Falling Like A Stone and About to Drop Out of the Top 20.
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Never trust statistics that vary over short periods time.
Slackware has stood it's ground for well into two decades now, so chances are unless an act of Dobbs comes along and fouls everything up, we'll all be Slacking long after Patrick's and Eric's brain have been uploaded into their cyborg bodies.
Don't worry about FreeBSD gaining ground either. That's good for them. FreeBSD is a great OS just like Slackware. Both share similarities and have a common goodness.
Slackware always hits its lowest point on Distrowatch just before a new release, and then afterwards Slackware shoots straight up. I interpret this as a sign that the next release can't be too far off.
I woke up this afternoon and visited my Grandma in the home with my kid then went to Walmart. I bought fresh kaisers among other things and came home and we ate pulled pork made in the crockpot a couple days ago. I played some Eve Online and then watched Johnny Dangerously with the family.
I posted that because its just about as relevant to Slackware's demise as it's distrowatch rating. Anything that rates Xubuntu higher than Slackware is of the Devil.
In the page hit rankings over at Distrowatch, Slackware is in a free-fall and has dropped to number 20 and will shortly drop to 21 as Kubuntu moves up. Some of these distributions I've never heard of, e.g., Manjaro, Zorin, OS4, Bodhi and SparkyLinux. Even FreeBSD has moved up to number 17.
And before Manjaro and Zorin there were Snowlinux and SolusOS. Few years ago Gentoo was in top 20 too, MEPIS was 13th and now is 67th. New distros are high in the rankings just because the these are new and people are curious, so they look for the info.
Now a lot more people can use Linux and it is natural for an average person to have a tendency towards the Ubuntu-like distributions.
You mean natural just like ramming up their stomachs with lots of chips, burgers and coke, not even thinking about how unhealthy it is, or even if they *do* know it...? The *buntus and their derivatives are like fat... (and sometimes even like FAT32...): Too much of them makes you lazy and inert, which is the opposite of slack.
More seriously: The statistics on Distrowatch are interesting, but as has been explained, they reflect what distro has the greatest attention among interested people, before choosing a distro, and people's attention is attracted by media, e.g. when a new release comes out and is "advertised" (or simply just announced) in magazines and on web sites. And IMHO, the distro profiles point out the specific characteristics that differentiate a given distro from others, quite correctly and fair, overall.
Yeah, I think, what's really unfair is, that they grab and collect all my data, but don't have a hotline number, where I could call, when I forget something. Despite PRISM I still have to take notes, myself. They should share MY DATA with ME!
At least, there are tools that help me with "externalising" my memories. I'll yet have to check out this one, though: Password Minder(@GazL: I guess it was you who first pointed me to this in another thread --- thanks for the good laugh!!!)