A Standardized Linux Desktop?

New effort from the Free Standards Group aims to help create specifications and standards for the Linux desktop.
Standardized Linux desktop components are needed in order for the Linux desktop to achieve widespread adoption, according to the Free Standards Group (FSG).

The popular GNOME and KDE environments are among the more popular Linux desktops, as well as up and comers like the Xfce environment. Though efforts are underway to help create some compatibility between the various desktops, to date there has not been a standards body effort to create a Linux desktop standard.

To that end, the FSG is spearheading an initiative called The Linux Standard Base Desktop Project with the aim of standardizing core pieces of the Linux desktop. The effort has already gained support from a who's who of Linux industry vendors, including Red Hat, Novell, IBM, HP, Intel and Adobe.

The Linux Standard Base Desktop Project will be run as a subproject of the FSG's most notable effort, the Linux Standards Base (LSB), which recently released version 3.0 of its specification.

''While the desktop does make use of parts of the existing LSB (file hierarchy, config files, etc) the LSB has not covered libraries and install behaviors unique to the desktop,'' Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Free Standards Group, told internetnews.com.

The Linux Standard Base Desktop Project is looking to standardize on a base set of libraries, APIs and interoperability standards. When completed, the specification will also include developer documentation, example implementations, as well as test suites and development environments. Applications that comply with the standard and past certification testing will be eligible to receive a certification mark indicating Linux Standard Base Desktop compliance.

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