Expanded ISV Support Gives Linux More Bite

The Free Standards Group is announcing significant ISV support for the Linux Standards Base, which it claims proves to end users that they can "trust Linux with their data and applications."

The Free Standards Group, which has just appointed Arthur Tyde—former CEO and co-founder of Linuxcare, now known as Levanta Inc.—as its chief technology officer, is embarking on an aggressive campaign to recruit independent software vendors as members.

The FSG, which provides the Linux Standards Base specification, last year released Version 2.0 of the Linux Standard Base with the full support of all major Linux distributions, but large-scale ISV support remained the missing link.

But the group will announce on Monday that it has raised significant ISV support for the LSB, including pledges from software vendors including Novell Inc., Oracle Corp., IBM, BakBone Software, Levanta Inc., Lymeware, MySQL and Veritas.

It has also added 13 new members, such as Beijing Co-Create Software, Covalent Technologies, Fortify Software, Hyperic, Red Flag and Search Cacher. They will all embrace the LSB as well as contribute to the various working groups developing that technology, FSG Executive Director Jim Zemlin told eWEEK in an interview.

"This broad range of ISV support further proves to end users that they can trust Linux with their data and applications and that we are committed to safeguarding the future of Linux through open standards," Zemlin said.

"We are seeing people starting to get really serious now about the need for more mainstream applications on the Linux platform. While there are already a lot of applications on the Linux platform, there are many more on the server side than on the desktop," he said.

The Linux Standard Base specification contains a base set of APIs, libraries and interoperability standards. It also includes test suites, development environments, sample implementations and developer documentation.

One of key benefits of a standardized Linux platform is that application vendors could easily target the platform and be assured that their applications would run anywhere in the world on any of the different Linux distributions, Zemlin told eWEEK.

"Those ISVs who have joined the FSG are showing how important it is for them to have this kind of a standard. Also, programs like IBMs Chiphopper, of which the LSB is a component, are going out and pledging to bring more applications onto the Linux platform by making it easier for application vendors to develop to, and target, the platform," Zemlin said.

IBM is also working with both Red Hat Inc. and Novells SuSE Linux to get ISVs to consider Linux on Big Blue hardware and middleware.

/zimages/5/28571.gifClick here to read more about IBM promoting Linux to ISVs.

The industry is very close to having applications written for Linux run on all the different Linux distributions without modification. "The fact that all the major Linux distribution vendors in the world have committed to the standard is evidence of this. But there is no strict deadline or timetable for when all vendors need to be compliant with the LSB," Zemlin said.

The fact that there is a big influx of new members into the FSG, along with additional funding and the hiring of a management team including CTO Tyde, who currently sits on the boards of directors of Sputnik Inc. and SpecOps Labs Inc., is a sign that "at end of the day the LSB will be a strong standard with a hugely strong ecosystem of vendors who write to it and ecosystem of application vendors who write to that," Zemlin said.

"Arts experience supporting applications across multiple distributions and building the first Linux certification program makes him uniquely qualified to provide technical leadership to the FSG," he said.

Next Page: FSG funding on the rise.