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On 10/31/2012 09:19 AM, Florian Monfort wrote:
Now that's an awkward article, is he right about what he says ?

I skimmed the article. My first impression is that the author is probably mixing statistics that are not measured or defined the same. Thus, direct comparison is at best difficult and possible virtually impossible. This is problem is common with FOSS software - how does one measure market penetration and use? Distrowatch has a ranking of Linux distros on their main page that currently shows Linux Mint in first place. What does this ranking mean? Distrowatch cautions people to not read to much into their rankings as they are determined by internal page hits on each distro's Distrowatch information page and does not represent actual verified users.

The author cites statistics from a download site showing AOO is more popular than LO but does not address the obvious question of which is promoted by the site AOO or LO. I would suspect most users looking for a MSO replacement would be happy with either AOO or LO thus the how the site promotes each could skew the downloads. Most Linux distros supply LO by default thus a Linux user would need to install AOO specifically to even use it. This obviously skews usage statistics because I suspect most Linux users are satisfied with the distro's default choice not to change it. IMHO, if AOO was the default choice I doubt most Linux users would change to LO.

My other question is; what is the author's agenda - to bash LO and promote AOO or to discuss the difficulties in determine the market penetration of any FOSS project. The tone appears to bash LO because he did not like statistics from LO. There are numerous problems with everyone's statistics because of double counts, installation of different suites, etc. that make interpreting them difficult.

IMHO, the only substantive issue is how can one determine market share and usage without resorting to using polling from download statistics, distro installations, etc.

Jay Lozier

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