- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: IBM Press (November 8, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0131456954
- ISBN-13: 978-0131456952
- Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.9 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,663,654 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Building Applications with the Linux Standard Base
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From the Back Cover
Praise for the Linux Standard Base
“Community-built software and community-built standards are two sides of the same coin. Standards help ensure that the freedom to invent, the essence of open source and Linux, doesn’t compromise the ability to write software that works together effectively. The LSB is an important set of standards for the Linux community.”
—Brian Behlendorf, Apache Software Foundation, CollabNet
“With the recent success of the LSB and the adoption on a wide scale of the LSB standards, building applications that are standards-compliant has become a much easier and more necessary part of the development on Linux as a platform.”
—Jeffrey “Hemos” Bates, Editor, Slashdot.org
“In the days before the LSB, every change and every improvement we wanted to make to our Linux product was subject to somebody saying, ‘But wait! I depend on that!’ The LSB laid out what interfaces were defined and how they should be used. Since the LSB was adopted, we have been free to innovate without fear of breaking somebody else’s assumptions. The success of the LSB recommended it as the starting point for the U.S. Department of Defense’s Common Operating Environment (COE) specification for Linux. Without the LSB, there would be no COE-certified Red Hat products today.”
—Michael Tiemann, Chief Technology Officer, Red Hat, Inc.
“As an active LSB member, SUSE LINUX is committed both to providing customers with standardized Linux technology and to simplifying ISV’s and IHV’s Linux certification efforts. The availability of common standards plays a decisive role in the proliferation of Linux operating systems and applications on server and client systems worldwide, and we appreciate the LSB project’s work in developing and promoting these standards.”
—Markus Rex, General Manager of SUSE LINUX for Novell
“We are very happy to see the progress of LSB, both in the definition of the standard and in its broad support. LSB is an important part of our strategy and MandrakeSoft will continue to support the efforts of LSB to define a standardized ABI and encourage ISVs to build and certify to this standard.”
—Francois Bancilhon, Chief Executive Officer, MandrakeSoft
“The launch of the LSB is a significant development for the Linux community. For the very first time in history, a common binary computing environment will be able to be shared across different systems from different vendors. The LSB will play a pivotal role in ensuring the proper development of the Linux market. Sun Wah Linux is excited about this phenomenon and is dedicated to supporting LSB’s future efforts and endeavors.”
—Alex Banh, Chief Executive Officer, Sun Wah Linux, P.R.C.
An initiative of the Free Standards Group, the Linux Standard Base (LSB) is a set of standards designed to increase compatibility among Linux distributions and enable applications to run on any LSB-compliant system. The advent of LSB 2.0 is revolutionary in that it allows ISVs to create “shrink-wrapped software” for the Linux platform much in the same way they already do for Windows.
Written by the team that created the LSB, Building Applications with the Linux Standard Base shows developers how to create, test, and certify software for LSB 2.0 compliance. The book’s hands-on approach lets readers quickly understand how to write Linux applications that are portable across multiple distributions, including those from SuSE, Mandrake, and Solaris. The accompanying CD-ROM contains the full LSB 2.0 specification and the sample program files used in the book.
- LSB coding practices
- Software packing and installation issues
- UNIX-to-Linux migration tips
- Testing Linux distribution and applications for LSB compatibility
- Examples of applications using the LSB
- Relevant standards for Linux
About the Author
The book’s authors are all core members of the Linux Standard Base team, the group responsible for creating the LSB specification.
Top customer reviews
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Well, in linux, we are not quite at this wonderful destination. The intent of this book is to help move us along. It describes what constitutes the LSB. If you are a linux developer, you can see how to code to a layer that is portable. Plus, the LSB sets out certain good coding practices in C, C++ and Java. Undoubtedly, similar such will eventually be added for other languages. Also, you are shown how to standardise on using RPM to package your application.
The LSB also offers a vital certification process that is vendor independent. With a series of test suites for more robust coding.
A reassuring aspect of the book is that several authors hail from 3 companies - IBM, HP and Intel. The authors are striving to avoid a rerun of the unix balkanisation, and the book speaks well to that goal.
I've been involved with IBM products and documentation since the late 70's, and their documentation has traditionally come in two flavors: user's guides, and reference manuals. This book falls more to the reference manual side of the spectrum. Consequently, reading it cover-to-cover was a little dry, but the information needed to get an application certified with the Linux Standard Base (LSB) was clearly laid out.
Building Applications with the Linux Standard Base is laid out in five large parts: Introduction, Developing LSB Applications, Certifying for the LSB, Contributing to the LSB Project, and Using LSB Resources. Except for the first part (Introduction), the book gives specific examples, and many, many references to the opengroup.org website's sections on the LSB.
It becomes obvious as you go through the book that the Linux Standard Base is still evolving. The authors (13 core members of the LSB team) frequently allude to how the project can (and should) be extended to increase its scope and sophistication. Two chapters (Adding New Interfaces... and Adding New Architectures...) cover (albeit skimpily) what's needed to update the specification.
First, you're given, in detail, the do's and don'ts of coding practices. Then it explains carefully how the application should be packaged for distribution (RPM), and next provides a section on porting Solaris apps to the LSB. Another part goes over the LSB Certification process. Both runtime environments (distros) and applications are covered. The last part in the book talks about the various resources available: the written spec, the test suites, and various usage guides.
In each chapter, step-by-step instructions are given when appropriate. Differences in filesystem hierarchy, signal handling, and program options are all laid out to help you through. This step-by-step approach shows a lot of thought went into making sure you will have a certifiable (in a good way) application.
All in all, Building Applications with the Linux Standard Base has what you need if you're developing a commercial-grade Linux distribution or application. Once your product has passed the testing described inside, you can be confidant that it will work on almost anything Linux. Very dry reading, but a lot of useful information packed into a slim 246 pages. I'd give it a 3 for writing style, but a 4 for content: total=4/5 stars.
The information is well organized and the coverage is thorough and timely. I can only fault the book for it's tone. So I'm going to give it a reasonable ranking. I wouldn't buy this book unless you need to. It's not a fun weekend read.
There are absolutely no hints on how to turn a non LSB program into a conforming one. No listing of libs that you can use to statically link to. All this is left to you. Instead of giving a application programmer tips, they describe how the comittee voting is done, how you can send a huge cheque (1000US$) to them to get a formal certificate and how Linux distribution vendors can get some help. The only intersting information are the 50 pages about how to use the test suite and the sample implementation. But again it is just the information from the (not very well designed) website.
It's just a dry read and it's just the same information you get from the LSB website.
LSB is a good standard and i hope that it is successfull. With 3.2 it's the first time i was able to create a good desktop application that almost conforms to it. The book is just a good buy if you don't know anything and don't care about 30$ for a better offline reading in you bed or a good restaurant.