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the role of the LSB (was: On cadence and collaboration)

also sprach Pierre Habouzit <madcoder@madism.org> [2009.08.05.2333 +0200]:
> But speaking from my experience as an employee of a software editor, I
> can tell that the distribution diversity is a huge problem when it comes
> to distributing our work. If your client use a Ubuntu LTS, a RHEL, a
> SuSE or worst for some, some kind of home-brewed monster taken half from
> a RHEL and custom packages (*sigh*) then you have as many builds to do,
> regress-test and so on.  When you target Windows or Solaris or MacosX,
> you usually officially support the last two releases, and that's it (and
> please, it's the same for "Linux" distributions, for RH you "have" to
> support RH4.x and RH5.x if you want to be relevant).

I think it's the job of something like the LSB to ensure a necessary
baseline across distros on which vendors can build. Anyone gearing
software at distro-specifics is committing the same fallacy as
people writing HTML for Internet Exploder. And distros who are
actively ignoring or superseeding the LSB are counter-productive.

Vendors will always find reasons to limit themselves to one or two
distros. IME in the past, that has not been because those distros
are the only ones that can run their software, it's much more the
case that their software engineers have no time to do the testing
across all distros, and their support engineers don't know anything
else and are thus unwilling to support it (warranty void).

Synchronising software isn't going to change that — the distros will
still be unique in their own ways.

But let me put this into the proper relation: I think collaboration
across distros is desirable (cf. vcs-pkg.org). I think it would be
great if we got GNOME to agree on a long-term-support version, and
dto. for Apache, gcc, all the others as it means time savings for
everyone (less work duplication), and the possibility for more

I just don't think it'll solve the vendors problem, nor eliminate
all other problems relating to distro diversity. Heck, it might even
create new problems, e.g. security issues as Julien suggested.

Let's just stay real.

 .''`.   martin f. krafft <madduck@d.o>      Related projects:
: :'  :  proud Debian developer               http://debiansystem.info
`. `'`   http://people.debian.org/~madduck    http://vcs-pkg.org
  `-  Debian - when you have better things to do than fixing systems
"verbing weirds language."
                                                           -- calvin

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