Linux Desktop Review
by Web Editor
Here's a look at some of the Linux desktop news from the past week:
LSB Desktop Project
The Free Standards Group and the Linux Standard Base this week announced their new project to help further the implementation of Linux on the desktop. The LSB Desktop Project intends to work towards the standardization of many runtime and installation time requirements across various Linux distributions. By doing so, both software and hardware developers will be able to develop new products more easily that will work on the Linux desktop, regardless of which distribution is being used.
According to the Free Standards Group's press release, the goals of the LSB Desktop Project are to "Standardize the desktop toolkits and other commonly used libraries, [and] Extend the core packaging specification to address desktop specific installation issues". This means independent software vendors will be more able to develop for Linux as a single platform, without having to make specific tweaks and changes for various distributions.
The LSB Desktop Project also announced it has 13 vendor members so far, including Adobe, IBM, HP, Linspire, Mandriva, Novell, RealNetworks, Red Hat, Trolltech and Xandros. The presence of vendors of this size suggests that Linux is a solid contender in the important desktop market.
Guidelines also will be available from the project for ISVs to use in developing applications that are compliant with the new standards. The LSB Desktop Project plans to publish its first specification in early 2006, to be followed shortly thereafter by certification. Applications that pass the certification test will receive a Linux Standard Base Desktop certification mark vouching for their compliance.
Indonesia's New National Desktop
As part of the Indonesia Goes Open Source (IGOS) program, the Ministry of Research and Technology of Indonesia recently announced that a Java Desktop System (JDS) on Linux will be the new national standard desktop. JDS is Sun Microsystems Linux desktop program. It will be customized for the Indonesian culture and will have an IGOS-branded software stack. Sun will provide support and marketing service for the project. IGOS will start the JDS on Linux installations in government offices and then move on to other installations nationwide.
It's really new and not quite at click-and-run status yet, but the Flock Web browser now can be downloaded and experimented with here. Flock is a freely available open-source browser based on Mozilla Firefox that combines several tasks and applications in one place. It can, for example, be used to post blog entries, create and share photo albums and create and share favorite Web site lists. Flock also has a built-in RSS feed for scanning headlines. Aimed mostly at the ever-growing blogging population, Flock so far has partnerships with Flickr and del.icio.us. Flock is calling this release a Developer's Preview and doesn't suggest anyone use it as the primary browser just yet. The group hopes to have a Consumer version ready by December.