Ubuntu Format revisited

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Ubuntu Format revisited

Postby heiowge » Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:04 am

A while ago, you got criticism that your mag was becoming too focused on Ubuntu. While the effort has been made to include other distros, it was made clear that about two thirds of Linux users were using Ubuntu, so it made sense to have that as the stock distro for demos.

Now, however, it is clear, at least from the distrowatch rankings you seem to go for every issue, that Mint is the new no.1 (apart from last month where it missed out on the no.1 spot by something like 40 visits).

You might argue that Cinnamon isn't widely adopted. But it's got more adoption than Unity. More big distros are offering Cinnamon than have shown any interest in Ubuntu's stock.


So I ask you... Can we expect to see Mint as the stock distro used in articles more often?
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Postby el chapulín » Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:05 pm

Do you mean that the tutorials, screenshots and articles are 'buntu centric? If so then arguing for them to be mint centric rather than distribution neutral/independent is the same difference no...?
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Postby heiowge » Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:44 pm

I'm not arguing for them to be Mint-centric or distro-neutral. I'm just saying that the mag still has a ton of articles with screenshots of Ubuntu and next to nothing of Mint. If Mint is currently the no.1 choice, and as has been argued before, the mag tries to show people what they're used to, shouldn't there be more Mint screenshots than Ubuntu ones?
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Postby Paradigm Shifter » Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:48 pm

What is this newfangled G-U-I thing? Commandline or nothing!

8)

:lol:

On a more serious note; Ubuntu is likely more in the mindshare of the general populace - I've encountered a lot of people recently who, when I mention linux, ask "Oh, you mean like Ubuntu, right?" so while it might be top of DistroWatch... you have to know about DistroWatch to push the distros up the rankings. I would imagine that there are still more people using Ubuntu than DistroWatch would indicate. ;)
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Postby el chapulín » Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:32 pm

I pay no heed to distrowatch, but for the sake of argument:

Last 30 days

1 Mint 3042>
2 Mageia 2358>
3 Ubuntu 1940>
4 openSUSE 1545<
5 Fedora 1530>
6 Debian 1322>
7 Arch 1229<
8 Slackware 1192>
9 PCLinuxOS 1129<
10 Snowlinux 872>

Last 6 months

1 Mint 3441<
2 Mageia 2399>
3 Ubuntu 2042<
4 Fedora 1536<
5 openSUSE 1336>
6 Debian 1260<
7 Arch 1166>
8 PCLinuxOS 914>
9 CentOS 844=
10 Slackware 755>



And now again with the 'buntu adjustment:

Last 30 days

1 'buntu 3152
2 Mint 3042>
3 Mageia 2358>
4 openSUSE 1545<
5 Fedora 1530>
6 Debian 1322>
7 Arch 1229<
8 Slackware 1192>
9 PCLinuxOS 1129<
10 Snowlinux 872>

'buntu =
3 Ubuntu 1940>
19 Lubuntu 556=
36 Xubuntu 354>
38 Kubuntu 302=


Last 6 months

1 Mint 3441<
1 'buntu 3441
2 Mageia 2399>
3 Fedora 1536<
4 openSUSE 1336>
5 Debian 1260<
6 Arch 1166>
7 PCLinuxOS 914>
8 CentOS 844=
9 Slackware 755>
10 Zorin 745>

'buntu=
3 Ubuntu 2042<
15 Lubuntu 635<
26 Xubuntu 402=
30 Kubuntu 362=


That's far from mint being the "no. 1 choice", more like second place, possibly joint first...

Consider also that mint is based on Ubuntu anyway and that distro watch data is purely page hits. Mint is a single category on distro watch which also includes LMDE and the various spins. 'buntu as you can see above is broken up into the different DE editions.

Also distro watch gives very inaccurate results for most distros, for example rolling releases where existing users do not revisit the download page every few months to get the new .iso file(s) will get much lower hits than something like 'buntu and mint. 'buntu and mint users do tend to reinstall from scratch more than e.g. Debian users who will often upgrade.

It also shows spikes at release time and considering the vast difference in release schedules between different distros (i.e. distros like fedora and 'buntu follow a 6 monthly cycle whereas e.g. Debian releases roughly every 2 years), this must be considered. (it's certainly why slackware has shot up recently - and why mint and 'buntu always get more hits in april and october).
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Postby heiowge » Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:17 pm

Maybe they are 2nd or 1st after all that, but the mag only shows Unity. If they wanted to keep it in consistant proportion to those rankings, you'd need to see a reasonable chunk of Kubuntu and Xubuntu etc desktops. You don't. So I don't include them.

And if you want to say that Mint is based on Ubuntu, maybe they should include Ubuntu in the Debian score :lol:
Last edited by heiowge on Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby heiowge » Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:36 pm

To give you an example...

