[lsb-discuss] LSB apps on non-LSB distros (was Re: application certification questions)

Ian Murdock imurdock at imurdock.com
Sat Mar 3 05:26:37 PST 2007

On 2/28/07, Donya Shirzad <dshirzad at real.com> wrote:
> 2)  What are the options for backwards-compatibility?  Right now our
> installer for 3.1 depends on either the 3.1 linker (bin) or the 3.1
> libraries (rpm) and fails on most of the systems out there.  As 3.1
> isn't wide spread yet, how can we get backwards-compatibility?  Can we
> Also, how is forward-compatibility taken care of?  Will the OS be
> shipping LSB 3.1 even after they are certified for 3.2 or will it break
> our dependencies?

This is another area where we need an immediate solution.

On the one hand, the LSB is a great option for developers, since it allows
them to create builds that run on any LSB certified/compliant
distro, which is just about all of them

HOWEVER, many of these distros do not enable LSB compliance by default.
On many, the user has to take a specific action to enable it (say, yum
install lsb or apt-get install lsb). This represents a barrier to
adoption to the app vendors--it's one more step that a user has to
perform (and potentially get wrong) before they can use their app.

We're working on getting the distros to enable LSB compliance by default.
However, we're not there yet, and we likely won't be till LSB 4.0. (We
could try to push for it in LSB 3.2, but since nearly all of the LSB 3.x
distros are currently in maintenance mode, such a big change
would likely not be welcomed by the distros, and I wouldn't blame them.)

So, in the meantime, we need a good solution to the problem of missing lsb
dependencies and, in particular, binaries that link against ld-lsb.so not
being able to run on non-compliant when they would PROBABLY work just fine.

How about supplying an ld-lsb.so that simply calls into the standard
linker, perhaps after printing a message along the lines of "Warning: This
distribution is not LSB compliant. You may enable LSB compliance by doing
XYZ. This application may not function properly until you do so." As with
lsbinstall/xdg-utils, the ld-lsb.so shim could be part of the SDK,
and we could make it easy for apps to bundle and install it as necessary.

Note that this is just a slight variant of the old problem: "I still need
to support RHEL 3.. How do I build an LSB 3 app that will work on RHEL 3?"

Ian Murdock

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

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