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

Theodore Ts'o tytso at mit.edu
Mon Mar 31 20:53:12 UTC 2014

On Mon, Mar 31, 2014 at 08:34:14PM +0000, "Jóhann B. Guðmundsson" wrote:
> In the end of the day we as an open source community need to start moving
> away from discussion more into form of dialog to be able to standardize and
> solving many of the problem we are faced with and one thing I have noticed
> people seem to be move unconsciously from discussion into dialog's in a
> relaxed environment so if it was up to me ( which it is not ) I would design
> the role of the "LSB people" to be more of the responsible party getting the
> right people together which is affected upstream of the relevant section of
> the standard being created in a relaxed environment ( pub, open bbq or
> something ) and get the discussion flowing while consulting/listening/noting
> down/formulate the standard based on what comes out from that discussion as
> opposed to bring to the table either existing outdated standard needing
> improvement or a proposal for a complete new one.

I think it might be helpful if you were really explicit about *which*
problem you are trying to solve here.

If the problem is with commercial products (i.e., getting Adobe
Photoshop or Quicken or TurboxTax as native Linux binaries, so Linux
users don't have to install Windows and/or try to get CrossOver Office
to work), I've had those dicsussions, some of them in pubs, with the
decision makers for several such products (including Adobe, for
example).  I did this because I was personally passionate about trying
to make this happen, and not because my employer (IBM, at the time)
had any business interest in seeing people to be able to get TurboTax
on their Linux desktops.  The problem there is that companies like
Adobe and Intuit need to be shown a business case why this is would be
a worthwhile thing for them to do.  They're quite friendly in the pub,
but ultimately their corporations have a fudiciary duty to their
shareholders, and despite our best mutual efforts, it was never
possible to make a business case for them to do this.

(And by the way, the reason why I tried to see if we could have an
optional Java module, was that I was trying to make sure IBM would
continue to staff/fund the LSB, because the business case why it would
make sense for them to invest was getting harder and harder to make
every year when it was budget season.)

If the problem you are trying to solve is that you want to have open
source applications that can work across different distributions, it's
not clear the open source application developers care all that much.
If you are the developer for the "mutt" mail client, for example, the
distributions already take care of all of the hard work of compiling
your source application for your distribution.  Why, as an open source
application developer, should oyu care about the LSB.  Again, I've had
many conversations with open source application developers, many of
them at bars, and it just doesn't seem to buy them any benefit.

If you think you have a good argument for why a certain set of
application developers should care, then let's hear it!  Better yet,
if you are willing to volunteer to make your dream a reality, then it
has a much better chance of happening than if you simply come up to
the table and say "you suck!  you're not solving the problem you care
about", without either (a) describing the problem in great detail, (b)
proposing a solution, and (c) offering to work on executing on that


						- Ted

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