LSB -- Can It Help Network Managers Cope with Linux? - Page 4

 By Jacqueline Emigh
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Other Debian administrators and developers, though, apparently understood the standard group's reasoning. "Yes, we all dislike RPM for our own reasons. However, the decision that the LSB made does make sense. The LSB is not meant to help you or me. It is meant to help companies support Linux," wrote one user, in an Internet news group posting.

Beyond putting in a new test suite, LSB 1.1 cleans up some software interfaces, adds new interfaces, and includes more details about header contents. Also in January, the Free Standards Group released version 1.0 of lil8nix, a standard for internationalization and localization based on code from Turbolinux.

Meanwhile, Red Hat and SuSE -- two companies that previously focused more on small businesses -- have started to try to line up with Caldera and Turbolinux in the enterprise network space.

From a network management perspective, the timetable for LSB 1.1 compliance is the biggest issue. Network managers won't really stand to gain till standards-compliant distributions and applications are widely available.

The LSB 1.1 specification and test suite are now downloadable from the Free Standards Group's Web site at http://www.freestandards.org . "So far, every Linux distribution has failed the test suite on some measure. As soon as a distribution passes the test suite, the certification process will be documented and released," Terpstra says.

Group members say they're confident, though, about reaching compliance and interoperability across Linux distributions. According to Terpstra, "Hundreds of organizations have been working on this. The hard work is done. Now, we're just hammering out the fleas."

Jacqueline Emigh (pronounced "Amy") is a 12-year veteran of computer journalism. She is currently freelancing for several leading technology and business publications. She was previously a senior editor for Sm@rt Partner Magazine, and before that, a bureau chief for Newsbytes News Network.

» See All Articles by Columnist Jacqueline Emigh

This article was originally published on Feb 12, 2002
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