The Free Standards Group, a nonprofit organisation dedicated to developing and promoting open source software standards, has announced the availability of the Linux Standard Base (LSB) 2.0.
The new version updates some of the basic specifications and implementations underlying LSB, such as adding support for Single Unix Specification 3.0. A significant new feature in LSB 2.0 is the introduction of a new application binary interface (ABI) for C++ to improve code interoperability. By including C++ support in the LSB, this gives thousands of software vendors the ability to port their applications to Linux in a cost-effective manner and thus will result in an increase in application choice for end users.
LSB support has also been added for new hardware architectures including the IBM PowerPC 64, S390 and S390X platforms, and Advanced Micro Device’s 64-bit Opteron chip. Intel 32-bit and 64-bit architectures are also supported. LSB 2.0 also includes test suites and a development environment, a sample implementation of a complete LSB-based distribution and developer documentation.
The standard is available today from the Free Standard Group’s Web site. Details are also available in “Building Applications with the Linux Standard Base”, (ISBN 0-13-145695-4) a book published by IBM Press. The book will be published in November 2004 and is written by core members of the Linux Standard Base Team.
The LSB has garnered pledges of support from the majority of the Linux Community including AMD, Conectiva, Dell, HP, IBM, Intel, Mandrakesoft, Miracle Linux, Novell’s SUSE LINUX, Progeny, Red Flag, Red Hat, Sun Wah Linux, Thizlinux, and Turbolinux. This support promises to keep Linux from forking and going the way of proprietary systems in the past.
“If I, as a developer, have to port my application to two different distributions of Linux, that is one distribution too many,” said Jon Hall, executive director of Linux International. “The way of assuring that every distribution has all the applications it needs to be successful is through specifying and applying a cross-distribution, cross-application, neutrally-determined standard. The LSB provides that specification. Without this, we are no better than the proprietary Unix systems of old.”