Feeds

Who needs Linux standards?

Quite a few of you, apparently

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Whistling Google: PLEASE! Brussels can only hurt Europe, not us
And Commish is VERY pro-Google. Why should we worry?
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you
Black Screen of Death plagues early Google-mobe batch
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
prev story

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
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.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.