Standards are important for Linux, especially when they define the base operating components both Linux distributions and software vendors can develop against.
The goal of the Linux Standards Base (LSB) has long been to be the base that helps to prevent Linux fragmentation and promote inter-Linux vendor interoperability.
The LSB defines a core set of APIs and libraries so ISVs can develop and port applications that will work on LSB-certified Linux distributions.
The latest version of LSB extends the mission with updated features bringing the standard in-line with what vendors now need in a Linux distribution.
"I think the most important things in this release are the Perl and Python inclusions," Amanda McPherson, marketing director at The Linux Foundation, told InternetNews.com.
"Linux is the key platform for Web 2.0 development, which often includes Perl and Python applications."
LSB 3.2 also includes improved printing driver interfaces and printer driver support, which McPherson noted are important for printing suppliers, distros, and most important, users.
Major inclusions in the 3.2 release are the Freedesktop.org standards that provide for a Linux desktop environment, including menus and icon themes.
With the new LSB release, McPherson commented that the LSB is getting closer to the ideal of a single package for all distros.
"Even for ISVs, where we don't include every library they need, our standardization means that the differences between distros are extremely small, which reduces the ISV's effort," McPherson commented. "But with 3.1 and particularly 3.2, we are now a comprehensive enough standard that a single cross-distro package is feasible for a number of ISVs."