[lsb-discuss] Using lsb_release for other purposes

Theodore Tso tytso at mit.edu
Mon Apr 14 13:34:06 PDT 2008

On Sun, Apr 13, 2008 at 12:40:43PM -0500, Ken MacLeod wrote:
> The first four organizations need a way to identify provider or
> industry specifications that the they conform to beyond LSB.  As an
> OEM, our specific case is of our base platform software specification
> and application platform specifications (for example, media server and
> data path platforms).
> I also envision use cases for conformances to Carrier Grade Linux, the
> NEPs and 3rd party platforms, and making the "module" identification
> more open to other specification bodies in general.
> The preference for expanding lsb_release to support this
> identification is that it allows the LSB conforming application to
> have one interface to determine conformance to specifications.

This was discussed at the our face-to-face meeting last week, and the
concern that a number of us (including myself) had was that this
doesn't have much to do with the LSB.  I understand that functionally
it's a very easy thing to do, but it's also just as easy, since the
code is open source, to simply grab our implementation of lsb_release
and just modify it to use some other directory name.

It should be noted that currently, not all distributions use the
reference implementation of lsb_release.  For example, Debian and
Ubuntu (I checked on my Gutsy system) currently does not.  So if we
were to standardize the current implementation details of lsb_release,
we would have to work with distributions to make sure they were
including it.

Given how simple the functionality is provided by lsb_release
(equivalent functionality can be implemented using one or two lines of
shell), even if we solve the namespace issue by using relatively long
and ugly module names, the question is whether it's worth the
complexity, especially since in the example below:

> LSB Version:    :core-3.0-ia32:core-3.0-noarch:example.com-1.2-noarch:graphics-3.0-ia32:graphics-3.0-noarch:module.example.net-3.4-ia32

"module.example.net-3.4-ia32" really has nothing to do with "LSB
Version".  This makes my spidey-sense tingle...

					- Ted

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