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LinuxWorld: To fork or not to fork?

Feb 09, 2000, 00:19 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bruce Tober)

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"Forking, the development of ever-so-slight (or possibly not-so-slight) differences between versions or distribution of a program, was a great concern at the LinuxWorld Expos in both Paris and New York last week. At the former gathering, I spoke separately on the issue with Robert LeBlanc, vice president for software strategy of the IBM Software Group, and with Roland Dyroff, CEO of SuSE.

Both men noted their companies' strong support for the Linux Standards Base, the organization which is attempting to ensure interoperability and to prevent any Unix-like fragmentation of Linux."

"According to LeBlanc, 'The concern in both the US and Europe is fragmentation.' ... He said IBM has 'been actively pushing -- because we're not a distributor of Linux and we made a conscious decision that we don't foresee, at least in the near future, being a Linux distributor -- [to support] the Linux Standards Base (LSB). We're driving an effort to get the LSB incorporated.' "

"Dyroff noted that the LSB 'wants to provide a definition of a system [so] that an independent software vendor (ISV) has a target to port to.' Dyroff explained, 'That means if you are an ISV and your software works with LSB standard, then you can be sure that it properly installs and works on any Linux distribution that is compliant with that standard. While the project [has been] running now for quite a while, you should expect to get some new output very soon now.' "

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