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Distribution quote of the week

Ultimately, if users want to see their distro thrive and survive they have got to roll their sleeves up and muck in a bit. Leaving it all to 'someone else' will not get the job done.
-- John Crisp
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Distribution quote of the week

Posted May 9, 2014 10:32 UTC (Fri) by aleXXX (subscriber, #2742) [Link]

Maybe a moderate reduction in the number of existing distributions wouldn't be such a bad thing...

Alex

Distribution quote of the week

Posted Jun 11, 2014 13:13 UTC (Wed) by Duncan (guest, #6647) [Link]

It would be a very bad thing.

In general, the only reason people make their own distribution is because they can't find one that works exactly how they want things to work, and because once they've done the work to provide it for themself, both logic and the license suggest they might as well share it with others, thus saving someone else the work they're doing (or with a bit of luck getting them to contribute too, thus either saving all current contributors a bit of work or providing a possibly incremental feature they wouldn't otherwise have).

So if there's too many distros, what part of the above is wrong?

That someone wants it to work the way they want it to work? If so, there's the MSs and the Apples of the world for them.

That users are empowered by the license to actually /make/ those changes? If you believe that, what are you doing on a Linux site?

That once those changes are made, people are actually sharing them with others instead of selfishly keeping them to themselves? Again, if you believe that, what are you doing here?

Or maybe that people are individuals and want different things? Actually, that sounds like the "There's only one right way and it's our way, and if you believe you're other way is better, it's because you're simply too stupid to know any better" Gnome guys, sometimes.

If that's the case, well, all I can say is that I'm glad the licenses are there to allow those changes, and there's all those people taking advantage of it, so the one thing that's guaranteed is that your way won't be the only choice out there. =:^)

Seriously, making a distro is hard work. People wouldn't be doing it if they didn't have a good reason. Which means there's pretty much exactly as many distros out there as there should be, because with no artificial license restrictions, the supply of distros vs. the cost of creating them vs. the demand for them exactly balances out. =:^)

If there's too many for you, just don't go looking at them all. Really, nobody needs to look at them all anyway, because the majority of them fill a more or less specific need, and if you're looking for the best distro to run on your router for instance, you need not be concerned about the more general purpose distros, or the ones designed for big supercomputer use, or... . That already narrows down the field substantially, leaving only a (relative) few fit for the intended purpose, and by defining that purpose and your preferred management style and tools specifically enough, in most cases there will only be a small handful of choices left. From those you can try to see what works best for you, and if one doesn't end up working, no problem, there's another to try, or worst-case, you can always find one that almost fits and perhaps make your own, thus saving someone else the hassle you just went thru... . Which nicely puts us back at the point I made above. =:^)

So having fewer distros would be a bad problem indeed, because then all those specifically matched distro needs wouldn't be so well met, and we'd just have to start meeting them in ordered to balance out supply and demand once again, wouldn't we? =:^)

Duncan


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