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Linux guidelines get an upgrade

Open-source software proponent Free Standards Group makes version 2.0 of its Linux development blueprint available to the public.

Open-source software proponent Free Standards Group said Thursday that it has released version 2.0 of its Linux development guidelines to the public.

The software blueprint, dubbed Linux Standard Base, seeks to standardize how some aspects of Linux work, with the goal of making it easier for software makers to create programs that run on different companies' versions of the open-source operating system. Software developers already working on LSB-certified Linux products include Red Hat, SuSE Linux, MandrakeSoft, Conectiva, ThizLinux Laboratory, Sun Wah Linux, Turbolinux and Progeny.

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The Free Standards Group contends that by helping software makers cut down on the amount of time they spend dealing with incompatible versions of Linux, it can push developers to focus on building new features and functionality into applications more quickly. LSB also aims to aid software makers in lowering their development costs. The nonprofit organization said that LSB 2.0 would be available for public review over the next 30 days via its Web site.

Among the new features promised in the release is a revision of the guideline's core specification, to support software modules built on the primary elements of the LSB's own foundation. The group believes this modification will allow for future growth of the standard as Linux guidelines for different vertical markets are developed as extensions to LSB's core.

The group said the release also includes an application binary interface (ABI) for C++, a programming language frequently used to build large-scale software programs, and that LSB 2.0 incorporates updates to a number of its specifications, such as the Single Unix Specification. In addition, the Free Standards Group said LSB 2.0 features support for a number of processor architectures, including PPC64, AMD64, IA64, PPC32, S390 and S390X.

The latest version of the standard features tools for both testing and building Linux software, such as a development environment, a sample implementation, and related documentation.