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LinuxWorld Expo: First LSB-Certified Vendors To Be Named On Wednesday

By Jacqueline Emigh

At LinuxWorld later today, the Free Standards Group will
announce Linux Standard Base (LSB) 1.1. certification for either
three or four of the “top Linux distributions,” marking first-time
interoperability under the new standard.

To gain eligibility for approval, the distributions were first
tested by an independent testing organization under contract to the
standards group. “So it’s an unblemised process, truly pure,”
maintained Scott McNeil, executive director of the Free Standards
Group. Interoperability testing was done, as well.

The standards group plans to release the names of the certified
distributors during a press conference at 11 am (PDT) on Wednesday
in San Francisco. Also at that time, certified distributors are
expected to reveal their own timetables for product release.

According to McNeil, LSB has gained a lot of ground over the
past two years by getting support from industry players like IBM,
HP and Intel. Completion of the certification process will quash
any previous criticism that LSB “is just another paper standard,”
he predicted.

After five years of work on the Linux interoperability standard,
the Free Standards Group launched LSB 1.1 at the New York City
component of Linuxworld last January.

Linux distributors belonging to the group include Red Hat,
MandrakeSoft, and The Debian Project, along with Caldera, SuSE,
Turbolinux, and Conectiva, the four vendors who teamed up to form
UnitedLinux last May.

Red Hat, an early instigator behind LSB, hosted the Free
Standards Group’s very first meeting years ago. About 80 percent of
LSB code comes from Red Hat, according to McNeil.

Later, though, Red Hat refused to support LSB 1.0, the
predecessor to 1.1. In January, engineers at Red Hat pointed to
1.0’s “lack of a test suite and certification method” as the reason
why.

The Linux Internationalization Initiative (li18nux), an emerging
companion standard from the Free Standards Group, is based on code
from Turbolinux. A certification program for li18nux is expected to
be announced at the press conference later today as well.

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