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19 February 2008, 13:36

Linux Standard Base 3.2 ready

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Six months later than planned, the Linux Foundation has released Linux Standard Base (LSB) 3.2. The new version, which according to the roadmap should have appeared in August 2007, extends the specification to include support for the Perl and Python scripting languages, optional support for the ALSA sound system libasound API and adds printing interfaces. FreeType and XRender support also find their way into LSB 3.2. The Qt4 GUI library, the producer of which has recently been taken over by Nokia, and which is used by the new KDE4, replaces the older Qt3 as the graphics toolkit of choice.

LSB compatible software should run on all distributions which support the standard. A specific Linux Foundation working group concerns itself with ongoing development of the standard. In LSB 3.2, new 'trial use' modules replace the previous 'optional' modules. These add new functionality which will be adopted in the next version to the standard. Their optional character means that Linux distributors are not obliged to support them. LSB 3.2 accords trial status to support for ALSA and for xdg-utils, developed by the Portland Project. The latter helps create an interim layer independent of the specific desktop environment in use. It implements standard actions, such as opening or printing files or adding new programs to start menus, so that they should work on any desktop.


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