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Re: Linux Core Consortium

* Bruce Perens:

> The Linux Core Consortium would like to have Debian's involvement. This 
> organization has revived what I originally proposed to do as the LSB - 
> to make a binary base for Linux distributions that could be among 
> several distributions who would share in the effort of maintaining 
> certain packages.

I don't think Debian should try to adopt an extensive, externally
specified ABI.  For a few core packges, this may make some sense, but
not for most libraries.

Instead, proprietary software vendors should ship all libraries in the
versions they need, or link their software statically.  I wouldn't
even mind if they installed something that approaches a stripped-down
distribution in a chroot jail (and just certify specific kernel
versions).  Most of our software licenses permit this, so why don't we
use this advantage our system has over proprietary competitors?

My reasoning is as follows: If the ABI is externally specified (not by
Debian, not by upstream), we will in inevitably face ABI conformity
bugs.  Because of the nature of such a bug, a fix requires an ABI
change.  This means that most dependent packages will have to be
recompiled, and uploaded at roughly the same time ("libXXX
transition"), and it's always a big mess.  Therefore, I fear that an
external ABI specification will incur substantial inconvenience for
our developers and users.  For me, this is a bit too much for a
hypothetical group of users who currently cannot admit to using Debian
(and probably never will).

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