Feeds

Who needs Linux standards?

Quite a few of you, apparently

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Standards have always been the Unix world's Achilles heel. Not that there has ever been a scarcity of them. Much like French smoking laws, the problem has been getting anyone to pay attention. They're even more of an anathema to the typical Linux hacker, who can his squirrel his executables away in /etc/spaz/yewl_never_find_me_here if he so wishes. And probably will.

So it's a considerable achievement by the Free Standards Group not only to gather an impressive buy-in from all the commercial distros and the big iron vendors, but to provide standards that are both no-brainers to comply with and that have obvious interoperability benefits. The Group published 1.1 of LSB - the Linux Standards Base spec and the first version of the internationalization layer, Li18nux.

Dell, HP, IBM Sun and Compaq were on hand to bless the new spec, and Linus Torvalds and Alan Cox gave it a virtual blessing.

"By the end of the year, all distributions will be conformant or compliant," Scot McNeil, executive director of the Free Standards Group told us.

LSB covers file system layout - what goes where - binary formats including executables and shared libraries, system commands, and scripts. A look at the libc interfaces refers you back to the ANSI C standard, the System V interface book and the POSIX definition, amongst others, but it usefully refers you to which glibc version is considered as current.

There's quite a bit of collaboration between POSIX and LSB, with Andrew Josey chair of the Austin Group that decides extensions to POSIX also lending time and oversight to LSB.

Documentation, test tools and conformance tests are all free. A 'compliance' kitemark, available later in the year, will cost money, but McNeill, told us that the Group was a non-profit Californian corporation, and he saw it as a "market opener not a revenue generator".

Turbo will be the first distro to pass the Li18nux support we 're told, according to Unicode veteran Hideki Hiura. The internationalization effort should see Linux go some way to fixing its poor character support, compared to the commercial Unices. Even my phone's Unicode now, so there's no excuse. ®

Related Link

Free Standards Group home page

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Sway: Microsoft's new Office app doesn't have an Undo function
Content aggregation, meet the workplace ... oh
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
NetWare sales revive in China thanks to that man Snowden
If it ain't Microsoft, it's in fashion behind the Great Firewall
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.