Porting your application to multiple distributions is a task that conjures up images of large engineering and support costs, which detract from the real value of the Linux platform. It is the primary goal of the LDN to provide the skills and the tools to vastly reduce those costs by emphasizing portability techniques for cross-distro application development, or full LSB certification.
Note: This article is out of date in some places, but is kept for posterity.
More and more ISVs and developers of existing applications are facing the choice of how to go about porting their application to Linux. Should they choose to port to just one Linux distribution or many? Is LSB certification right for their app?
Once the decision is made to build a new application that is LSB compliant, what needs to be done next? There is some setup involved to develop an application to the LSB. The steps involved in setting up are:
In this section, builders of new applications can learn how easy it is to get their application ready for LSB certification, using the right tools to build and to test their application.
The LSB Software Development Kit (SDK) enables developers to validate the binaries and RPM packages to ensure LSB compliance and monitor the API usage by the application while the build is taking place so that conformance is assured.
The path to application portability is dependent upon whether your application is already built, or still in production.
Having learned what the Linux Application Checker ("AppChecker") can do, it's now time to install and implement AppChecker. This document describes general steps on getting started with AppChecker, from installation to execution to interpreting the results.
The Linux Application Checker (also referred to as "AppChecker") is a powerful new tool designed to help software developers target Linux. It draws on the extensive testing framework developed by the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Linux Foundation and leverages the work of the Linux Standard Base (LSB) workgroup.
That's the official version, but what does the tool's functionality really mean to application developers who want to write apps for Linux? In a few words: ease of portability.
However you want to improve your application, through maximizing portability or full LSB certification, the first step on the journey is determining the status of your application. Specifically, how portable is it now?
To help accomplish this, the Linux Developer Network is providing a great tool to help you see just how portable your current application is; even how close it is to the LSB standard already.
As you seek to create a new Linux application, or improve upon an existing app, trying to achieve the benefits of cross-distribution portability may seem daunting. Fortunately, there are a number of tools and strategies to help you meet this goal.