Linux standard effort edges ahead

The Free Standards Group has released its third version of the Linux Standard Base, an effort to unify some of the workings of the open-source operating system.

The LSB is designed to make it easier for those producing higher-level software to support different versions of Linux. Pledges to conform to the requirements of Version 3 have come from Red Hat, Novell's Suse Linux, Asianux and Debian.

The LSB standardizes several software interfaces and includes supporting software called libraries. It also includes test suites and documentation. Version 3 includes an updated binary interface for software written in the C++ programming language, an interface that for the first time is supported by the major Linux distributors, the Free Standards Group said.

However, one Red Hat programmer, Ulrich Drepper, had unflattering words for the specification. On Saturday, two days before the LSB 3.0 launch, he wrote in his blog that many of the LSB tests were buggy.

In one instance, timing issues mean that only a slow computer will pass the test, and Drepper noted that Suse Linux 10 passed the LSB 3.0 test on a system with a comparatively ancient 300MHz Pentium processor.

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About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

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