Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

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Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Yes. Hundreds of Distros, each with multiple DE's, and some flooded app categories is too overwhelming for the general public.
49
40%
No. The insane amount of choice Linux offers is not limiting its popularity.
72
60%
 
Total votes : 121

Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Postby mintnoob on Mon May 10, 2010 7:25 pm

Linux is free and arguably better than Windows, so why is its desktop popularity so pathetic low after all of these years?

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Usage share of web client operating systems. (Source: Median values from Usage share of operating systems for May 2010.)
Windows XP (50.50%)
Windows Vista (21.42%)
Windows 7 (14.22%)
Mac OS X (5.80%)
Linux (1.24%)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux#Mark ... and_uptake


I firmly believe that the insane amount of choice Linux offers is, on the whole, hurting its popularity and Linux would benefit from having fewer choices.

DistroWatch tracks over 300 distros alone!

Then multiply the insane amount of distros with each distro usually having multiple Desktop Environments to choose from.

The list of Linux desktop environments: AfterStep, Blackbox, Enlightenment, Equinox, Fluxbox, flwm, FVWM, GNOME, IceWM, ion, JWM, KDE, KDE Light, Looking Glass, LXDE, Metacity, Mezzo, Moblin, Openbox, PWM, WMaker, WMI, Xfce.


Some app categories are flooded with apps to choose from. Examples:

Music Players (alternatives to iTunes): aTunes, Amarok, Audacious, Banshee, Bmpx, Clementine, Decibel, Gnome Music Player, Gudyadequ, Exaile, Juk, Listen, Muine, Music Player Daemon, Quod Libet, Rhythmbox, Sonata, SongBird (now Lyrebird)

Video Editors (alternatives to MS MovieMaker): Avidemux, CineFX (Jashaka), Cinelerra, Kdenlive, Kino, LiVES, Open Movie Editor, OpenShot, PiTiVi, Vivia, VLMC

---------------------

*** If you vote No, please give your thoughts as to why Linux, being free and and arguably better than Windows, isn't more popular.
Last edited by mintnoob on Sun Jun 27, 2010 3:28 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Postby vincent on Mon May 10, 2010 7:55 pm

I like freedom, and especially freedom of choice. While it is true that the Linux community does seem to be a bit fragmented at times, I think that this is simply part of the nature of open-source software; if someone doesn't like any of the choices available to them, they'll create their own Linux distro to satisfy their needs. Even if Windows' users found that having less distros and less choices makes their transition to Linux easier (which is entirely debatable; you'll find a wide range of opinions on this topic), there is nothing that can stop anyone from creating their own Linux spinoff, so you'll inevitably have hundreds of different Linux distros as long as there are developers to support them.

Rather, the amount of choices will often encourage Linux converts to explore the wide variety of open-source software available to them and perhaps deepen their respect for the extraordinarily talented open-source community. :)
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Re: Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Postby mintnoob on Mon May 10, 2010 7:58 pm

vincent wrote:I like freedom, and especially freedom of choice.

How many distros, DE's, and apps in a category do you need to be free?!
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Re: Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Postby exploder on Mon May 10, 2010 7:58 pm

I don't think the number of distros is hurting Linux popularity. My opinion is that people want to be able to easily upgrade their application rather than re-install all of the time.
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Re: Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Postby MALsPa on Mon May 10, 2010 8:00 pm

I am not sure if it would or wouldn't be more popular with fewer distros, desktop environments, window managers, and applications to choose from, so I couldn't vote. But I don't care if all of that hurts its popularity. I like having all of those choices. It's better for ME! 8)
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Re: Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Postby mintnoob on Mon May 10, 2010 8:03 pm

MALsPa wrote:I am not sure if it would or wouldn't be more popular with fewer distros, desktop environments, window managers, and applications to choose from, so I couldn't vote. But I don't care if all of that hurts its popularity. I like having all of those choices. It's better for ME! 8)

I hate to be so frank, but isn't that being a little selfish?
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Re: Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Postby vincent on Mon May 10, 2010 8:09 pm

