Linux Foundation Rolls Out Third Beta of the Developer's Dream
The Linux Foundation — those foster-ers of growth who, among other important things, keep Linus Torvalds a-coding — have just released an app that will reportedly ignite a passion among programmers for Linux development. What is this tool with Cupid-like powers, you ask? A shiny little program called the Linux Application Checker, which just hit its third beta.
So, what's so amour-eliciting? At a basic level, LAC tests applications for portability — compatibility with various versions of Linux. As others have pointed out, this isn't a new feature in itself. What is, however, is the checking that takes place; not only does the LAC test against the various versions of the Linux Standards Base, but also against the thirty Linux distributions certified as LSB-compliant. If the technical details of how it does it whet your whistle, check the technical aspects section of the LSA's about page.
Like any good diagnostic, when it finishes, it provides a report of its findings. The report tells the developer how portable their application is, including a list of which distributions should support the application, as well as which ones won't, and why. When it runs into a distribution that has missing or incompatible interfaces, it identifies them, and then provides replacement suggestions. And, if that weren't enough, it also does what it was originally conceived to do: report on the applications' progress towards LSB compliance.
The Linux Application Checker is still in beta — albeit its third — so users are advised to handle with care, but we expect good things from this one. More information, as well as downloads, are available from the Linux Foundation's LAB page. As always with beta software, be sure to report any problems back to the Linux Foundation, and drop by the comments here to let us know what you think.
Justin Ryan is a Contributing Editor for Linux Journal.
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