Linked by Perry Helion on Fri 15th Mar 2013 18:20 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Ubuntu has come under a decent amount of flack over the past few months, particularly over their decision to use the 'Dash Search' to return results from Amazon by default in their most recent release.
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RE[4]: That's life
by Alfman on Sun 17th Mar 2013 18:04 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: That's life"
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

You have some valid points, however it's a question of balance.

Very few of us in the linux end of things want a monoculture. Competition is good not just because we have more choices, but because it allows us more freedom to try out different approaches that wouldn't get the chance to evolve otherwise. Another benefit is that isolated projects can incorporate ideas from each other. Also, having a few entities in charge is bad because it results in "feature governance", where those at the top dictate how the system must be for everyone else. This is an equally negative trait whether we're talking about Open Source or not (apple, ms, etc).

I'm not saying the world needs hundreds of distros (which there are), but at the same time it's great to have several popular ones that are actively competing. Most of us do recognize the need for this balance, hopefully you do too.

You brought up dilution of developer efforts, that can be true. Things like drivers shouldn't need to be rewritten by several distros. But there's only so much value in grouping developers under the same organization due to diminishing returns. A team of 100 is going to be somewhat less than 10X productive as a team of 10. A team of 1000 is going to be far less than 10X as productive as a team of 100. A team of 10000 might not be any more productive than a team of 1000. There are so many open source developers that we are already well beyond the point of diminishing returns, the existence of indy distros isn't detracting from the main distros and in fact the main distros may very well take inspiration from the indy ones.

Again, it's a question of balance. I think having so many distros can be a problem for different reasons though, too many choices does confuse new users. But IMHO having some choice in distros is still much better than what we have from commercial offerings (consider how many people would opt for a win8 minus metro distro if they had the choice).

Edited 2013-03-17 18:05 UTC

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