Packaging stuff

Anthony W. Youngman Anthony.Youngman at ECA-International.com
Mon Oct 30 07:19:25 PST 2000


Okay, I got a chance over the weekend to write something. I've almost
certainly got a load of it wrong, and it's pretty certain that it could be
improved. All I ask is "if you're a techy, don't improve it yourself - get
an Eng Lit person to do it". I looked at the Mission Statement somewhat
more, and it comes over very much as written "by techies for techies". A lot
of what's been said is there IF YOU DIG FOR IT. It should be obvious.

And I feel even more now that something like this is needed - I read an
article (a recent interview with MadDog) today and it made me feel even more
that the LSB is seen as the "Linux Standard", not the "Standard Base".

So here's my crack. It needs to be a readable manifesto, not a technical
overview. And you'll probably need to clean up / correct / rewrite heavily
what I've done. But it should then end up on the inside front page of the
LSB itself - where it CANNOT be missed.

Cheers,
Wol.

-- draft --

LSB Manifesto

The Linux Standard Base was formed in order to provide a Standard Base
System for Linux, in the wake of the debacle following the introduction of
glibc2 as a replacement for libc5, and the resultant incompatibilities
between distributions that ensued from this.

While this had little effect on traditional linux programmers and programs,
the resulting compatibility problems have the potential for severely
damaging the reputation of Linux in the commercial world. The purpose of the
LSB is therefore to provide a guaranteed minimum level of facilities upon
which commercial software vendors can rely. It is not intended to be of any
serious relevance to dedicated Open Source programmers.

Obviously, in marrying commercial and Open Source interests, some
compromises have had to be made. It will be possible for commercial programs
to check whether the system on which they are installing is LSB-compliant.
They will then be responsible for installing all the necessary requirements
over and above the Base themselves. The major disadvantage here is that
several commercial packages may each install the same libraries.

The choice of what to put in the Standard Base is a difficult compromise to
call, as Linux evolves rapidly but it would not be wise to include either
leading edge or obsolete packages. To this end, the base aims to include
only mainstream APIs, to pick 'de facto' standards rather than trying to
enforce 'de jure', and to require only stable versions, not those undergoing
active development.

-- end --

-----Original Message-----
From: Anthony W. Youngman 
Sent: 27 October 2000 16:31
To: 'Jeffrey Watts'; 'lsb-discuss at lists.linuxbase.org'
Subject: RE: Packaging stuff


Don't forget that many people don't have "free" access to the internet. In
my case I use the office connection (and they want to be a "microsoft only"
shop so interest in linux is NOT encouraged :-( or I pay by the second at
home. So it's easy to miss things. I doubt I'm atypical in going straight
for the LSB document - you know the syndrome - if you don't know something
is there you can look straight at it and not see it :-( hence the manifesto
is easily missed, whether you try and make it obvious or not.

Anyway, I might well have read it - I certainly have now and it isn't the
most clear of documents... Try comparing it for clarity with the GNU
manifesto in the GPL - there's no contest! I'm no writer, but I'll try and
put my understanding in words over the next few days, which will make a
basis for a PreRamble, and then hopefully somebody whose "Eng Lit" skills
are better than mine will take it and run with it.

Cheers,
Wol.

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeffrey Watts [mailto:watts at jayhawks.net]
Sent: 26 October 2000 23:10
To: Anthony W. Youngman
Cc: lsb-discuss at lists.linuxbase.org
Subject: RE: Packaging stuff


On Thu, 26 Oct 2000, Anthony W. Youngman wrote:

> May I make an extremely serious suggestion? I really expect it will help
> clean up a lot of these wars if you take it up? At the start of the LSB
> document itself, preferably in front of the index so it is the *FIRST*
thing
> a casual browser stumbles over, there should be a "Political PreRamble" a
> bit like the GNU manifesto that is *part* *of* the GPL.

On the main page of <http://www.linuxbase.org>, under the heading "Mission
Statement", there is a link to <http://www.linuxbase.org/mission.html>.  
This is the LSB mission statement -- is this what you are talking about?

I would hope a casual browser looking for LSB information would be able to
find that.  Perhaps it should be a part of the formal spec -- though I
would think anyone looking for information on the LSB would be able to
find it easily enough.  *shrug*

Jeffrey.

o-----------------------------------o
| Jeffrey Watts                     |
| watts at jayhawks.net         o-----------------------------------------o
| Systems Programmer         | "If you put multimedia, a leather       |
| Network Systems Management |  skirt, and lipstick on a grandmother   |
| Sprint Communications      |  and take her to a nightclub, she's     |
o----------------------------|  still not going to get lucky."         |
                             |  -- Jean-Louis Gassee                   |
                             |  Regarding the Windows98 update         |
                             o-----------------------------------------o


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