Ask any independent software vendor what he hates most about developing for Linux and he’ll tell you that it’s having to develop for SUSE and for Red Hat and for Ubuntu and … you get the idea. The Linux Foundation has just released a beta of a new program, Linux Application Checker (AppChecker), that’s going to make ISVs and other programmers start to love developing for Linux.
AppChecker, now in beta 3, is a downloadable open source Linux program. Once installed, the program shows you a Web page, the LSB Database Navigator. Here, you click on the Application Check link. This presents you with a Web form interface to fill out. In this form, you’ll enter a name for your report and Name field, and in the Components field you’ll enter the file path for your application. Next, enter the application’s individual files, directories, installed RPM packages (prepended with pkg:),; RPM and .deb package files, and tar.gz and tar.bz2 archives. To make this manageable, click on the Select Application Components button so you can enter each item in a separate field. Next, select the LSB Version and LSB Profile you want to test against.
You then let AppChecker rip. It will automatically decompress archives and start testing. The program will check out your ELF (Executable and Linking Format, a.k.a. binary files), Perl, Python, and shell scripts. So far, this doesn’t sound much more than just another fancied-up version of the forerunner of all program checkers, lint, but it’s what AppChecker does next that will make it a must for any Linux software developer.