Why Having 500+ Distros is a Good Thing

Filed under
Linux

I happened upon a blog entry titled "So Many Distros, So Little Time" which originally jumped across the RSS reader during January of this year. I gave it an honest read and was disgusted with the article quite a bit. Let me go point for point on this:

1. "We don’t need to keep reinventing Linux, creating distributions that
put critical bits in interesting and inventive if unusual places."

This couldn't be more wrong. We DO need to keep reinventing Linux and creating distributions that put critical bits in interesting and inventive if unusual places. Without these multiple distributions and their drive to do what isn't "normal" or "business as usual" innovation would be left up to a small number of distros and developers. Innovation thrives in the current environment...we have seen how desktop Linux has lept & bounded during the past 3-4 years. This statement is not only false, but it shows how much people (even industry consultants/analysts/journalists with over 25 years in the business) totally miss the mark when it comes to Linux and Open Source Software.

I assume you'd prefer a 'unified distro' or at least fewer to choose from...one where everyone can stop spinning their wheels developing for that small time distro and all join hands and work on that larger distro and make it 1000% better right? That's something that won't happen and shouldn't happen.

Perhaps you think new users will be scared of all of these choices?

Full Story.

re: 500+ Distros

Well, that's one opinion, a WRONG opinion.

With this guys logic, if you have 100 monkeys pounding on typewriters and they don't produce a Shakespearean play, you just need to add more monkeys.

Innovation has NOTHING to do with quantity, and everything to do with quality. Coding is NOT a serendipitous event.

The clothes/car analogy is so very flawed. With all the choices of cars or trucks, how many of those choices don't have a steering wheel? Or a gas pedal? With all the clothes, how many pants have something besides a zipper or buttons or snaps? Those options aren't innovated, they're fashion choices driven by market economies.

Currently, with 500+ distros, all you have is alot of people, reinventing the wheel, and a handful of people, actually creating anything new or useful.

If innovation was the result of quantity, why are there only 3 commercial linux server distros (redhat, suse, and yes, I'll be kind and include mandriva enterprise).

In order to become anything close to mainstream, Linux needs to FOCUS, and that ain't gonna happen with every developer wannabe doing their own thing (hence the 9 zillion projects at the v0.9 and under stage that NEVER make it).

If they truly have something to contribute, join a viable project and ADD to the collective work instead of just increasing the noise.

re: re: 500+ distros

I'd say yours is the wrong opinion. The people behind the multiple linux distros are not "monkeys pounding on typewriters". They are - to stay in your analogy - people making an effort at being poets. Some of them good, some of them not. Applying your logic, Shakespeare would probably never have been published. The reason why the free market is superior to communism is it's evolutionary principle - the same reason why linux will prove superior to windows in the years to come.

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