[lsb-discuss] allowing apps to "register" with the system (was Re: application certification questions)

Ian Murdock imurdock at imurdock.com
Sat Mar 3 05:07:43 PST 2007

We need to find solutions to this problem, and in the short term, or very
few applications are going to be certifiable.

Applications need to be able to "register" with the system, even if its
files are required to physically live in /opt. They're going to want to add
executables and libraries to the default path, register desktop menus
and Mozilla plugins, and other such things. We absolutely
have to give them a way to do this, or the LSB simply won't be usable.

I understand the hesitation to allow apps to directly manipulate things
outside of /opt, say, by creating symlinks or edit configuration files.
A programmatic method a la xdg-utils is the best way to go here--allow
apps to do these things, but make sure they all do things in a standard
way. I believe lsb-install was trying to solve similar problems at
the system level (init scripts etc.) but ran into distribution pushback.

The right approach here, rather than trying to get distros to adopt the
solution, is to bundle it with the LSB SDK, and to make it really easy
for app developers to bundle whatever we come up with their apps. Doing
this with xdg-utils (Portland) is already on the fast track
list, and so should reviving lsb-install as part of this same strategy.

xdg-utils already appears to take care of most desktop cases, but there
doesn't appear to be a solution to register/unregister a Mozilla plugin.
How hard would it be to do this?


What does lsbinstall need to do that it doesn't already do? I'm seeing
a "register profile script"--it would be nice if there was an easy way
to simply append a path element, which I'm assuming is the most common
use care for registering a profile script.


Donya, what is your timeframe here? We're prepared to put an LF
staff resource on this to get a solution for you as soon as possible,
then integrate with the SDK for the larger developer population.

At some level, I'm not sure how much sense it makes to have two solutions
to what is arguably different levels of the same problem (lsbinstall
and xdg-utils). We should consider merging them into a solution solution.


On 2/28/07, Wichmann, Mats D <mats.d.wichmann at intel.com> wrote:
> lsb-discuss-bounces at lists.freestandards.org wrote:
> > Hi all -
> >
> > I have a few concerns regarding certifying my app for 3.1.
> >
> > 1)  I believe there is a requirement to not install any files outside
> > the specified application directory.  I have three issues with this:
> >   a) what about installing symbolic links to /usr/bin and /usr/lib?
> > What is the alternative here?  I know this has been brought up in the
> > past, but didn't see a definitive answer.
> not allowed at present.  an amendment would be needed to FHS,
> but that group was never willing to budge on that concept.
> we've discussed ways to get conforming software into the user's
> (and/or the desktop's) search path, and we were working on a tool
> which would enable this, but it didn't progress.
> >   b) we install a plugin for Mozilla in the Mozilla directory
> I can't quite call this my favorite question, but it's one I've
> been asking for years without ever getting any traction on it.
> >   structure. c) what about the portland project (xdg-utils)
> > installing icons?
> these will be fine; they follow an indirect model, which means
> your package actually installs the files in your own heirarchy,
> then you pass that file to the xdg-utils tool which puts them
> in the appropriate place for that distro. To be technically
> correct we should probably add wording to allow that, which
> we can't do today since xdg-utils is not part of the spec.
> But in spirit, this is the sort of thing the LSB wants to allow,
> because instead of your package trying to force something into
> some global, unspecified, location you instead call a tool which
> does the work cleanly and with some efforts to avoid conflicts.
> > Are we still certifiable if we install those files outside our
> > directory structure?
> I'm not going to directly answer this question because I
> don't know.  In the *old* app certification program, the
> applicant had to answer a quesionnaire, one of the questions
> was whether you installed files outside the FHS-allowed
> locations. If the answer was yes, you could not be certified.
> But the program has been rewritten and it may not read that
> way any longer, I'll leave that to others to comment on.
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Ian Murdock

"Don't look back--something might be gaining on you." --Satchel Paige

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