After I have read iTWire's recent article entitled "Is Ubuntu killing other distributions?" I remembered asking myself the same question when I noticed how Ubuntu is taking over the Linux world. --Plenty of Linux related tech sites, blogs, and social networking websites are all talking about Ubuntu, but very few are giving enough attention to other Linux distributions. If you need further proof on how Ubuntu is quickly pulling away from other distros, let me give you a little illustration with the help of the very handy Google Trends:


While I agree to some extent that Ubuntu's mainstream success is good for GNU/Linux and the free and open source software in general, I'm still wondering what is going to happen in the long the run if the trend will continue in favor of Ubuntu. In effect, what if the people behind other popular Linux distributions like Fedora, Mandriva, OpenSUSE, and Mint among others will someday lose courage to go on and will just let their distros die down? Will this still be healthy for Linux? To my dear readers, I want to hear your views.

PS. To iTWire's Sam Varghese who unfairly criticizes Ladislav Bodnar and "the many people in the FOSS community" when he wrote,

The Distrowatch website ranks the popularity of distributions by using a wrong metric, the number of visits to each distribution's site. It does not measure downloads - but try telling the man who runs the site that he is wrong. Like many people in the FOSS community, he is always right.

-How about some respect for Distrowatch. Like probably most of you, part of my Linux experience is visiting Distrowatch.com. Also, new-to-Linux users always find that site very valuable. And though I agree that the ranking system of Distrowatch does not perfectly measure a distro's popularity, I still refer to its top 100 list when I wanted to try other capable distributions.

*Update: Ladislav answered Sam's comment...

The DistroWatch comment was nasty. Throughout the site's history, I've always tried to downplay the importance of page hit ranking (PHR) as nothing more than a fun way to measure what's hot in the distro world, at least among those who visit DistroWatch - that's what you'd have found on the page explaining the PHR system if you'd bothered to look.

Also, when exactly did you try to tell me that I was wrong about the PHR system? The only email I've ever received from you was about a small error I made in an edition of DistroWatch Weekly, which I corrected straight away.

Ladislav Bodnar
DistroWatch.com


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