Articles / Editorial: Ransom Love

Editorial: Ransom Love

Ransom Love, General Manager of the OpenLinux Division at Caldera, Inc. states several facts regarding the positive meaning of the LSB for commercial support (ISVs) as well as for providers of Linux Business Solutions.Linux Standard Base: A means to drive mainstream acceptance and growth of Linux
by Ransom Love, General Manager of the OpenLinux Division at Caldera, Inc.

The Linux Standard Base (LSB) initiative creates a single cross-platform core Linux that current Linux providers will then build upon to create their individual products. Adhering to the LSB insures that compliant applications will run on all Linux distributions supporting the LSB. The LSB initiative needs to be developed by the combined resources of many of the leading Linux providers.

This initiative removes the barriers to the acceptance of Linux in the commercial space and will allow it to be embraced by a wider audience who can enjoy the benefits of its superior technology. We trust that all responsible Linux vendors will get behind this initiative as the surest means to drive the growth of Linux.

Currently, ISVs and key hardware providers are forced to support multiple versions of Linux. While they all share common components and are under the GPL, each provider of Linux targets different customers which often have conflicting needs. The resulting "distributions" of Linux have different drivers, libraries and varying levels of support for the components included in the packaging. When a company targeting early adopters and developers releases libraries that are not stable or tested to appeal to their customer base, ISVs are forced to make work-arounds and add to their support costs; this in addition to the burden of supporting multiple commercial Linux products. Large ISVs who are currently supporting multiple flavors of UNIX can not afford to add multiple variations of Linux. Consequently, many mainstream products are not available on Linux natively. In addition, hardware integrators who are considering Linux must choose a Linux variant and then live within the constraints that their choice imposes. This limits the growth opportunities of Linux in the OEM arena, and thus limits the overall Linux solutions available in the commercial world.

Caldera has positioned itself as the provider of Linux for Business and has recognized the need for a stable, tested, Linux base that can be deployed commercially. To solve the problem the ISVs and hardware integrators face, no single company can provide a solution. Rather, the majority of the companies providing Linux solutions need to take responsibility for easing the burdens of ISVs and hardware integrators for adopting Linux, if Linux is going to be more successful in the commercial space. As the company that has brought the most commercial applications to Linux, Caldera wholeheartedly supports the Linux Standard Base initiative.

A Linux standard supported in the spirit of Open Source software is a major step in removing the last obstacle to the main stream adoption of Linux by key hardware and software providers in the industry. This standard will facilitate an increased quantity and quality of business solutions for Linux. Caldera salutes Linux International's efforts and lends its support to promoting this much needed step in the evolution and adoption of Linux.


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