I don't know exactly what you mean by "How many distros, DE's, and apps in a category do you need to be free?!". Are you implying that there needs to be a limit on the number of distros, DEs, and apps in the free open-source software world? Sorry, not going to happen. This is FOSS; the source code is available to all, and any developer can create his own programs or spinoffs any time he wants without any restriction (besides the fact that the new program also has to be FOSS). In addition, Linux converts don't actually have to pick their own DE's or apps if they don't want to, since most distros install a bunch of apps by default and thus eliminates the supposed "hassle" of selecting the right open-source software for your own use.
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Re: Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Postby MALsPa on Mon May 10, 2010 8:10 pm

mintnoob wrote:
MALsPa wrote:I am not sure if it would or wouldn't be more popular with fewer distros, desktop environments, window managers, and applications to choose from, so I couldn't vote. But I don't care if all of that hurts its popularity. I like having all of those choices. It's better for ME! 8)

I hate to be so frank, but isn't that being a little selfish?


Yes, absolutely. Not just a little selfish, either! But, frankly, that's exactly how I feel about it. Hope it doesn't bother anyone, but that's the way it is.
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Re: Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Postby exploder on Mon May 10, 2010 8:18 pm

Yes, absolutely. Not just a little selfish, either! But, frankly, that's exactly how I feel about it. Hope it doesn't bother anyone, but that's the way it is.


What's wrong with honesty? :D I have to appreciate a strait to the point answer.
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Re: Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Postby mintnoob on Mon May 10, 2010 9:23 pm

vincent wrote:I don't know exactly what you mean by "How many distros, DE's, and apps in a category do you need to be free?!". Are you implying that there needs to be a limit on the number of distros, DEs, and apps in the free open-source software world?

There needs to be fewer distros, DEs, and apps in a category for Linux to become more popular and I would also argue that too much choice hinders freedom. Example, say you want to buy some shampoo. Down the "Windows/Mac" aisle, there'd only be a couple shampoos to choose from. You'd be able to make your choice relatively fast and easy to get on your way. Now go down the "Linux" aisle where there's literally thousands of shampoos to choose from. Think you'd be able to pick out a brand of shampoo before dinner?! You'd probably say "screw it" and go to the "Windows/Mac" aisle.

You don't need tons of the same thing to be free. Just what you have to choose from to not be restrictive.

In addition, Linux converts don't actually have to pick their own DE's or apps if they don't want to, since most distros install a bunch of apps by default and thus eliminates the supposed "hassle" of selecting the right open-source software for your own use.

But if the user doesn't like the default app, then when they go look for a better app to suite their needs, they might get overwhelmed if the app they want is in a category where it's flooded with apps, like music browser. Hell, I've been back to Linux for almost a year now and I still can't choose a music player to stick with!
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Re: Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Postby mintnoob on Mon May 10, 2010 9:29 pm

MALsPa wrote:Yes, absolutely. Not just a little selfish, either! But, frankly, that's exactly how I feel about it. Hope it doesn't bother anyone, but that's the way it is.

Not offended by your choice.

Reminds me of what a Libertarian society would be like. There'd be less restriction (taxes, etc) so you'd be able to keep more of your own money to be generous with, or keep all to yourself and be greedy.
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Re: Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Postby Fred on Mon May 10, 2010 9:33 pm

Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

It probably would be with precisely the users that Linux DOESN'T need. Linux is gaining user/contributors all the time. Typical mainstream Windows users with no desire to learn or contribute are a liability to the Linux community, not an asset. They bring nothing of value to the table.

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Re: Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Postby XidCat on Mon May 10, 2010 9:34 pm

exploder wrote:I don't think the number of distros is hurting Linux popularity. My opinion is that people want to be able to easily upgrade their application rather than re-install all of the time.


