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It's still nice to see debian and slackware did so well. There my favorites. I'm using sidux right now and can't believe its speed. I guess I'm just an AppGet kind-a guy. vi/vim is also my favorite editor, even in Windows. 90% of Windows users have no idea. Also I've always wondered about Emacs. Never fully understood those craz keys.
I have been always a fan of Slackware... and for that reason I would like to know how distrowatch works.. almost no mention to my beloved slack.
I think a lot of people have a misperception of how Distrowatch does actually work. It does not show the true popularity of any Linux distribution. It does show how many times each distribution's page within Distrowatch has been accessed. It is a different thing entirely as there are lots of ways of actually downloading or even reading about various distro's on the web.
However, can anybody actually come up with a more accurate way of deciding a specific distro's popularity? I don't think so and that's why we have polls such as the one on here (Linux Questions).
Distrowatch does a fair job of showing popularity of probably the top ten or so distro's but it can never be really accurate. That group of top distro's could probably be shuffled about like a pack of cards.
It's the same with anything really. Take a poll on a specific subject and you'll get a different set of results depending on who you asked and who bothered to take part.
If you think about it a lot of people use distro's that are now considered old. They may not have taken part in any poll about the most favourite flavour of Linux in a long time. So, it's entirely possible that, purely for example mind, there are 10 million people using Red Hat Linux but only 2 million using Ubuntu (I know there are a lot more but this is purely example to illustrate my words). However, of those 2 million Ubuntu users 1.5 million may have just visited the DW Ubuntu page. Of the Red Hat user on a couple of thousand may have visited the DW pages. So, we get a false picture of popularity.
It's the same here, we only know what distro etc is popular with members of this forum not the whole of the Linux community. This does not negate the value of the polls as it can help show trends of newer and active forum users at least.