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LinuxWorld: Packaging and installation issues for Linux and LSB

Oct 13, 2000, 23:46 (14 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Nicholas Petreley)

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"Last week I petitioned for tangible, far-reaching results from Linux Standard Base and hope you, too, will demand results in a timely manner. Among many other things, I asked for a comprehensive self-hosting sample implementation of an LSB-compliant Linux distribution. In plain language, that means I want a standard Linux distribution anyone can install and run. Every commercial and nonprofit Linux distributor would start with this standard, and then add the unique kind of value that does not cause incompatibilities."

"Chief executive of TurboLinux Paul Thomas outlined a similar vision recently in an article published by CNet. In it, he says he envisions the consolidation of Linux distributions so that everyone ends up using the same basic distribution. Personally, I don't care whether the result comes from commercial consolidation or through standards. All I care about is that we get there."

"Linux Standard Base currently does not officially plan to deliver a comprehensive self-hosting standard implementation. Depending on whom you talk to, a standard is either a terrific or horrific idea."

"Eschewing standards is a big mistake that leads to other mistakes. For example, if one could agree on a self-hosting standard, one could solve a lot of packaging and installation problems that the LSB does not address. Right now LSB is going to declare RPM the standard package format and leave it at that. By doing so, LSB is missing the point of what users and developers really need. They don't need to be told what package format to use. They need a cohesive and intelligent plan for installing and updating applications."

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