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Re: real LSB compliance

On Thu, Jul 05, 2001 at 01:33:27AM +1000, Glenn McGrath wrote:
> Theodore Tso wrote:
> >
> >One thing which is somewhat personally frustrating in terms of LSB and
> >working with Debian is that it's hard to find anyone who can actually
> >speak for Debian in any kind of binding way.  So suppose we get some
> >volunteers, and they help out with the LSB, and we come up with a
> >released LSB 1.1 --- is that going to be any different from the
> >situation we have now?
> Debian is run democratically.

Most countries in North America and Europe are run democratically as
well.  But when treaties are negotiated, there are elected leaders
which have the power to make agreements on behalf of their fellow
citizens (or in the case of the U.K., their fellow subjects).

> Try and take the comments expressed here constructively, we do have a 
> habit of speaking our mind here (sometimes regretting it later on), and 
> are all passionate about or work... it is a labour of love.

There are certainly useful things that we're taking from this
conversation, but there are quite a few comments for which it would be
a long stretch to call them constructive criticism.

> I think you should have expected a backlash from the debian community, i 
> did express concerns on the LSB mailing list a few month ago about using 
> RPM's and the commercial focus of LSB, it was explained to me that LSB 
> is really to help commercial vendors, and that you were keen to get 
> something out sooner rather than later because the process was taking 
> too long. I concluded that there wasnt much in the LSB for debian.

Well, the use of the RPM **package** **format** (not packaging system!
And it's a very restricted subset of the RPM **format**) was a
decision which was made by a subcommittee which among other people,
included the dpkg maintainer.  

That's an example of what I mentioned earlier --- it's very hard to
work an organization that can't send a small number of experts to work
on a problem.  (Think about what it would be like to negotiate a CO2
reduction treaty not with the designated representives of a country,
but with every member of that country in a series of town hall
meetings!  It's a guaranteed way to get things done at
glacial/geological time frames.)

As far as "commercial focus of LSB", that's not really a technical
argument, but a fundamental one about goals.  One of the major reasons
why Unix lost the desktop to Windows was because of fragmentation of
the Unix vendors.  (As bad as Windows 3.0 was, it was easier to write
to Windows 3.0 than to HPUX, SunOS, Ultrix, DG/UX, etc., etc., etc.)
We are now in a position where we can start trying to get ISV's to
take Linux seriously --- we have the same share of the desktop market
as MacOS.  But implicit in this goal is that encouraging commercial
vendors to provide binary software packages that work across all Linux
distributions is a Good Thing.

Personally, I consider the ability that I can run games such as Quake
and Descent on Linux to be a good thing.  And I look forward to the
day when I can run TurboTax on Linus.  But if Debian wants to be
hostile to commercial vendors, and thinks that those sorts of things
are bad and that we shouldn't make it easy for ISV's to make those
products available on a Debian system, then maybe LSB really isn't for

						- Ted

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