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Re: Seven Percent



Anne Wilson wrote:

On Friday 01 September 2006 11:14, Paul Smith wrote:
It would be interesting to know how much large are the communities of
each distribution. Can the figures be found somewhere?

Equally interesting would be where the sample was taken from - IOW what target audience is likely to have replied - and how big the sample was. I suspect that the sampling setup would have a great effect on the results, which is why statistics are rarely useful.

Statistics are often very useful, that's why people keep making them up. Rarely though do they mean what they are spun to mean.

However anecdotally places like Digg are full of viral Ubuntu mindshare zombies. Of course in a larger sense it's all good if it gets the Linux word out and reduces the ability to FUD it since people had experience of it. But I can't help feeling some of the newbie growth of Ubuntu is partially driven by where we are in the Microsoft product cycle and there's some easy come easy go built into it.

Les is clearly right about some folks looking for the stability and novelty sweetspot (seems we both use CentOS and Fedora so it is in our minds at least), but is that really where all the Ubuntu ravers have sprung from?

If you zoom out, Debian and Fedora have about a million times as much weight of code in common (KDE is KDE, Gnome is Gnome) as they do at odds. Even rpm and dpkg are doing much the same thing in a different format. So in a real sense if new people are getting turned on to Ubuntu it's a much of a win for FOSS as if they get turned on to Fedora.

The more I understand[1] about Fedora and the relationship of Redhat to it, the more of a curious creature it is even by standards of a Linux distro. We all benefit from what is really the awesome professionalism of the engineering from Redhat, easy to take it for granted since the vast bulk of stuff works smoothly. But to balance it as users we are cast somewhat as dependent children, since RHAT have the -- perhaps it is inevitable from the structure and funding -- the role of parent. To be fair, we are a thousand times less the dependent children as a Microsoft or Apple user, and RHAT have a fairly light hand, we have reason to be grateful for it, but still. I suppose Shuttleworth is probably fated to fulfill the same moneybags role and therefore place the users under the same bittersweet shadow.

-Andy

[1] I understood a lot more after the recent corporate rpm vitriol

http://lwn.net/Articles/196523
http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.redhat.fedora.advisory-board/348/focus=348
https://lists.dulug.duke.edu/pipermail/rpm-devel/2006-August/001362.html

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