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Distro Watch -- Why Is Gentoo Declining?
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EzInKy
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 7:52 am    Post subject: Distro Watch -- Why Is Gentoo Declining? Reply with quote

I have my own theories (binary package integration, portage dictating downgrades and other similar changes), but I'd like to here from others why they think what was the best sourced based hacker friendly Linux distribution has been on a steady decline in popularity?
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charlieg
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 8:22 am    Post subject: Re: Distro Watch -- Why Is Gentoo Declining? Reply with quote

EzInKy wrote:
I have my own theories (binary package integration, portage dictating downgrades and other similar changes), but I'd like to here from others why they think what was the best sourced based hacker friendly Linux distribution has been on a steady decline in popularity?


Distrowatch isn't the greatest measure of popularity. I wouldn't say Gentoo was declining in popularity, just it's not getting that many click-thrus on Distrowatch probably because it's source-based and the vast majority of new-to-Linux users (the type who might browse distrowatch) will want to avoid something so intimidating.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Decline?

If people signing up on the forums is any indicator, I'd have thought popularity was increasing...
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Duty
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd say it's because people who use Gentoo never need to visit DistroWatch again. :D
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who cares about Distrowatch anyway?
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nsahoo
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vonhelmet wrote:
Decline?

If people signing up on the forums is any indicator, I'd have thought popularity was increasing...


you know thats not an indicator, because, people don't bother to sign away after signing up, if there is any such thing.

But, I don't think clickstream is any indicator of popularity. People new to linux will ofcourse want to see Mandrake because it has one of the most polished UI. Gentoo on the other hand has a more grim apeal to most (huh! no installer? you just get a doc!)
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semi-fly
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd say forget distro watch and focus on the gentoo forums which are highly active and continually growing.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nsahoo wrote:
vonhelmet wrote:
Decline?

If people signing up on the forums is any indicator, I'd have thought popularity was increasing...


you know thats not an indicator, because, people don't bother to sign away after signing up, if there is any such thing.


I don't mean in terms of numbers, I mean the influx of newbies. More people are signing up. It suggests an increase in popularity, though I agree that this could merely be an increase in popularity of the forums, as opposed to the distro itself.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To keep it simple, I don't even ever recall going to DistroWatch so it might have a lot to do with many people in the Gentoo community just not going there. :wink:
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Ari Rahikkala
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Uhm... how about this: There was a lot hype about Gentoo a while ago. Now it's died down. Therefore, less users are looking for information about Gentoo on DistroWatch. Kapish?
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blackhorse
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think gentoo is getting less popular. I mean, the most users ever on line was last month, so it can't be declining that fast, if at all.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Gentoo is pretty much level now, the hype is over and the people who would have migrated away have probably done so.

and distrowatch isn't really a good scale, in any real world scenario I've ever seen RedHat was the most widespread distro, yet mandrake is ranked highest.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can I just briefly hammer two things home here, please?
  1. Distrowatch maintains a "page hit ranking". That's a counter measuring page hits at Distrowatch, mind you. Not "albums sold", "cutsomers served" or "ISOs downloaded", just the info pages about distributions at the Distrowatch website. If you want to interpret that as a valid popularity indicator for Linux distributions, I can't help you.
  2. Gentoo's rank has "declined" only if you look at a six months average, it has risen or is stable if you look at three months, one month or twelve months. Maybe the six months average correlates with the period when Ladislav had to trim results and change the method because a bunch of hobos had continuously manipulated the hit counters for their favourite distro pages...
Ladislav Bodnar wrote:
If you are inclined to set up cronjobs to repeatedly wget your favourite distro's page counter, then please do yourself a favour and go to see a psychologist. You need help.

Any other questions? :roll: Oh yes: "Didn't we discuss all this before?"

Yes, we did.
Many times.
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aethyr
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you look at this page, you get a better breakdown of statistics:
http://distrowatch.com/stats.php?section=popularity

You'll see that it's all pretty much over the map ;) And it's not like Gentoo is at the bottom either, two of the distros above it in the past month's average are live cd distributions (Knoppix and MEPIS). That means the only regular distributions above it are: Mandrake, Fedora, Slackware, Debian, and SuSE. And if you compare this to the average over 12 months, the only difference is Slackware moved up.

I think it's a good thing that live cd based distributions are becomming more popular, as it means that more people are probably making a Linux cd to try out (rather than repartition their hard drive to install). Hopefully Knoppix and MEPIS are giving them a good impression :)

As far as the green and red arrows, I can't even tell what they're supposed to represent, since they don't represent actual shifts in placements. If you hover your mouse over them, you'll see it's derived by compared the number to "yesterday" but what that means is anyone's guess, since each "yesterday" varies depending on which time period's average you're looking at.

