The LSB 3.0 was released this month by the FSG. The Free Standards Group is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the use of free and open source software by developing and promoting standards.
The Linux Standard Base (LSB) is a core standard for the Linux operating system that encourages interoperability between applications and the platform. It includes a written binary interface specification, a set of test suites for both distributions and applications writing to the standard, and a sample implementation for testing purposes.
The OpenI18N Standard (formerly Li18nux) is the internationalization standard for application developers writing for Linux and other platforms. The OpenI18N Workgroup has led the development of an open framework for internationalization and localization, including a written specification and test suite.
Many of the popular Linux distributions support the standards. The importance of standards is to allow software developer, vendors and users to easily develop/sell/use software, without too much worry as to how it will perform in a particular linux platform. There is also no need to develop the same software for different platfoms. This will save money and time for developers and Independent Software Vendors (ISV).
Much more important than all this is that, standards will allow interoperability to reallly work . This will give the freedom to exchange information between any two applications that are based on the standards. The restrictions imparted by standards provide the freedom to share!
It is also crucial for the free and easy distribution and use of middleware, such as ObjectWeb
But interoperability is the area where FOSS can really score, and thus standards are a must for FOSS to leap ahead.