DCCA Gets Ready for Its Grand Unveiling

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More details are leaking out about the Debian Core Consortium, which will be announced at next week's LinuxWorld Conference & Expo in San Francisco.

First, the group will not be named DCC (Debian Core Consortium) after all.

The public relations manager of desktop Linux vendor Linspire Inc., Heather MacKenzie, revealed that the "the DCC's official name is the Debian Common Core Alliance."

The DCCA (Debian Common Core Alliance) is an apt name. Sources within the Alliance said that "there will be a single set of packages, bit-identical to Debian Sarge in most if not all cases, that the participating distributions will share."

"So, there will be a tangible Debian Common Core that you can download, that you can base a distribution on, and that you can certify to if you are an ISV[independent software vendor] or an IHV [independent hardware vendor]."

Some members of the alliance had hoped for more.
One said he feared that "The DCC is turning into an 'open-source project.'" He said he had hoped for the DCC to be more like the late UnitedLinux, with its single common server distribution.

Still, you could, according to one insider, use such existing Debian-based distributions as Progeny Linux System Inc.'s Componentized Linux.

"In terms of what those packages are specifically, the Componentized Linux Core has one definition of 'core' that we are taking into account as we build the DCC, but it's certainly not the only one. Naturally, we'll be adapting the CL Core to reflect the group's definition of core once we've reached consensus on that," he said.

Conversations will continue at LinuxWorld on the DCCA's Core technical specifications.

The Core will, in addition, to Debian Sarge, be built on LSB (Linux Standard Base) 3.0.

Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Free Standards Group, the organization behind the LSB, will be speaking at the DCCA's launch Tuesday at LinuxWorld.

The DCCA membership list has firmed up.
DCCA's membership will be made up of credativ GmbH (site in German), Knoppix, LinEx (site in Spanish), Linspire, MEPIS LLC, Progeny Linux Systems Inc., Sun Wah Linux Ltd., UserLinux, and Xandros Inc.

Two companies, Skolelinux and VA Linux Systems Japan, which were involved early on, have elected not to join the group.

Shuji Sado, VA Linux Japan's VP of marketing, said, "In fact, VA Linux has decided not to join the consortium at this time."

The single largest player in the Debian Linux universe that won't be working with the alliance will be Ubuntu.

DCCA sources said that the Ubuntu Foundation and co-founder Mark Shuttleworth were approached about joining the Alliance, but the group expressed no interest in joining.

One DCCA supporter was upset by Shuttleworth's decision. "Rather than sit on the sidelines criticizing Debian, he should join with the others in the DCC alliance and help support and move Debian to a good place."

By Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols
eWeek