A specification that would help Linux developers write applications that they can be sure can be ported to all generally available distributions of the operating system has been posted on the web for public review.
A beta version of the Linux Development Platform Specification (LDPS) will be subject to a review until the end of this week, after which the Free Standards Group, whose contributors include Linux creator Linus Torvalds, hopes to release a completed specification.
After this time, the group recommends that independent software vendors create binary versions of their applications using distributions conforming to the LDPS.
In a statement on its website, the group said: "LDPS isn't intended to be a standard which tells distributions what to do. Rather, it's a recommendation to third-party developers about how they can create binaries that are likeliest to be portable."
A companion committee to the group, the Linux Standard Base, is developing a complete standard for cross-distribution development of applications that will supersede this interim specification. If the superseding specification is not available by 31 December 2000, the LDPS will be updated by that date.
Jon Collins, a senior analyst at Bloor Research, said standards for portability between different Linux distributions are only part of the story of encouraging application development.
"In order to entice corporates Linux needs a richer development environment. Better modelling tools and configuration management is needed," said Collins.
In a separate move within the Linux development community, Caldera today announced its Linux 2.4 Technology Developer Release Preview will ship on 31 July. The preview release enables early software development with a beta version of the new Linux 2.4 kernel, Sun Microsystems' Java Hotspot and Server Virtual Machines technology, as well as a beta preview of Java 2 platform for Linux version 1.3.
The latest C/C++ Linux and other website development tools are also included in the release.
The LDPS is located at: http://www.freestandards.org/ldps/
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