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LXer 11-25-2011 06:42 PM

LXer: Lies, damned lies and statistics
 
Published at LXer:

Much has been written over the last few days about Linux Mint's meteoric rise in Distrowatch's rankings, seemingly at the expense of Ubuntu's fall. While he thinks Linux Mint's rise is deserved, Larry the Free Software Guy is not convinced these stats are a sound yardstick, and he does his best Jerry Maguire in shouting, "Show me the downloads!"

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Telengard 11-25-2011 07:58 PM

Quote:

First, Distrowatch numbers are based on page visits, not downloads. Show me the downloads, and then let’s talk. Web page hits don’t tell me if people are actually downloading a particular distro and using it, or if they’re just looking at the pages for whatever reason they might. Page visits might translate into distro downloads, but they also might be visits to forums, wikis, etc., as well. So I’m not convinced this is a valid measurement.
Not only that, but consider this. People who are not hopping probably don't go to Distrowatch for the latest release of their favorite distro. IMHO Distrowatch numbers probably do indicate an increased interest in Mint. What they don't indicate is people interested in staying with Ubuntu.

I'm not defending Unity, because frankly I don't use it (KDE fan here). I'm just saying that much of the hype and hysteria I've read about Unity seems far overblown when compared to reality. And I'm somewhat in agreement with the writer above, but for my own reasons.

GazL 11-26-2011 10:08 AM

I threw Ubuntu onto my spare partition specifically to take a look at Unity and I honestly don't know what the fuss is all about.
  • I didn't like the global top menu, but you can remove that by removing a couple of packages.
  • I didn't like the newfangled scrollbars, but you can put them back to normal by removing a couple of packages.
  • I didn't like the new behaviour of alt-tab, but you can also put that back to the traditional way with a little tweaking of compiz, (and in Unity2D it still works the old way anyway).
  • I didn't like the 'Dashboard' thing, but you don't have to use it.
  • I had no problem with the dock down the left hand side (other than I would have liked it on the right), but I was a WindowMaker user for many years so it wasn't anything new to me.

My overall view was that Unity was a little buggy but nothing to shout about in either a good or bad way. I really can't see how it would be a driver for folks abandoning Ubuntu if they were previously happy with it.


And yes, distrowatch page-hits really don't mean a great deal.

P.S. In the interest of full-disclosure: I'm generally not a fan of Ubuntu, and I've never tried Mint.

vharishankar 11-26-2011 10:14 AM

Trust me, GazL, if you've been a regular Gnome 2 user, the sum total annoyances of Unity/Gnome 3 indeed is enough to make the (painful) switch to KDE 4. Bear in mind that I had shifted from KDE 4 to Gnome because I hated the bloat of KDE 4 initially.

Gnome 2 was just about the perfect balance between usability and customizability without being loaded with a ton of shiny things(tm). In Gnome 3 they took away a lot of customizability to make it shinier.

GazL 11-26-2011 10:50 AM

You're probably right. My "Seems ok, but I wouldn't want to use it" opinion is probably tempered by not being a former Gnome 2 user.

vharishankar 11-26-2011 11:12 AM

Yes, bear in mind that I'm also a finicky user and even small "improvements" which take away functionality can annoy me intensely.

sycamorex 11-26-2011 11:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Telengard (Post 4534064)
Not only that, but consider this. People who are not hopping probably don't go to Distrowatch for the latest release of their favorite distro. IMHO Distrowatch numbers probably do indicate an increased interest in Mint. What they don't indicate is people interested in staying with Ubuntu.

Additionally, I've never actually used the distrowatch website to download any distro (even in my distro-hopping days).

sgosnell 11-26-2011 01:56 PM

I've tried most of the major distros at one time or another, and I've never even considered downloading from Distrowatch. Nor would I now.

Telengard 11-26-2011 02:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sycamorex (Post 4534526)
Additionally, I've never actually used the distrowatch website to download any distro (even in my distro-hopping days).

Really? It is quite convenient having every significant distro (and many lesser ones) indexed on a single website. When I'm looking for something new to play with I go there. By contrast, if know the name of the distro I want then I just go directly to the distro's website.

Or ... did you mean something else?

sycamorex 11-26-2011 02:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Telengard (Post 4534629)
Really? It is quite convenient having every significant distro (and many lesser ones) indexed on a single website. When I'm looking for something new to play with I go there. By contrast, if know the name of the distro I want then I just go directly to the distro's website.

Or ... did you mean something else?

I always found out about new distros from threads on LQ. If something sounded interesting, I'd google the distro's name and go straight to its website.


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