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Re: [FLAME WARNING] Linux Standards Base and Debian

I can't speak for Debian on the LSB in general but I am the moderator of
the taskforce working on the LSB's "Lowest Common Denominator" first try at
a common packaging system.

We do have a FAQ online in the archives of our mailing list
<http://www.geocrawler.com/lists/3/SourceForge/7337/0/> that will be on the 
 Linux Standards Base homepage <http://www.linuxbase.org/> RSN :).  The
can look at the raw SGML at 

To address some of the other points raised here and elsewhere in this

A packaging system does not make a distribution.  The LSB does not mandate
any particular packaging system to be the native one;  however one that is
commonly understood would be *very* useful for the distribution and
software producers interested in the LSB standard.   

Otherwise we will hear the question "O.K. I have this software that works
on all these LSB conforming distributions without changes; but I have to
make one package set for each one?!!!  GAAAK!"  I went through that mess a
year ago[0] and cheated horribly (.debs and .rpms via alien only, then test
on everything).  I don't want to ever do it again.

BTW. For those who think the LSB is just for binary-only software. Imagine
appache, KDE, Gnome or any other large free app packaged once for the LSB
conforming systems by one group of people.  Could this be a good thing
too?  Source RPMs do work.

The LSB's LCD ("Lowest Common Denominator") is working on a simple package
system that is the *intersection* of capabilities the major ones in current
use.  Yes the RPM V3 [1] package archive file format is being used (as
*.lsb files), but to handle data dpkg both requires and will not choke on.  

In spare moments I am working on a dpkg-lsb to be a peer to dpkg-deb so
that dpkg can be used to install *.lsb archives directly.  Alien is
influencing me heavily.

The LCD taskforce is compromising on quantity of features by design, but
the quality of implementation should be comparable with any other
peer-reviewed infrastructure project.  More features can be added the next
time round.  The mailing list contains lots of requirements for that effort


[0] WordPerfect 2000 for Linux for those who care.

[1] Note that this archive file format is understood by both the rpm V3 and
V4 programs.

Stephane Bortzmeyer wrote:
> The last version of the LSB
>  <http://www.linuxbase.org/spec/gLSB/gLSB/swinstall.html> says:
> Currently the LSB does not officially specify a package format; however, the
> recommended package format is RPM (Version 3) with some restrictions listed
> below. RPM is the defacto standard on Linux [sic] and supported either
> directly, or indirectly by the widest number of distributions. The intent is
> to in the future replace this format with a new format currently being
> developed.
> (End of quote)
> So, LSB is not a specification for Linux-based operating systems but for the
> subset of them which uses the RPM format. Moreover, the FAQ
> <http://www.linuxbase.org/spec/faq.htm#pckg2.1l> says:
> This arrangement was agreed up on by the major distributions including deb
> based
> ones (eg Debian, Storm, Corel) as well as RPM based ones (Red Hat, SuSE,
> TurboLinux, Caldera, Mandrake).
> (End of quote)
> Is it true that Debian approved this "standard"?

I have no idea if Debian has approved this standard and who would have done


Albert den Haan, Lead Developer @ Linux Port Team . Corel Corporation
albertd@corel.com  (613) 728-0826 x 5318

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