Usually when we run a poll we’re not surprised by the answers. We’re certainly surprised by these results, however.
A month ago, on September 2nd to be exact, we asked you, “Does GNU/Linux offer too many choices? Are there too many Linux distros?” As answers we offered the numbers one through five with one meaning way too many, five meaning way too few and three meaning just about right. As we expected, number three received the most votes, but not by a large margin.
An even 100 of you picked the middle ground and said the number of Linux distros is just about right. That’s 29%. What’s surprising to us, however, is the number of you who thought the number of distros was too high. 93 people, or 27%, chose number one, meaning they thought the number of distros is entirely too high. 83 people, or 24%, thought there were somewhat too many distros, meaning they picked number two. 56%, an overwhelming majority, thought there are too many distros. Only 64 people, 19%, thought there are too few distros.
Frankly, we don’t get it. So what if there’s a ton of so-called cookie cutter distros? Nobody’s forced to use them. We think it’s pretty cool that a kid in his garage can fool around with a computer, create his own distro based on something he’s been using and release it to the public. Seems to us that almost a quarter century ago a kid in Finland was working on what could be called a cookie cutter Unix, or was it MINIX…?
Linux. He was working on Linux.