LXF 163 (164 isn't out until tomorrow) has the following (I'm only including tutorials and reviews, where the review is of a product demoed on a desktop, rather than a demo of a distro. I'm also not including the KDE review):

p 29: LibraOffice 3.6 - Ubuntu (Unity)
p 30 - 35 Gallery Managers roundup - Fedora (KDE I think)
p 50 - 53 Plot the World - Ubuntu (Unity)
p 68- 73 Hotpicks - Not sure of distros, but at least 2 KDE and 2 Unity
p 76-77 Raspberry Pi tutorial - ssh was using Ubuntu (no side panels, but left hand button and icons give it away)

Not sure about the next two tutorials, but I suspect Fedora and the next one used KDE.
p 86 - 89 Security hack - Ubuntu (Unity)
p 90 - 93 Benchmarking - Ubuntu (Unity)

Not sure what Mike Saunders was using for Starfield (Fedora???)

There was a Unity screen shot in the Answers section.

If fact, the only shot of Mint in the entire mag was because it was on the disk!
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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:51 pm

Distrowatch is only a vague monitor.

The DistroWatch Page Hit Ranking statistics are a light-hearted way of measuring the popularity of Linux distributions and other free operating systems among the visitors of this website. They correlate neither to usage nor to quality and should not be used to measure the market share of distributions. They simply show the number of times a distribution page on DistroWatch.com was accessed each day, nothing more.



There are almost certainly far more business Ubuntu installations compared to Mint, which is basically a consumerised version of Ubuntu, and totally unsuitable for a work environment. But that will not show up on Distrowatch , which is mainly a distro hopper's measure, not really a measure of users.

For example, I manage about 12-15 Ubuntu installations. Neither I, nor (almost certainly) any of my users have ever visited Distrowatch.

edit: until today, that is, to obtain that quote. :p
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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:12 pm

To expand on the above, I have tried Mint several times and found it unreliable and unsatisfactory. (In fact I have failed to install it several times on hardware where Ubuntu has no problems).

I have yet to see Mint used as a server in a business, but I see Ubuntu quite frequently.
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Postby nelz » Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:07 pm

heiowge wrote:There was a Unity screen shot in the Answers section


Accompanying a question on how to do something in Ubuntu 12.04, what would you have preferred? The other screenshots in that section were 2 on KDE and one console. Unless the article is about a particular desktop or distro, the environment used to write it (which is where the screenshots come from) is irrelevant.

IMO there is too much focus on desktop environments and too little on the applications we run on them.
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Postby heiowge » Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:28 pm

I get your point on those particular instances, but you have to admit, Ubuntu's Unity gets far more "face time" than Mint's Cinnamon, or even Magaeia (or however it's spelt), which beat both this month in the count.

Cinnamon is used in far more distros other than Mint, than Unity is in distros other than Ubuntu. I feel it doesn't seem to get shown used in any article other than one directly about Mint or Cinnamon. The same can not be said of Unity.
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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:33 pm

Could that possibly be because most of the writers (who are mainly freelance, by the way) prefer to use Ubuntu with the Unity desktop?

(By the way, I make no apologies for the blatant use of Ubuntu, Unity and LightDM in the multi-seat article this month, but it is really about X).

If you want a real measure of users, have a look at the size of the online community, not some arbitrary count of hits on a particular website.
Distrowatch by its own definition, is not an indicator of Market share in any form.
I expect that the Ubuntu Forums community is one of the largest.
(Not that I've counted) :)
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Postby el chapulín » Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:01 pm

heiowge wrote:And if you want to say that Mint is based on Ubuntu, maybe they should include Ubuntu in the Debian score :lol:

Point conceded, but 'buntu is a true derivative of Debian - with it's own full repositories, patching, bug tracking, etc, etc, etc. Mint on the other hand is just an extension of Ubuntu or Debian which adds it's own 3rd party packages and branding and distributes the end result.

There would be a better cause for including Mint in the 'buntu score. :wink:
nelz wrote:IMO there is too much focus on desktop environments and too little on the applications we run on them.

+1

wyliecoyoteuk wrote:I expect that the Ubuntu Forums community is one of the largest.
(Not that I've counted) :)

It's one of the largest if not the largest distro forum, but with one of lowest signal to noise ratios.
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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:49 pm

el chapulín wrote:It's one of the largest if not the largest distro forum, but with one of lowest signal to noise ratios.


I think that sort of follows, really.
The sheer amount of traffic reduces the chance of anyone seeing, let alone replying to, any particular query.

There was a thread on there about this, and there are ways of timing your posts to get the best chance of a response, depending on time zones.

I tend to dip into the RSS feed when I have a spare moment, and help where I can, but it's a bit like watching a large river flowing past and lassooing the odd bit of flotsam.
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Postby el chapulín » Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:03 pm

wyliecoyoteuk wrote:I think that sort of follows, really.
The sheer amount of traffic reduces the chance of anyone seeing, let alone replying to, any particular query.

LQ is also very high traffic, yet the responses are of a much higher standard - i.e. informed responses, not just chit chat and uninformed advice, etc - a bit like 'buntu bug reports which tend to consist of a long list of "me too" type responses. :roll:

wyliecoyoteuk wrote:There was a thread on there about this, and there are ways of timing your posts to get the best chance of a response, depending on time zones.

Was that the answer they came up with...? :shock:
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