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Byte.com: Free Standards Group And Distro Madness

Jun 05, 2000, 21:55 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Tom Henderson)

"One of the missions of the labs is to keep track of Linux distributions, or distros. One of my Mandrake Linux machines is a distro server, and it's packed now packed with 84 distinctly separate distros covering 74 gigs of SeagateSurface. I've been keeping track of them, their differences, and their commonality. All are based on the 2.2 Linux kernel or higher. Not two of them are exactly the same. There are downloadables, standard editions, professional editions, gold editions, and distros that include the latest beta and pre kernels. As my engineers would say, "there's some noise out there." Take heart, however."

"Consider the following: there are Windows 3.0, 3.1, 3.11, 3.11/WfWG, Windows 95 (seven distinct versions), Windows 98 (eight versions), Windows NT 3.51W/S, NT 4.0W/S (seven service packs), and Windows 2000 P/S/AS (and sometime this year, DC). The interoperability levels have five basic shelves: 3.X, 95, 98, NT, and 2K. Makes you want the CD franchise for Northwest Washington State...."

"The Free Standards Group emerged as a combination of the Linux Standard Base project and the Linux Internationalization Initiative. The group is headed by Dan Quinlan, who had headed the Linux Standard Base project. Indeed, that's the organization's first goal: a spec, which developers can use for apps, similar to the Linux Standard Base work. With luck, people can then download or distribute apps that have a reasonable chance of running on differing distros. That doesn't happen right now."

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