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Re: Is the FHS dead ?

On Tue, Feb 24, 2009 at 08:20:31AM -0600, Gunnar Wolf wrote:
> Interesting. And yes, illustrative of the historically (and, should I
> add, ridiculous? No, I'd better not ;-) ) rivality between Linux and
> the *BSDs, big egos included. 

Well, the last time we tried to make reasonable accomodations for
*BSD's, some of the biggest biggest whiners^H^H^H^H^H^H^H complaints
came from Debian.  In fact, some later complaints from Debianites
about the lack of /usr/libexec is largely the fault of Ian Jackson,
who ***strenuously*** opposed /usr/libexec on the mail thread which I
quoted.  In fact, as I recall, he threatened to rally all of Debian
NOT to support the FSSTND/FHS if we didn't drop /usr/libexec from the
draft spec.   Ah, history.....

The painful fact of the matter is that anytime a draft like the FHS
forces any distribution or OS to change, there will be opposition.  In
some cases it will be principled and constructive.  In other cases, it
will question the spec writers' technical judgement, ethics, and even
their paternity.

> However, Linux's position WRT the commercial Unixes has radically
> shifted in the last decade. Linux is no longer considered a toy, and
> is taken seriously into account. So, even with the big inertia that
> might hamper more than one initiative, perhaps the FHS could be pushed
> in collaboration with their respective companies? At least, I'd be
> surprised if -say- the Solaris or HPUX people weren't open to
> discussion leading to better interoperability.

Last I heard, HPUX is on maintenance life-support, and they don't have
enough engineers to make sure their userspace is uptodate.

And as far as Solaris is concerned, they currently have a project to
update to a 16-year-old shell (ksh93) in their distribution.  Solaris
has constraints on their filesystem so they can be compatible with the
1986-era SVID specification.  Can you really see Linux distributions
embracing installing a 3 decade-old awk in /bin/awk, a 2 decade-old
awk in /usr/xpg4/bin/awk, with no GNU extensions allowed, just to be
compatible with Solaris?

I thought not.

Look, the proprietary Unix systems as a whole are losing market share;
Linux is gaining market share.  The *only* proprietary Unix that
gained market share last year was AIX, and it has a Linux
compatibility subsystem, AIX 5L.  Fundamentally, I just don't see
Debian, Red Hat, SuSE, Ubuntu, et. al, all making changes in were
things are installed just to accomodate Solaris --- or any other
legacy Unix system.

Do you?  Especially given the flames raised last time by folks like
Ian Jackson --- who is, I might remind you, still on the Debian
Technical Committee and is still considered one of Debian's technical

Maybe I'm being too cynical, but I just don't see it.

	  	    		       	  	   - Ted

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