February 17, 2006 4:29 PM PST

Progeny Linux leader takes new job

The founder of the Debian Linux project, and of a company called Progeny that aims to commercialize it, has taken a new job trying to standardize elements of the open-source operating system.

Ian Murdock said in his blog earlier this month that he now is chief technology officer of the Free Standards Group and chairman of its Linux Standard Base (LSB) work group.

The LSB effort seeks to standardize some elements of Linux so software makers don't have to worry as much about differences between versions of the operating system from Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Novell's Suse Linux Enterprise Server or others. Despite years of work on LSB, software and hardware companies still certify their products with specific versions of Linux.

But Murdock foresees greater success. "This promises to be a breakout year for the LSB and for free standards in general, and I'm excited to be a part of it," he said in the blog.

Among 2006 plans for the effort are LSB 3.1, which has elements specific to Linux on desktop computers; a road map for LSB 4.0; and "a renewed emphasis on increasing direct involvement" with software companies and those who distribute Linux, he said.

Murdock hasn't completely dissociated from Progeny. "I leave Progeny in excellent hands, and I'm able to remain involved in that wonderful position called 'adviser,'" he said.

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The flaws in LSB
1) they REQUIRE that you use RPM for package management. Debian's apt is actually a better package manager.
There are far more than just apt and rpm for package managers though.

2) they REQUIRE vim as default text editor
the only other text tool as opaque to new users is emacs.
pico would be by far a better option for a default text editor.

3) the LSB should NOT be specifying any specific tools, only the class.. ie there should be a package manager.
there should be a text editor.

the only software they should be naming explicitly in the LSB is, the bare bones minimal software to have a bootable linux system.

But definately do not specify a bootloader to use.
or which init tool to use.

Just the bare bones binutils, kernel, gcc....

Anything else makes the LSB a waste of effort.


I'm all for a standard, in filesystem layout, and the BASE system. Without every distribution meeting such a standard the support from major software vendors will always be lacking.
But by requiring tools that are far more than the core of the operating system they are hurting the adoption of the LSB by all Distros.

Why would Debian want to adopt the inferior rpm package manager instead of using apt? Yet until they do, they cannot be an LSB compliant distro.

If the Free Software Foundation continues to increase the unusablity of the LSB then the LSB will continue to be ignored by the majority of distros. There are far more distros using apt than there are using rpm.
Posted by Jaqui_Greenlees (8 comments )
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