I think accurate stats are great, and I'd love to see them. I don't know much about smolt but
I see no reason why it shouldn't be supported in Ubuntu. Ubuntu has already the Ubuntu
Hardware Database, and it does have a nice user interface to report hardware info, but the web
site seems really lame and/or broken when I checked it. There's also popcon, originally from
Debian, where you can register to have the packages you use reported upstream: this is used to
make sure that the CD, which has limited space, has the most popular packages installed. But
you can also find out some info about how many machines are running Ubuntu:
The problem with these as stats gathering vehicles is that not only are they off by default
(which probably every such package will always be, and I don't disagree with that) but they
aren't even publicized, so unless you happen to run across them you won't use them. In order
to be anywhere close to accurate there has to be more "advertising". Maybe an option to
restrict the data uploaded, for people who aren't interested in publishing details but would
like to be counted.
I also found this with a one-minute Google search, from last year:
I'm saying that I'm not willing to get into an argument about whether or not Ubuntu has "an
impressive userbase" or not. For one thing, it's completely ambiguous--if I'd said it has 82%
of the desktops then I would expect to be challenged to justify that statement. However, I
believe my statement is obviously correct given any objective look at the Linux ecosystem.
If we want to talk constructively about possible ways we could get more accurate statistics
I'm all for that.