Posted Apr 20, 2012 10:20 UTC (Fri) by dgm (subscriber, #49227)
In reply to: Good news by HelloWorld
Parent article: Whither Mandriva?
Have you ever considered that it could be the other way around? Maybe fragmentation is the consequence of Linux pushing hard to become relevant on desktop space.
By the way, the problem is not fragmentation per se, but lack of coordination of the fragments. Take for instance the Linux kernel. There's plenty of fragmentation: so many kernel trees (developer's, vendor's, maintainers's, embedders's...) yet they all are coordinated (more or less), because there exists a canonical tree that's aimed at by everyone.
So, it can be that fragmentation allows to test interesting things (fixed release schedules, rolling releases, source-released systems, build-from-scratch, etc). That is a Good Thing(TM), but it's incomplete because distros do not ultimately target to be integrated into a canonical one.
I think that was the vision for Debian. Thus it could be argued that the only fragmentation that's really bad is the debian/redhat divide. Mint and (to a lesser extent) Ubuntu are doing the right thing, IMHO. But Redhat is out there making millions, and you cannot really argue with that, so we are stuck.