posted by Eugenia Loli on Tue 29th Mar 2005 19:32 UTC

"Popularity, Page 3/9"
3. Has the ongoing increasing popularity added stress to your work? How do you perceive this popularity increase?

Judd Vinet: Actually, I'm continually surprised that so many people find Arch to their liking. I thought that the absence of GUI helper utilities would have scared most people off, but it seems that there are many more linux users like myself, more than I thought.

But I can't say I feel any added stress due to the increased popularity. It's just an indication that we're doing something right.

Jan de Groot: It doesn't really matter if 1000 people use a distro or 100.000 users use a distro, when there is a bug, you will get bugs from both groups. With the 2nd group, there are even more people out there that do the actual bughunting for you, so when you're limited on time, it's easy to c&p stuff from the bugreport and make a fixed package right away. I don't put extra effort in archlinux because suddenly more people use it. I work on arch whenever I like and do whatever I want to do.

Tobias Kieslich: There are more requests about features, some of them simply conflict with each other. The more people use the distro, the more diverse needs come together. Since we have some good guidelines to patch software for security and reasons of packaging(Makefile fixes etc.) only it is quite clear which way to go. It doesn't really put more stress to work but you have to consider your decisions better.

In general, the bigger popularity is nice since I have more input and more feedback. The only thing that will never change is: If you make a real good hack to get things working flawlessly, you'll never get feedback on it because the people don't see it. It just works. If you break things the rants will come in faster than you can read them. Well, that's part of the game and it's ok.

Damir Perisa: The actual challenge i face nowadays is to keep being informed about all the activities in the community. Growing means more people and more people means more activities. The bigger the community the more difficult to stay informed. From experience from my other projects i'm involved in (e.g. the Calcutta Project Basel) i learned that to be really productive, you need to know and understand most of the activities that are going on. In ArchLinux, about a year ago, if i was offline some days and came back, i needed some minutes reading posts in the forums/ML to be "back on track". Now, if i'm offline for some days, i need more than half an hour to catch up with the activities. This costs time and time costs productivity.

Dale Blount: Not really, everybody wants the same thing, their Perfect Distro. I try to do this for myself, so added requests don't stress me any.

Jason Chu: As it stands, the main message path between developers and users is through the bug tracker and "flag out of date" button. There have been more bug reports since popularity increased.

Tobias Powalowski: Well not really, the difference is that you get more feedback on your work, negative or positive.

Aurelien Foret: I'm getting frustrated because of this increased popularity, because I just can't read anymore all forum posts or mails from Archers ;) Seriously, it's giving me extra motivation to see more people interested in Arch, and to feel the work done on Arch is useful and appreciated by more and more people.

If you had asked me this question two years ago, I would have answered I'm afraid to see Arch popularity increase. Anyway, Arch is still a healthy distribution today, and there's no reason for things to not keep that way.

Arjan Timmerman: I has decreased, because Jan helps out a lot nowadays.

Table of contents
  1. "Passion, Page 1/9"
  2. "Challenges, Page 2/9"
  3. "Popularity, Page 3/9"
  4. "Maintainance, Page 4/9"
  5. "Development, Page 5/9"
  6. "Pacman, Page 6/9"
  7. "CVS, Commercialism, Page 7/9"
  8. "Installer, Page 8/9"
  9. "Arch Vs The World, Page 9/9"
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