Linux standards released

The first version of the new Linux Development Platform Specification (LDPS) was released last week, clearing the way for the adoption of standards that will make participating Linux platforms work together seamlessly.

The new LDPS standards will be adopted by some of the largest Linux distribution companies, including Caldera Systems, Corel, Red Hat, SuSE Linux AG, TurboLinux and VA Linux Systems, the group said.

"This is a big thing," said Scott McNeil, an open-source strategist at VA Linux Systems. "Predating Linux, Unix was always trying to be unified, with no success." Now, with the adoption of Linux specifications, the future of Linux standardisation looks brighter, he said.

The specifications will mean that Linux developers will be able to work with standardised tools, kernels and libraries that will allow their applications to function properly across other Linux distributions, McNeil said.

By using the LDPS, developers will be able to create and distribute software at greater pace across the spectrum of Linux distributions, including Caldera OpenLinux 2.4, Conectiva Linux 5.1, Corel Linux OS Second Edition, Debian GNU/Linux 2.2, Linux-Mandrake 7.0, Red Hat Linux 6.2, SuSE Linux 6.4 and TurboLinux 6.0, according to the Free Standards Group.

"Standards allowing interoperability and portability are of crucial importance to Linux," said Dan Kusnetzky, an analyst at International Data Corp. "Survey after survey indicates that IT management will feel comfortable adopting Linux only when they feel confident that applications based upon one distribution of Linux will be easily transportable to other Linux platforms."

Dan Quinlan, president of the Free Standards Group, said in a statement "LDPS is but the first of many planned specifications aimed to help both open-source developers and companies port applications to Linux. Having a single development reference to work from will greatly simplify the process of building Linux-based applications."

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