The Standards Blog

Welcoming Brian Proffitt (and looking forward to the LDN)

Open Source/Open Standards

Although I'm a little late doing so, I'd like to add my voice to Amanda McPherson's in welcoming Brian Proffitt to the Linux Foundation.  Amanda is the Linux Foundation's Vice President, Marketing and Developer Programs, and posted the official welcome on Thursday at the Linux Foundation Web site here.

As I expect just about every reader of this blog knows, Brian has been the Managing Editor of LinuxToday for quite a few years (as well as Managing Editor of various other Jupiter Media properties: LinuxPlanet, Enterprise Linux Today, AllLinuxDevices, LinuxPR, and JustLinux).  If you missed it, you can find Brian's  farewell column at LinuxToday here.  As he disclosed there, his new role will be to help launch the Linux Foundation's new Linux Developer Network site and project, which Amanda has been already been working on for some time.  When it launches, Brian will be its Community Manager and Editor.  After almost 8 years at JupiterMedia, there are few people that know every part of the Linux landscape, and those that live, develop and write (both positively and negatively) in and around that landscape as well as Brian.  We're both lucky and delighted to have Brian aboard.

I'm particularly happy that I'll be able to continue to work with Brian, as he has been a great friend to me here, linking to hundreds of my blog entries over the last several years.  It's fair to say that many of you would never have learned of this blog but for Brian's deciding that what I was writing here might be of interest to the Linux community.  I am quite appropriately grateful for his willingness to pull what I had to say out of the fire hose of information that he had to deal with on a daily basis.

I think that what Brian will be doing at the Linux Foundation will be of interest to you, so here are some of the details on what you can expect from Brian and the Linux Developer Network in the near future.

First, some details from Amanda's blog entry:

I’m very pleased to welcome Brian Proffitt to the Linux Foundation. Brian will be serving as the community manager and editor for the Linux Developer Network. We’re extremely lucky to lure Brian away from Jupiter Media, where he built a thriving community and reported on Linux for such publications as Linux Today and Linux Planet.

Adding a community manager for the Linux Developer Network is an  important move for us. The LDN, while not launched yet, we hope will become a central place for the community to collaborate. As Brian mentions in this excellent article in OSstatic, the LDN will be the public-facing manifestation of all things LSB, meaning it will assist developers in writing portable applications for Linux.

But that’s certainly not all it will be. We want to make it easier for application developers to target Linux in general. We have designed the LDN  to hopefully provide a central place for collaboration and problem solving across the application development community. We also hope that other Linux loving folks may join the conversation on the site. This could evolve to include driver development, embedded, mobile, Cloud computing, general Linux documentation and so on. It’s a community site, and just like Linux, its direction will be set by those who use and participate in it.

And now some details from the OSstatic article Amanda mentions above:

OStatic: What is the Linux Foundation trying to achieve with LDN?

Brian Proffitt: The idea of LDN is to provide a living, breathing front to the Linux Standard Base (LSB). The LSB is something the entire community needs... a set of standardized specs that will give private and commercial developers a target to which to write their apps. But it's one thing to say, "hey, here's this really cool LSB, code to this" and actually getting people to understand why they should use the LSB and then understand how to use the LSB. That's where the LDN comes in.

And that's not just "howto" from the 20,000-foot level. The LDN will provide detailed tutorials and guidelines for developers (new and veteran) to start coding their applications, appliances, drivers. That's just the start, too. As Linux grows into areas like cloud computing, embedded, the site will grow to accommodate those areas.

The LSB, as you may or may not know, is the most significant carry-over project of the Free Standards Group which merged with OSDL a year ago February.  You can learn more about the LSB, find a development roadmap, and much more here.  All major distros have been certified to the LSB for some time (you can see which distros are certified to which LSB releases here), but last year work on the LSB picked up considerably, with the funding of a major development project to extend its benefits more directly to ISVs as well.

I think that you'll find that there will be a great deal of interest to be found at the LDN in the very near future.  With Brian's help, you'll be assured that what you'll find will be well selected, wisely analyzed, and an interesting read as well.  Stay tuned.

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