October 17, 2005 3:41 PM PDT

Tech firms to tackle Linux desktop standards

Some big names in the computer industry are pledging to make the development of desktop applications for the Linux operating system much easier than it has been.

Adobe Systems, IBM, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Novell, RealNetworks and Red Hat are all backing the new Linux standards effort led by the Free Standards Group. The nonprofit organization plans to marshal its resources to form standards for key components of Linux desktop software, including libraries, application runtime and install time. The group said Monday that it will encourage software developers to use its guidelines when building programs for Linux as part of its Linux Standard Base project.

The goal of the project is to encourage the development of more applications for the Linux platform, the group said. Developing applications for Linux desktops is a complicated endeavor now because of significant differences between two prevailing versions, called GNOME (GNU Network Object Model Environment) and KDE (K Desktop Environment).

"With this complex and costly development and support environment, independent software vendors may choose not to target the Linux desktop, leading to reduced choice for end users and an inability to compete with proprietary operating systems," the Free Standards Group said in a statement.

The growth of Linux desktops has been slow, especially among consumers. Microsoft's Windows continues to dominate the PC world. About 90 percent of all desktops and laptops are powered by Microsoft, according to reports from research firms Gartner and IDC.

The Free Standards Group expects to release the first specification for Linux desktop software early next year and to begin certifications shortly afterward. It plans to give compliant applications a "Linux Standard Base Desktop" certification mark.

14 comments

Join the conversation!
Add your comment
How About....
A new OS/2 Standards (An Open OS/2 Warp or "parts" of it since it already share a similar code-base to that of the Windows Operating System. Also, does anyone know if the current "OpenDocument" is the same feature that was originally supported in OS/2 Warp)! Given that "Adobe Systems, IBM, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Novell, RealNetworks and Red Hat are all backing the new Linux standards effort led by the Free Standards Group". This will allow for a "two-prong" assault on the "E-M-P-I-R-E" that presently controls about 90% of the desktop space around the world.
Posted by Captain_Spock (894 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not OS/2...
IBM seems to be pretty clear about not wanting to
deal with OS/2 anymore. The best parts of OS/2
were not the Win32 API, but the Windows-style API
was a big part of it and probably one its
liabilities. Compare the KDE or Qt APIs and they
are far more comprehensive yet straight-forward
and easy to use.



OS/2's OpenDocument has absolutely no relation to
the XML OpenDocument standard from OASIS.
Posted by Gleeplewinky (289 comments )
Link Flag
Too Late
OS/2 supported Windows 95 programs. To make it support WinXP programs would be as much work as making Linux do the same.
Posted by Andrew J Glina (1673 comments )
Link Flag
How About....
A new OS/2 Standards (An Open OS/2 Warp or "parts" of it since it already share a similar code-base to that of the Windows Operating System. Also, does anyone know if the current "OpenDocument" is the same feature that was originally supported in OS/2 Warp)! Given that "Adobe Systems, IBM, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Novell, RealNetworks and Red Hat are all backing the new Linux standards effort led by the Free Standards Group". This will allow for a "two-prong" assault on the "E-M-P-I-R-E" that presently controls about 90% of the desktop space around the world.
Posted by Captain_Spock (894 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not OS/2...
IBM seems to be pretty clear about not wanting to
deal with OS/2 anymore. The best parts of OS/2
were not the Win32 API, but the Windows-style API
was a big part of it and probably one its
liabilities. Compare the KDE or Qt APIs and they
are far more comprehensive yet straight-forward
and easy to use.



OS/2's OpenDocument has absolutely no relation to
the XML OpenDocument standard from OASIS.
Posted by Gleeplewinky (289 comments )
Link Flag
Too Late
OS/2 supported Windows 95 programs. To make it support WinXP programs would be as much work as making Linux do the same.
Posted by Andrew J Glina (1673 comments )
Link Flag
standards
i hope these standards will only be supported and pushed by the "big players". ie Novell, RedHat/Fedora, Ubuntu and Mandriva and not the custom distros like slackware and gentoo. if these are implemented correctly then this will be a huge boost for the linux community and will help in atracting more windows users.
Posted by Scott W (419 comments )
Reply Link Flag
standards
i hope these standards will only be supported and pushed by the "big players". ie Novell, RedHat/Fedora, Ubuntu and Mandriva and not the custom distros like slackware and gentoo. if these are implemented correctly then this will be a huge boost for the linux community and will help in atracting more windows users.
Posted by Scott W (419 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot

Discussions

Shared

RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.