler subset of really basic standards, with a different name, that would be relatively easy for all the vendors and distros to be compliant with. For example, I would expect this to be the nature of things it enforces:

* Documentation other than man pages is always in /usr/share/doc for vendor supplied packages.

* Man pages are always in /usr/share/man for vendor supplied packages

* Init scripts should always exist in the location /etc/init.d/SVCNAME, and should always usefully accept the arguments "start", "stop", and "restart".

* The following environment variables are always set to some correct-ish value in the default environment based on user configuration of the OS: TZ, HOSTNAME, PATH, USER, etc

* The following basic *nix commands are available in /bin: [...], ditto for /usr/bin, /sbin, /usr/sbin.

* The following list of common shells and language interpreters will always be installed in these pathnames: [bash, pdksh, perl, python, etc] (There might be an alternative "lite" version of the standard which excludes a requirement like perl or pythong or specific shells, for minimal/embedded environments). .....

You get the idea - these are things that *most* distributions already do *mostly* the same anyways. After a few quick tweaks any distro should be able to re-release themselves as compliant with this standard. And once it's popular, vendors have a document to look at that tells them certain things they can rely on when writing linux-specific applications at the operating system level (aside from the stuff at other levels, like the linux and glibc and whatever else API/ABI stuff).

I think its good now (2, Insightful)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 9 years ago | (#12296002)

I would build a Linux box for any noob (read person who really doesn't do anything on their machine but email, surf the web, type the occasional letter, and print photos) computer user. I can build a machine and throw Linux on it, save hundreds on the OS and productivity software, and it will be the perfect machine for grandma or other non-techie person. For example, Fedora 3 comes with Firefox, an email client, a good messenging client, a media player, and a good word processor. That is pretty much all you want for a person with the needs stated earlier.

People always say "Oh, but installing is oh so hard!!!" But how often does your every day user install anything? THe last time my mother-in-law installed anything on her ancient P2 system was to put Norton AV on there. Which you don't even need under Linux.

Standardizations aren't what Linux needs (though it is wouldn't hurt) to get average user marketshare. What it needs is marketing. I want to walk into a software store, see a box for Fedora (or whatever the most user friendly version is) for $20 bucks. The box needs to say that it will replace Windows, work faster, more secure, and so on. It needs to be a box that if I'm a noob, I'd buy it. It needs to be something that average Joe will recognize as legit and good.

Why no lsb adoption? two reasons spring to mind (3, Interesting)

evil_one666 (664331) | more than 9 years ago | (#12296016)

Why does nobody care about Linux Standard Base?

1) A standard has been arrived at already already- it is known as POSIX (http://www.knosof.co.uk/posix.html)

2) Linux Standard Base is yet another self appointed 'governing body' comprised of corporate 'industry leaders'. In other words, LSB hsa nothing to do with those who have made linux great, and therefore their 'ideas' will continue to be met with indifference.

LSB isn't the answer (5, Informative)

sofar (317980) | more than 9 years ago | (#12296070)


DISLCAIMER: IAADM (I Am A Distro Maintainer)

put simply, LSB doesn't solve the desktop problem. It wasn't meant for that.

The LSB was written to make sure that all those booming distros back in the days they were booming, were somehow unified by a comming file system structure, library setups etc.

They really only mean to cover the (B)ase. This base was since then widely adopted and almost any distro conforms to this (B)ase more than 95%. Only outliers like slackware diverge, and often only minimally.

This puts the burden on distro maintainers to get a certification on something that is completely obvious, and non-beneficial. It's like getting a prep school diploma when you're in high scool already.

Also, the LSB is needlessly strict on some rules that hinder progress (init handling - chkconfig etc), where we should have moved to completely new solutions already (I loved that Makefile approach).

so, expect more from freedesktop.org than from LSB...

the herd misunderstands (2, Informative)

dermusikman (540176) | more than 9 years ago | (#12296080)

i'm reading a lot of backlash against standards, and i suspect that most people responding don't understand the first thing about them. the LSB does not a vanilla linux installation make. it's a standard by which, hopefully, one can download a binary and it will "just work", whether you're on a "by hackers for hackers" distro or one that holds your hand. and complying to the standard doesn't necessarily inhibit creativity or progress, as the end-user/sysadmin is the ultimate authority.
example: Slackware, a distribution wholly unlike any of the big names on everyone's lips, chooses a BSD-like init design and manages packages with a relatively simple set of shell scripts. BUT, for the sake of maintaining standards (particularly the Linux File System [slackware.com] standard), Slackware has symlinks compatible with a SysV install and includes rpm! was that really so hard? did that inhibit the "simplicity and stability" mantra, or stop Slackware fans from creating a [jaos.org] variety [freaknet.org] of interesting [mutagenix.org] projects? no.
the freedom to experiment exists and is encouraged and adopted within Slackware, while it still maintains standards compliancy.

