[lsb-discuss] Does anyone care about LSB on arm?

Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton lkcl at lkcl.net
Wed Jun 1 04:25:44 PDT 2011

On Tue, May 31, 2011 at 5:22 PM, Wookey <wookey at wookware.org> wrote:

> In my experience anyone distributing binaries actually picks a small
> set of distros and builds for those explicitly, rather than relying
> on the LSB. Does that mean that it's not actually useful in the real
> world? I guess in a sense this posting is to the wrong lists; we're
> all free software people here who have little use for the LSB. Where
> do the proprietary software distributors hang out :-)

 the proprietary software distributors hang out around USA lawyer
offices, where they get advice on how to perform tivoisation without
anybody noticing.  they then ship TVs and even 3G modems with embedded
linux kernels and custom OSes... and nobody notices.

 my take on this is that ARM is still just emerging from the
"uselessness" of sub-600mhz ARM9s and ARM11s as far as general-purpose
computing is concerned [laptop / desktop etc. *not* true embedded
purposes obviously: don't get upset, ARM employees, because "mr LKCL
said your processors were quotes useless quotes" - read it again: it's
a *conditional* description].  also, the sheer diversity of SoCs plays
directly, psychologically, against anyone "joining forces" on things
like LSB.  thus the majority of proprietary software distributors up
until recently have been doing custom-built from scratch software
stacks [using e.g. buildroot, openembedded] and thus LSB was and still
is completely useless to them.

 even android is custom-built, and everything (except the
highly-optimised apps - for ARM - which are becoming more common) is a
java app.

 that having been said, 500mhz+ Dual-Core Cortex A9s already out which
knock the stuffing out of 1.6ghz Intel Atoms (yes, saw the youtube
video) mean that could just be about to change, completely.

 sooo... although the situation *right now* is that nobody in the
commercial world is the slightest bit interested in LSB because they
all do "custom builds" of complete software stacks, it could be said
that *if* the free software community just dropped ready-to-go LSB
standards in front of their noses, they'd quite likely use it.

 you have to remember that the majority of these companies could not
put two lines of code together to save their lives.  they literally
have to be spoon-fed (in some cases even to the point of being told
where to put the screws, let alone the software).  they are usually
spoon-fed by the CPU manufacturer [and in the case of MStar Semi, they
won't even let *you* violate the GPL, they do it entirely for you].

 so in that regard, i think it's more a case of "if the free software
community provides LSB across ARM, it'll get used".

 so in _that_ regard, the question becomes: "are the efforts of the
free software community better off being spent elsewhere"?  and "what
benefit is there *TO THE FREE SOFTWARE COMMUNITY* of doing LSB for
ARM"?  forget the proprietary junkies, they'll suck anything from us
that moves and not give a dime in return.


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