Free Standards Group Advocates Linux Desktop Project

If it is to be widely adopted, the group says, the requirements for common app runtime and install time must be standardized and adopted by key Linux distributions. Otherwise, app developers will be forced to compile to multiple instances of these libraries and distributions. With this complex and costly development and support environment, ISVs may choose not to target the Linux desktop, leading to reduced choice for end users and an inability to compete with proprietary operating systems.

The Linux Standard Base Desktop Project is designed to ease this complexity by standardizing core pieces of the Linux desktop (including libraries and other non-binary application behaviors) and encouraging ISVs to use its guidelines when developing for Linux.

The LSB Desktop Project is a sub-project of the Linux Standard Base. The LSB is modular, so distribution vendors and ISVs can target the standard that bests fits their needs. With the LSB, all parties--distribution vendors, ISVs and end users--benefit as it becomes easier and less costly for software vendors to target Linux, resulting in more applications available for the Linux platform. The vision of a standard Linux balances the needs of the competitive distribution ecosystem with the requirements of end users and independent software vendors for interoperability, the groups says.

The first specification from the LSB desktop project is slated for publication in early 2006, with certifications commencing shortly thereafter. Compliant applications that undergo certification testing will receive a "Linux Standard Base Desktop" certification mark which is in addition to the existing LSB certification program. More information on the Free Standards Group is available at Free Standards.