[lsb-discuss] draft for SC22 liaison

keld at keldix.com keld at keldix.com
Wed Jul 25 22:35:39 UTC 2012

Hi - Here is a draft for comments - I reused some of Mats' words
some slightly reworded to reflect an ISO perspective. /Keld

Title: Liaison with the Linux Standard Base group

Date: 2012-07-25

Source Keld Simonsen, Liaison from SC22

Status: draft

The Linux Standard Base (LSB) standards
were approved in 2006 as ISO/IEC 23360.
It was submitted as a PAS by the Linux Foundation. 
The status of the Linux Foundation as ISO PAS 
submitter expired May 2008.

ISO/IEC 23360 is a series of LSB standards with part 1 being the Core
standard and part 2-8 defining the ABI for the architectures
IA32, TM, AMD64, PPC32, PPC64, S390, and S2390X repspectively.

ISO/IEC 23360 corresponds to version 3.1 of the LSB specification. 

The status as of 2012-06-26 is that all the parts are in state 90.93 -
International Standard confirmed.

The ISO/IEC project editor according to SC22 N4638 SC22 Programme of Work
2011 is Nick Stoughton. The editor in LSB is Mats Wichmann.

There have been three significant revisions of LSB since the ISO submission.
Those have been LSB 3.2, 4.0 and 4.1.  These revisions have maintained
the document structure that was in place when LSB 3.1 went into ISO
with very little change.  There has only been one technical addition
to core, and- in theory updating the "ISO LSB"  
to LSB 4.1 level would not be a complicated process.

A revison 5.0 is is being developed with a quite changed structure.

There was some considerable work to make LSB 3.1 core able to be
produced as a standard that minimally fit ISO requirements, which was
largely done by a contractor retained for that purpose (Nick Stoughton). 
That work has not been lost, however it was also understood that there
was kind of given a pass in not completely conforming to the ISO
conventions as a first-time PAS submission, but that a future revision
would require additional work to more fully conform, so it may be that
the existing facilities to generate a specification for consumption by
ISO would not be sufficient - advice on that issue would be needed.
The LSB group has tried to maintain the policy of a "common standard"
- to not intentionally diverge the standards wording between ISO
and non-ISO. Issues that specifically related to the "ISO portion"
of LSB continue to have flags in the LSB issue tracking system.

The status is then that the ISO standard is seriously outdated, and the 
PAS originator has lost its PAS status in ISO. There is however a
positive attitude in the LSB group to have a newer version approved
as an ISO/IEC standard, possibly version 4.1, if this could
be done with light use of ressources. The LSB would like to investigate
together with interested parties the process to accomplish this,
including procedures for maintenance, and would favour a process
that would involve very few ressources.

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