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Ubuntu considers “huge” change that would end traditional release cycle (ars technica)

Ubuntu considers “huge” change that would end traditional release cycle (ars technica)

Posted Jan 25, 2013 20:24 UTC (Fri) by khim (subscriber, #9252)
In reply to: Ubuntu considers “huge” change that would end traditional release cycle (ars technica) by raven667
Parent article: Ubuntu considers “huge” change that would end traditional release cycle (ars technica)

That's the LSB way more than the PulseAudio/systemd way.

LSB way fails for very simple reason: a lot of "useful and obvious" stuff is done in different way on different distros. How to show a notification? How to play sound or video? How to add your program as a default handler for files it creates? All these task are not standardized by LSB because different distributions do this differently - but these are mundane tasks which are needed to be supported for good user experience! Windows supported them twenty years ago and Android supported them from the day one!

Sadly it does not look like we have anyone who can do such API: Canonical is too small and RedHat ignores desktop. Thus we are stuck with this hodge-podge for now. Perhaps Valve can solve this problem? We'll see.


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Ubuntu considers “huge” change that would end traditional release cycle (ars technica)

Posted Jan 25, 2013 20:37 UTC (Fri) by raven667 (subscriber, #5198) [Link]

> How to show a notification? How to play sound or video? How to add your program as a default handler for files it creates? All these task are not standardized by LSB

This is an unfair test of whether the "LSB way" works or doesn't work, comparing apples and giraffes, because the examples you have used are not components which are part of the LSB. You seem to be arguing a claim that no one made. Just be cause there is a standardized platform dosen't mean that user apps which use the platform will automatically standardize to one solution per problem, there will be more than one web browser for example.

Ubuntu considers “huge” change that would end traditional release cycle (ars technica)

Posted Jan 26, 2013 0:46 UTC (Sat) by khim (subscriber, #9252) [Link]

This is an unfair test of whether the "LSB way" works or doesn't work, comparing apples and giraffes, because the examples you have used are not components which are part of the LSB.

And that's exactly my point.

You seem to be arguing a claim that no one made.

Perhaps we have different ideas about what makes platform, well... platform? IMNSHO platform is something which can be used as basis for something bigger. And you've said I would add that creating a platform doesn't always mean adding new code and creating an N+1 problem, it can just be a matter of re-defining code that already exists as part of the stable platform. That's the LSB way more than the PulseAudio/systemd way.

Well, if you want to present LSB as a platform then it's abject failure as a platform: you can only build things which will look more-or-less acceptable in the quarter-century old environment and even by standards of the PC world back then it'll quite limiting. Amiga and Atari supported multimedia back in 1985... and even IBM-PC-derived world joined the club in 1991!

If you mean platform is in "something you can spend a lot of time round and get a lot of pointless certificates with" then yes, LSB is a success, but I'm not sure why anyone will want this kind of "platform".

Or may be you want to say that there was not enough time to create usable platform out of LSB? Surely you jest: it's over ten years old! Android was not even dreamed up when LSB was already at version 1.0!

To create coherent platform someone must spend time to select components for said platform. Components needed to create applications the real users would like to use. GNOME, KDE, etc are doing that, but then they fail on the ABI side (there are no GNOME SDK or KDE SDK with some finalized ABI), LSB succeeds on SDK side but then fails on the usefulness side. In the end Linux does not have usable desktop platform (server side is simpler since LSB is more-or-less sufficient there), which is kind of sad.

Ubuntu considers “huge” change that would end traditional release cycle (ars technica)

Posted Jan 26, 2013 11:58 UTC (Sat) by oak (guest, #2786) [Link]

> Or may be you want to say that there was not enough time to create usable platform out of LSB? Surely you jest: it's over ten years old! Android was not even dreamed up when LSB was already at version 1.0!

Was LSB 1.0 aimed at desktop or server?

LSB 4.1 seems to have made xdg-utils a required "submodule":
http://www.linuxfoundation.org/collaborate/workgroups/lsb...

So one can e.g open mail and browser in standard way...

Ubuntu considers “huge” change that would end traditional release cycle (ars technica)

Posted Jan 26, 2013 18:49 UTC (Sat) by khim (subscriber, #9252) [Link]

So one can e.g open mail and browser in standard way...

