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Re: LSB Commands and Utilities, Draft proposal

On Tue, 6 Jul 1999, Frank LaMonica wrote:

> Stuart,
> It may be easier to make meaningful progress if we were to first get our
> own Linux house in order, and then attempt to extend the view to a
> broader array of Linux-like operating systems. 
> I suggest that we first try to document differences between all of the
> major Linux distributions and then try to reconcile those differences
> between each of the Linux vendors.

We have been doing this for many areas of incompatabilities. The web site
has a partial list of the ones for which work is in progress.

One thing that we want to avoid doing is to pick one implementation and
start measuring all others against it. This gives the incorrect impression
that the one we picked is the standard. Instead. we are using UNIX98 as a
guide for establishing this baseline against which all implementation will
be evaluated. We know there are differences, and we are not saying that the
differences have to be resolved, just identified and documented. UNIX98 is
a stable non changing standard that we can use as a reference point.

> Application vendors are having a
> very difficult time trying to port applications to a moving target.  It
> is a big mistake to ignore existing market share when placing a weight
> on the relative importance of existing implementations.

My experience as an ISV is that the largest existing market share has been
incompatible with itself each release. This just makes it a bunch of
smaller shares with a common name.

> I have been doing a lot of research to try to discover what issues
> application vendors feel are most relevant to their own Linux decision
> making process.

I look forward to seeing the detailed results of your research.

> Not one vendor has expressed a concern about conformance with
> some universal Unix specification - they are considering a port to Linux
> and they just want to know the rules they have to follow so they can
> reach the Linux market.

If Linux is close to UNIX98 (I didn't say matches exactly) then ISVs will
find it easier to port their apps from other flavors of Unix.

As I mentioned in my other reply on this thread, using UNIX98 is a
convenience to us. We are not mandating it, but are instead reusing the
many man years of effort that have gone into it's development. It will
be much easier for us to state that

		Linux = UNIX98 - (some set of differeces)

than is will be for us to state that

		Linux = set of features(1 .. N)

My PERSONAL opinion is that Linux should continue to move towards UNIX98.
Please do not confuse this with what the LSB will standardize. The latter
will be determined by a community, not me by myself.


Stuart R. Anderson                               anderson@metrolink.com

Metro Link Incorporated                          South Carolina Office
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Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33309                   Lexington, SC 29072
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