Network World: New Linux Standard Base promises one app fits all
In this informative July 2001 article, Deni Connor of Network World interviews Alan Cox, Eric Raymond and an IT manager at a Chicago financial services software firm to get their views on the implications of LSB 1.0.
Here’s what they said:
A specification unveiled last week may hasten the day IT managers can buy a Linux application and be confident it will run on any vendor’s version of the open source operating system…
“For [customers] it means that they can shop for ‘Linux applications’ without having to worry about which vendor’s [Linux distribution] it works with,” says Alan Cox, a kernel hacker in Wales. Cox, a well-known developer in the Linux community, is responsible for maintaining patches to the Linux kernel and wrote much of its symmetric multiprocessing and networking code.
Eric Raymond, president of the Open Source Initiative, says companies will benefit from LSB.
“Indirectly, the impact [of LSB] will be large on [enterprise deployments],” Raymond says. “As independent software vendors develop confidence that they can maintain a single Linux binary port for all LSB-conformant distributions, many more enterprise applications will become available.”
One IT manager sees benefits beyond easier development.
“This standard might be comforting to organizations that need an insurance policy,” says Michael Jinks, a member of the technical staff at financial software vendor Saecos in Chicago. “For example, ‘Bigcorp Inc.’ might feel that it has some leverage against Red Hat if Red Hat ever decided to attempt vendor lock-in with their distribution and thus be more comfortable with a Red Hat deployment.” Companies used to dealing with closed source software vendors might be reassured by LSB, he says…
Vendors such as IBM and Caldera will incorporate LSB compatibility into their products as soon as test software and certification procedures are available.