OPEN Standards (1)

PenguinBoyDave (806137) | more than 9 years ago | (#12296083)

The LSB might be attractive to some, but the real issue is creativity and the ability to innovate withouot having to worry about "standards." That is one of the things that attracted me to Linux in the first place. I say LSB might be good for some, but I don't think that Linux or Open Source as a whole will benefit from it. Microsoft sure as hell doesn't have a "standard" unless that standard is to suck as many resources from your system and leaving you as vulnerable as possible is a standard.

Distro-producers lack incentive to do LSB (1)

cheesedog (603990) | more than 9 years ago | (#12296086)

Suppose I am Redhat. Why would I bother with LSB? In fact, wouldn't this be detrimental to my business? Right now, there is a huge community creating rpms for Redhat, and most commercial entities, if they offer rpms at all, offer them for Redhat. This preponderance of easy-to-install software encourages people to use Redhat, and encourages those already using Redhat to stick with it.

In that light, what does LSB buy me? An easy escape route for my customers to switch distros.

(used Redhat in this example, but I think it pretty much applies across the board).

UnitedLinux (1)

Red Rocket (473003) | more than 9 years ago | (#12296093)


UnitedLinux is what killed the LSB.
Distro maintainers were presented with two standards to choose from: UnitedLinux or the LSB. Two standards is no standard.
Then SCO killed UnitedLinux and no one was interested anymore.

Because Linux is more about cool than practical (1)

ErikTheRed (162431) | more than 9 years ago | (#12296094)

Disclaimer: I have more b0xen running Linux and BSD than I have running Windows.

Because the situation (I won't call it a problem, but it is for some) is that Linux development, especially the areas of the Kernel and non-commercail distros, is about what the developers think is cool, rather than what makes a practical and stable (in terms of applications running from kernel version to kernel version) OS. In many ways this is fine for a hobbyist OS, and liveable as an enterprise OS if you have someone like SuSe or RedHat (I use both) to keep things somewhat managed.

However, and you can flame me / mod me down / whatever you want for saying this, Linux will never be a great Enterprise or Desktop OS for the masses until some stuff gets standardized. On he distro side, little things, like what goes in /usr/bin vs. /usr/local/bin and stuff like that, libraries that one should expect to find, initialization commands for services, appearance and functionality of the desktop, etc. Remember, most users don't want a lot of choices - they want one standard one that works. On the Kernel side, they should slow down and make sure that stuff doesn't break during a stable Kernel series. Yes, all the new features and bugfixes between 2.6.x and 2.6.x+1 are nice (and now we have 2.6.x.y - great), but it's nearly impossible to run a stock kernel on a production server because you never know if something subtle or not-so-subtle will be broken (hello OpenS/WAN). It doesn't matter if the bug is in the Kernel or the Application, most of us just want stuff to work.

For those of us that don't have full-scale test labs mimicing our production environment, we can use SuSe or RedHat to have a decent OS that's far better than Windows. But it's frustrating because it's not nearly as good as it could be if things were more disciplined. Linux is probably OK on the desktop for many large organizations that have users doing specialized tasks that can be run without Windows (call centers, dispatchers, billing clerks, etc), however in order to get them using Linux the cost needs to come down - there needs to be a decently stable and standardized free distribution to help us admins crack that nut. The problem is that commercial desktop licenses are not sufficiently cheaper than Windows, and it's impossible to sell it (in most situations) to the beancounters on soft costs like stability, reliablity, ease of administration, and productivity because, let's face it - thoes guys got burned horribly five years ago on all kinds of bullshit promises (unrelated to FOSS) in projects relating to CRM, ERP, etc. They're still gun-shy, and from their perspective wisely so.

My $.02 - OSDL should make LSB testing free for most distros. If LSB needs to be loosened / tightened / whatever, then let's get it done. If Linux users really want to start making the OS mainstream, then standards within the community will be crucial. If they want it to be a cool alternative for people willing to learn a certain amount of expertise, then that's cool also - but they'll have to accept the marginzalization that will result. RedHat and SuSe can't do all the work here - everyone needs to get on the horse.

what tehy need is for Linus to use trademarking (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 9 years ago | (#12296113)

and say that no distro that is not LSB certified can call itself Linux or Linux like, or anything relating to Linux.
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