+1 Biggest stumbling block for non-rolling releases IMHO...
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Re: Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Postby vrkalak on Mon May 10, 2010 9:52 pm

First of all, GNU/Linux and Open Source is "all about choice"

Secondly ... Of the Top 500 Super-computers in the World ... how Many run Linux and how many use Windows?

Of the 500 super-computers ...
482 use a Linux/BSD operating system
17 use Apple/Mac as it's base operating system
a total of "1" uses MicroSoft/Windows.

(data current, as of Oct. 2009 ... freely available on the interwebs))

Thirdly ... Most of the multi-media (huge special effects) operating systems for television and cinema use Linux.

Linux is the dominant Operating System in China and Japan. Huge technical and huge-er population centers.
Japan makes most of the computers in the free world.

Windows is the main/dominant Operating System in the Unites States, because that's where Bill Gates and MicroSoft are.
Otherwise. I don't believe they would have the PC market there either.
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Re: Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Postby Biker on Mon May 10, 2010 10:11 pm

So what distributions are you going to do away with because there are too many? I vote Ubuntu and everything based off it. What's that? Not what you had in mind?

The reason there are so many choices is because Linux CAN be made to order. Don't like Mint? There's Slackware and all the different derivatives. And Fedora. And Debian. And Gentoo.

This isn't about Linux vs Windows. You use what works best for you. I grow weary of the fanatics preaching the anti-Microsoft mantra. Using Linux isn't about sticking it to Microsoft. It's about using a tool that suits your purposes better than something else. I use Windows 7 as well as Linux. Both are excellent operating systems that do the tasks they're designed to do very well.
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Re: Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Postby MALsPa on Mon May 10, 2010 10:15 pm

mintnoob wrote:Reminds me of what a Libertarian society would be like. There'd be less restriction (taxes, etc) so you'd be able to keep more of your own money to be generous with, or keep all to yourself and be greedy.


:lol:
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Re: Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Postby MALsPa on Mon May 10, 2010 10:26 pm

Biker wrote:So what distributions are you going to do away with because there are too many?


Yeah, and who decides which distros get eliminated?

This "too much choice" thing gets discussed a lot in the Linux world, but at a very fundamental level, it's what Linux is all about. That isn't going to change.

Maybe it sounds like I'm being selfish by saying that having all of those choices is better for ME. But, by extension, I believe that it's better for anyone else who wants to use Linux, too! Everyone doesn't want to use the same distro that I use, or the same DE or WM that I use, or the same apps that I use. Other people want choice, too.

So, I don't think it's worth trying to chase "greater popularity" by diminishing what Linux is all about.

Nobody's wants a situation where we're stuck with a distro that's out there (like Debian or Ubuntu), and someone can't create a new distro that works better for a lot of people (like Mint).

Do we?

And, seriously, that's not gonna happen, anyway. FOSS folks aren't gonna give up that freedom.
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Re: Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Postby mintnoob on Mon May 10, 2010 11:09 pm

Fred wrote:
Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Typical mainstream Windows users with no desire to learn or contribute are a liability to the Linux community, not an asset. They bring nothing of value to the table.

How do you know that?
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Re: Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Postby mintnoob on Mon May 10, 2010 11:13 pm

vrkalak wrote:First of all, GNU/Linux and Open Source is "all about choice"

Maybe I should have titled it "Is too much choice stifling Linux' potential popularity?"

Secondly ... Of the Top 500 Super-computers in the World ... how Many run Linux and how many use Windows?

So what? That's just a fractions of total computer users.

Why didn't you post this fact?
Estimated Desktop Usage Share

Windows - 92.00%
Linux - 1.02%

January 2010
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison ... rket_share
Last edited by mintnoob on Mon May 10, 2010 11:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Postby mintnoob on Mon May 10, 2010 11:17 pm

Biker wrote:So what distributions are you going to do away with because there are too many?

First off, there's no way to do away with any particular distros or apps.

I vote Ubuntu and everything based off it. What's that? Not what you had in mind?

Let's say that was the case, would you go back to Windows? I'd be fine with Ubuntu or derivatives. I'm using one now. ;)
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