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Spec layers, etc. (was: Re: Wake Up and Smell the Coffee It's Not 1970!)

Yes, handhelds, appliances, and other embedded or small-footprint
applications are a place where Linux has a lot of potential for growth
and dominance.

Yes, those applications will very like eventually need a set of

But those applications are relatively new in the scheme of Linux.
Linux has been on servers and text-based consoles for almost 9 years
now. It's been on developer's desktops for almost as long, and on
end-users' for a good solid 5 years.  All of these in multiple
competing and co-evolving implementations.  LSB's job here is mostly
'just' defining existing practice and condensing it into a document
(and accompanying test suite and sample implementation).

Small-footprint and embedded Linux, however, doesn't have that large,
widely implemented body of existing practice to draw from.  Embedded
applications must be inherently more flexible and more adaptive to
their intended environment.

If LSB attempts to make a specification that works for both the
desktop/server environment, which we know well, and the wide array of
embedded/specialized environments, which we don't know so well, LSB
will fail.

Ted T'so and others have reminded us repeatedly that folks want a
standard spec and they want it last week.

Here's a possible plan of action:

(1) Complete the LSB spec (and test suite, and sample implementation).
    Release it.  Receive praise and criticism.

(2) Devise and implement a system for folks like GNOME, KDE, and
    embedded/small-footprint/handheld Linux folks to form working
    groups and submit specs for their areas of expertise or

(3) Evaluate the effectiveness of the spec.  Determine what could have
    been done more effectively.

(4) Determine the target or targets for the next specifications.

(5) Armed with the knowledge from [3] and the increased expertise and
    humanpower from [2], devise and implement the next spec or specs or
    spec layers.

(6) Release the next standards documents, test suites, etc.  Receive
    more praise and criticism.

(7) Go out for pizza and beer, or whatever folks end up going out for
    in 2008.  :)

If we don't follow the above plan of action, or a similar one, we might
as well all go home now.

In short:  Do one thing, and do it well.  Rinse.  Repeat.

jim knoble

På 2000-Mar-25 klokka 19:40:09 +0100 skrivet mats.loman@home.se:

  [In response to comments about layering of LSB spec.]

: Perhaps its a good idea to have a number of standard packets instead of
: one standard base. I meand LSB - level 1 may include the very basic set
: ( maybe just kernel and libc + some other very lowlevel stuff ). Level 2
: adds a little more and so on.  
: Then when a software developer can look too the specs and decide wich
: level his application reuires. The linux distributors can have options in
: their installation to install up to a certain level.
: Well this is just a thougth.... 

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