That's cool, but can I actually register my own program as a web browser? Android offered this ability in version 1.0.

Basically LSB is an eclectic set of random technologies and not a cohesive platform because it includes only "mature" things. That's not a way to attract application developers.

Ubuntu considers “huge” change that would end traditional release cycle (ars technica)

Posted Jan 27, 2013 16:12 UTC (Sun) by mathstuf (subscriber, #69389) [Link]

There's xdg-mime, but last I checked, xdg-open didn't use it as a fallback if the KDE, GNOME, or XFCE launchers weren't found (it just gives up and tries $BROWSER and firefox.

This data point probably just goes proves your point about LSB anyways :) .

Ubuntu considers “huge” change that would end traditional release cycle (ars technica)

Posted Jan 29, 2013 3:58 UTC (Tue) by rahulsundaram (subscriber, #21946) [Link]

Please file a bug report about this.

Ubuntu considers “huge” change that would end traditional release cycle (ars technica)

Posted Jan 30, 2013 23:08 UTC (Wed) by mathstuf (subscriber, #69389) [Link]

It actually seems to have been fixed since I last checked (maybe a few years ago).

Ubuntu considers “huge” change that would end traditional release cycle (ars technica)

Posted Jan 26, 2013 19:31 UTC (Sat) by raven667 (subscriber, #5198) [Link]

> Well, if you want to present LSB as a platform then it's abject failure as a platform: you can only build things which will look more-or-less acceptable in the quarter-century old environment

That's making a different claim than what I was trying to communicate, you are claiming that the LSB platform didn't go far enough for desktop use, that's a fair point but not the one we are arguing about. When I talk of the "LSB way" I am referring to the ability to wrangle multiple independent projects in a standardized way across distributions as opposed to having all the projects under one roof, like BSD, by writing code to replace them all for example.

There is a question as to whether you can wrangle the independent projects to standardize and provide a sufficient ABI and that is where analysis of the LSB and its suitability in the space that it operates would be helpful to see how it could or wouldn't work for a full desktop.

Ubuntu considers “huge” change that would end traditional release cycle (ars technica)

Posted Jan 26, 2013 21:52 UTC (Sat) by khim (subscriber, #9252) [Link]

That's making a different claim than what I was trying to communicate, you are claiming that the LSB platform didn't go far enough for desktop use, that's a fair point but not the one we are arguing about.

LSB is not all that adequate for server either. It actually does not even try to do that: you can not install and use any server package without some manual configuration (something similar to SBS). How can you create server packages if you don't know how SQL database should be accessed or where to put files to make the accessible via web server? And if manual configuration is part of the deal you don't need LSB or anything like this: knowledgeable person can even transplant stuff designed for Debian to RHEL or vice versa.

When I talk of the "LSB way" I am referring to the ability to wrangle multiple independent projects in a standardized way across distributions as opposed to having all the projects under one roof, like BSD, by writing code to replace them all for example.

You are talking as if LSB succeeded. It's not. It's failure. How many LSB-certified programs are out there? How many admins are using them instead of distro-specific packages?

Nobody uses LSB and nobody will till it'll provide complete solution. And it'll not happen till someone will force resolution of some thorny issues. You are right: you don't need to have "all the projects under one roof": successful platforms (like MacOS or Android) often include whole projects from outside (MacOS includes bash from GNU and python from Python Software Foundation). But you absolutely do need someone who'll decide what approach will be used to solve thorny problems. LSB-style we'll-only-include-timetested-pieces-which-trigger-no-controversy does not produce a usable platform.

Ubuntu considers “huge” change that would end traditional release cycle (ars technica)

Posted Jan 29, 2013 1:37 UTC (Tue) by peter-b (subscriber, #66996) [Link]

To the contrary, KDE does have a stable ABI. Any binary compiled against KDE 4.x libraries is guaranteed to run unmodified against any KDE 4.y libraries where y >= x.

Ubuntu considers “huge” change that would end traditional release cycle (ars technica)

Posted Jan 30, 2013 9:04 UTC (Wed) by ovitters (subscriber, #27950) [Link]

Same for GNOME. We've been doing that since 2.x, but oh well :P


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