"When Burst.com Inc. decided to port its software to Linux, the
company ran head-on into a dilemma: which distribution to run the
firm's software on. That's because the San Francisco, Calif.
streaming media software supplier quickly discovered--as have many
other independent software vendors--that it couldn't just port its
code once and have it run on all flavors of Linux. The differences
between the various Linux distributions meant that a separate
porting effort would be required for each one. "
"A new ad hoc consortium, the Free Standards Group, is outlining
a common set of features that will enable application software to
run on all Linux distributions without being recompiled. The group,
which brings together two existing Linux standards efforts, the
Linux Standard Base (LSB) and the Linux Internationalization
Initiative (LI18NUX), expects the first fruits of those efforts to
emerge later this year. "
"The problem carries a touch of irony. When the operating
system first started to gain attention, application portability was
viewed as one of its major selling points. Unlike Unix vendors,
Linux distributors all work with the same operating system kernel,
which should have enabled third parties to run their applications
on various distributions with little or no effort."
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