Ian Murdock, cat herder

Murdock has penned in more market cap than Microsoft has, and is building something solid on that base that applications can be written to, regardless of distribution or user interface. Write your program to the LSB, in other words, and it will run on Novell or Ubuntu, under KDE or GNOME.

On Monday, the Free Standards Group will launch a new version of the Linux Standard Base.

AP broke an embargo on this story Saturday, but I've been sitting on an interview with FSG CTO Ian Murdock since Thursday and there's one word from that interview that stands out.

Endurance.

In other words this platform is here for the long haul. Murdock explained:

We’ve brought some key stakeholders in the standard to he table – RedHat, Novell, Ubuntu, ISVs and projects.

They’re much more active in what’s going to be in the road map of the LSB going forward. We’ve been asking their questions and trying to build a meta-platform.

Clearly there is a lot of synchronization and coordination going on, putting in the infrastructure we need, aggregating the information that developers require to target Linux, and building the kinds of tools necessary for application developers to target Linux.

This is important. The advantage of a proprietary system is that a vendor can set a standard, or change a standard, and force everyone to follow. Building a truly open standard, on the other hand, is like herding cats.

Murdock has penned in more market cap than Microsoft has, and is building something solid on that base that applications can be written to, regardless of distribution or user interface. Write your program to the LSB, in other words, and it will run on Novell or Ubuntu, under KDE or GNOME.

When Microsoft makes an announcement like this there are lights flashing and big headlines. When they discuss changes this big at a Microsoft Development Network forum, there are huge crowds and klieg lights.

My point is, don't let the lack of folderol fool you. These guys are building a market. Serve it and prosper. (Meow.)

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