The standards effort is an important part of ensuring Linux doesn't "fork" into multiple incompatible versions, as happened with Unix. The first LSB certificationsin August.
But while the certification helps keep dramatic differences from emerging, analysts and company representatives say it's not enough to guarantee that software designed with Red Hat Linux in mind will also work on SuSE, or vice-versa. A program such as a database, for instance, taps deep into Linux features that aren't governed by the LSB.
The Free Standards Group announced the opening of a second Linux certification program to ensure compliance with the OpenI18N standard, which governs how software is built to work with many different languages. The standard, formerly called Li18nux, covers such features as options for different currency, date formats, paper sizes and writing directions.