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Re: Linux Core Consortium

On Thu, Dec 09, 2004 at 03:39:55PM -0500, Ian Murdock wrote:
> You've just described the way the LSB has done it for years, which thus
> far, hasn't worked--while there are numerous LSB-certified distros,
> there are exactly zero LSB-certified applications. The reason for this
> is that "substantially the same" isn't good enough--ISVs want *exactly
> the same*, and there's a good reason for that, as evidenced by the fact
> that while Debian is technically (very nearly) LSB compliant, there are
> still a lot of edge cases like file system and package namespace
> differences that fall outside the LSB that vastly complicate the
> "certify to an ABI, then support all distros that implement
> the ABI as defined by whether or not it passes a test kit" model.

Well, my first question is why, irrespective of how valuable the LSB itself
is to them, any ISV would choose to get their apps "LSB certified".  The
benefits of having one's distro LSB certified are clear, but what does an
LSB certification give an ISV that their own internal testing can't?  Or do
you really mean there are no ISVs *writing* to the LSB?

Secondly, is this merely conjecture about the needs of ISVs, or have you (or
someone else involved with the LCC) actually talked to people who've said
these things?  If this initiative is truly a response to the needs of ISVs,
it should be fairly easy to publically specify the LCC's scope up front so
that Debian can decide whether there's any sense in trying to get involved.

The fact that ISVs would be interested in package namespace differences at
all worries me; it suggests to me that either the scope of the LSB simply
needs to be broadened to meet their needs, or these ISVs are not in tune
with the goals of the LSB as it is, and no amount of harmonizing package
namespaces will address their real concerns.

> I'm not knocking the LSB--by definition, the LSB codifies existing
> standards, i.e., things everyone already agree with. The things
> we're talking about here (package naming differences, network
> configuration differences, all that) are clearly points of disagreement
> between distributions (perhaps backed more by inertia than by anything
> else). The LCC aims to complement the LSB by agreeing on a single set of
> solutions for these edge cases, then by putting the necessary glue in
> place to make sure whatever inertia or otherwise has propagated
> the differences for so long doesn't remain an insurmountable obstacle.
> And with enough mass, the edge cases become "stuff we agree on".

Um, what's the concrete use case for a cross-distro standard network
configuration interface?  These are starting to sound like ISVs I don't
*want* touching my Debian systems...

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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