Re: Linux Core Consortium
On Sat, 2004-12-11 at 03:49 -0800, Steve Langasek wrote:
> 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?
In an ideal world, ISVs could certify once, to the LSB, and their
applications would run the same on every LSB-certified distro. This
dramatically reduces the amount of internal distro-specific work
each has to do. The stronger the LSB, the closer the distro-specific
work is to zero, and the closer they get to a single Linux port.
It's all cost-benefit. Each new port costs money. Does the port bring in
more money than it costs to produce it? The current approach of
supporting each distro as a separate port allows them to reach a large
part of the market while minimizing cost. But there's still a huge
swath of the market that's not covered (see, again, Oracle and Asianux).
> 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.
We have absolutely been talking to ISVs about their needs--indeed, this
has been a conversation that has been ongoing for years..
What about the LCC's scope isn't clear? The basic are fairly simple:
Make the cost-benefit equation a no-brainer by giving ISVs a single
common core to support (lower cost) while getting that single common
core into as many distros as possible (raise benefit by opening
new markets to the ISVs' products). This is what the industry wants.
That said, the details are far from simple. It's up to us, the distros,
to deliver on the basic idea, and that's what we're trying to do.
"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in
the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was
vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may
act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible." -T.E. Lawrence