[lsb-discuss] Don't blame LSB and standards, please: was: Re: Fedora Plasma Product, feedback please

"Jóhann B. Guðmundsson" johannbg at gmail.com
Mon Mar 31 11:06:17 UTC 2014

On 03/28/2014 04:21 PM, R P Herrold wrote:
> On Fri, 28 Mar 2014, "Jóhann B. Guðmundsson" wrote:
>> ( what is weights and measures other then standards ) but that undesputable
>> fact aside I dont see how the failure of LSB as an standard which boils down
>> to it being drive/dominated by Red Hat and Novell/Suse and the lack of it
>> being capable of keeping up with changes in the GNU/Linux ecosystem, can be
>> applied to the work that is being done here or it being mapped one to one with
>> that work.
> Wearing my centos co-founder hat, I assure that there is no
> 'domination' there, and I've been present for more than a
> decade.  There formerly was some, when an addition of Java was
> being pushed by some enterprise stakeholders [Sun was still
> free-standing at that time], but that is ancient history by
> now

Last time I check and from dawn of time the LSB standard required 
application to be packaged in RPM format which immediately excludes 
distributions that do not use RPM as their default/preferred package manager

> These days, there is just: participation.  As to 'keeping up',
> the Fedora mantra of 'move fast, be willing to experiment and
> break stuff' is scarcely something a standards track should
> aspire to

Fast moving distributions as well as standalone applications and 
application stacks should be able to follow well defined standards.

If not that just highlights shortcomings of that standard not the 
distribution or the application or application stack.

> LSB starves from insufficient quantities of software
> engineering talent.  Its processes are in all material
> respects open, and based on free and open sources.  Anyone
> with the inclination can play along.  A request for help gets
> a thoughtful answer and pointer in under 24 hr (mailing list),
> in under 8 hr (IRC), and in under a week (bug tracker triage).
> Wiki rights are accessible with a mere registration to stop
> spamming. We run an open weekly conferencall and minutes
> result and cross our mailing list
> We lost one FTE about a year ago, and there is just not enough
> horsepower.  We ran a all day (I had to leave after six hours)
> planning event at the LF Collab summit, with G+ and dial
> inaccess, all duly noticed on our mailing list, and a grand
> total of 6 people participated

How do individuals join the standards committee?

> Canonical seems to look solely to Posix these days. Fedora
> glances in our direction but does not seek LSB conformance
> certification, nor materially participate in our effort to get
> LSB 5 'out the door'.  Debian is so glacial and enjoys
> flyspecking and squabbling (witness the recent 'systemd'
> dustup and vote, that they don't participate much. The SUSE
> enterprise product tests and participates; RHEL 7 will add a
> new approach to conformance if the beta is any sign, and has
> had a representative filing bugs with us.  Oracle treats the
> OS as a foundation for its DB engine products, and does not
> really need an LSB imprimatur to sell its product
> But it is like the child's story of _The Little Red Hen_ ...
> all will eat the bread, but few really are willing to
> participate in its preparation.  I can think of three people
> continuously present, triaging, and working bugs.  That's it

This highlights the fact that the joining process might be to 
complicated or lack of buy in from distribution and application 
developers due to the standards not being maintained/defined well enough.

Why should an application or distribution strive to follow and meet 
those standards when they are not in the buisness of selling or 
supporting that distribution, application or application stack since to 
me that standard has always seemed to be more written to favoring those 
that make profit out of GNU/Linux ( Red Hat/Novel etc) and related 
software rather than being focused on standardization/unification in the 
GNU/Linux ecosystem.

> Probably we (LSB.next, so to speak) made a mistaken design
> choice to widen coverage at LSB 5 made two years ago, to chase
> later libraries (gtk / qt), rather than narrowing scope to
> core utility.  But that was what the ISVs and the certifying
> entities said was needed then.  I hacked back that wiki's list
> of deliverables, pretty ruthlessly over the past 9 months as
> we have worked on the release (feature based, rather than time
> boxed)
> I cannot think of a single third party open bug on 5 filed
> after the first beta drop, and it is ready to go once we
> complete the rest of our P1 items

Few bugs open does not mean that standard is well written it might just 
as well mean nobody is following/using thus have faith in it and the 
fragmentation in the GNU/Linux ecosystem itself is evidence enough that 
LSB is failing as standardization body since it does not solve the 
problems it initially was created to solve.


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