LSB meeting

TuxThere was a LSB meeting the last days to speak about the main and hot topics of Linux as well as of the LSB itself. Some of the topics include the upcomming LSB 3.2, D-BUS, printing, accessibility, portland integration, and so on.

But albeit the LSB is quite important and several comapnies, projects and communities are involved I haven’t seen yet much blogged or posted about it, which surprises me a little – but maybe that just needs time.

What *is* available yet are two posts from two developers – which show, btw., exactly how the relation between Gnome and KDE is: the first poster is Aaron Seigo, who went to the summit as a KDE representative, and the second one is John Palmieri who went to the summit as a Gnome representative. Their two main posts about the LSB can be read here (Aaron) and here (John). The first one is more detailed, the second one is better structured.

Interesting, but a bit sad are the new dates set as possible release dates for new LSBs:

  • LSB 3.1 (April 2006)
  • LSB 3.2 (Q2 2007)
  • LSB 4.0 (2008)

I would like to see a faster development to fast gain speed in this area. The most software developers are complaining about how difficult it is to develop software for Linux, and this is not just stupid lamenting – this is a serious problem on Linux! But, on the other hand, there are some projects which have to come into shape first before they can be really included into the LSB: Portland is one of these. It is not ready yet, and it will take quite a lot of time until it is ready for the desktop – I really hope that it is ready early enough to be included into KDE 4. And it cannot be made a LSB standard before it is spread already, because, as Aaron points out:

the LSB is not meant to be a place to push technologies into
standardization, but to formalize the standards as they emerge.

This is very important, because it makes sense (remember: the LSB must be rock solid and make totally sense – no experiments!). And it explains why there are a lot of projects which hasn’t been included into the LSB yet, like gstreamer, D-BUS, cups, Portland, qt4, and so on: they all are not ready yet, and are not included everywhere in real life, they first must be really stable and ready – than they will be included most probably quite fast.

Another very interesting topic discussed at the LSB was about installation of software on Linux systems – and the direction of the discussion is not surprising to me at all:

there was discussion of a common packaging API
for “installanywhere”/”installshield” type apps to use. at first there was
pushback from distros but by the end after open and frank discussion and
Ian’s graceful handling of things there seemed to be consensus that this was
a possibility indeed. still a long way sto go on it, but something ISVs are
pushing for and something that, with enough flexibility, the OSVs agree they
can probably provide. this is not to be a replacement for .deb or .rpm or
apt-get/yum/etc but a way for OSVs to provide simple hooks to register files
with the package management system in an OS-neutral way. think “phonon for
application installation”. OSVs will still use the full power of the native
packaging systems of course.

I’m really curious what that will bring – think about an autopackage which can access your rpm/deb/whatever packaging system automatically. If it’s well done, it would work through an api so that the distributors could connect everything to them (from rpm over deb even up to emerge).

There are more topics which seem to be very interesting, but to read more about, just read the two mentioned posts – I don’t want to quote them here in fulltext. Besides, keep an eye on the blog from Ian Murdock, the current LSB leader who will most certainly write about the summit himself.