I hardly call that troublesome.

[edit] just to throw one more pointless observation in there, Gentoo is the most popular source based distribution, regardless of which time period you look at.
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nsahoo
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vonhelmet wrote:

I don't mean in terms of numbers, I mean the influx of newbies. More people are signing up.


I thought that is probably what you meant after I posted the comment. Then .. ya .. it can be some indication.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Duty wrote:
I'd say it's because people who use Gentoo never need to visit DistroWatch again. :D


I agree with Duty ha ha
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fernandotcl
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When a distro releases a new version, it brings a lot of people's attention, users and not-yet-users of the distro. But Gentoo doesn't have this concept of new releases, so users don't go to DistroWatch.com to check the "changelog".
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2004 1:34 am    Post subject: Re: Distro Watch -- Why Is Gentoo Declining? Reply with quote

charlieg wrote:
EzInKy wrote:
I have my own theories (binary package integration, portage dictating downgrades and other similar changes), but I'd like to here from others why they think what was the best sourced based hacker friendly Linux distribution has been on a steady decline in popularity?


Distrowatch isn't the greatest measure of popularity. I wouldn't say Gentoo was declining in popularity, just it's not getting that many click-thrus on Distrowatch probably because it's source-based and the vast majority of new-to-Linux users (the type who might browse distrowatch) will want to avoid something so intimidating.


For me, Gentoo was easier to get setup (thanks to the handbook) and running with everything working (thanks to forums) compared to SuSE (I've never got 3D accel. or > 60Hz refresh rate working in SuSE 9 :? ).
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2004 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the situation on distrowatch is the same as with the latest netcraft report (the report stated that Gentoo was the fastest growing distro but looking at the absolute numbers or real market share Gentoo was not the fastest growing distro according to Netcraft's numbers). Although Gentoo's user base grows (i.e. the total numbers at distrowatch), other distros like Fedora, SuSE, Debian, etc. grow faster and therefore Gentoo loosed some ranks at distrowatch in the last couple of month. How the distrowatch numbers relate to the actual popularity is open to debate and depending who does the counting the numbers varies. In my personal popularity ranking which is based on what companies, universities, and people I know of use or heared of, Gentoo is not as high ranked as on distrowatch.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2004 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guys.. polls like that are like the weather/internet speeds/womens emotions.... some days its great the next day its shit.. no explanation.. thats just the way it is.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I appreciate distrowatch as a quick source of information on what is/isn't in a distro. I'll go there to take a look at, say, the newest beta of Mandrake without ever intending to install it. But that counts. It's really just an interest counter - nothing more. Sure - interest preceeds installation, but how direct is the correlation?

One factor that influences interest is reviews in visible places. Gentoo has no reviews listed on distrowatch for 2004.1 or 2004.2. Why is that?

As far as forum activity as a measure, the posting level on forums.gentoo.org appears to be about 5 to 10 times higher than it is on fedoraforum.org. And, hey, most of it's even useful content. [disclaimer: this is based on reading both for the last couple of weeks. It's also worth noting that Fedora has long-running very active mailing lists on Redhat's site, so this comparision is not entirely fair. But then neither is using distrowatch as a basis.]
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whilst for the last few days Gentoo has had a red arrow by it on the distrowatch page, for quite a while it's had a green arrow most days with the odd no change

We were recently overtaken by slackware though :(

I'm sure there is a correlation between hits per day on distrowatch and the number of users of that distro, even if it's not the be all and end all of linux related statistics
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Sergio1704
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2004 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

metal leper wrote:


We were recently overtaken by slackware though :(



That is indeed very meaningful, IMHO.

I am reading in more and more forums that "geek" users (developers and so on) are choosing Slack.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2004 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i think you can learn more installing gentoo than using slack.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2004 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frankly, I love distrowatch. It has lots of daily news on distro releases and lets me know how the other linux guys are doing. Because of DW, I tried Debian even though I was perfectly happy with RedHat. I then became intrigued with Gentoo and portage, so I read a few DW reviews and tried Gentoo. Unfortunately, after I successfully installed Gentoo, I managed to Kerry (read: hose) the installation and didn't want to spend the time fixing/reinstalling it.

Because of DW, I tried Jollix and then Vidalinux as a crutch to get back to a Gentoo installation. I really liked the looks of Jollix, but didn't think the english installation manual was all that good (their German manual has about 3x more pages). Vidalinux does it for me, and it only took about 2 hours. Vida's 1st beta was rough, but the 2nd is *much* better. Things will only get better with beta 3.
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