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It’s Time for ‘What’s Your Distro’ Round One

FOSS Force Best Distro 2015

The FOSS Force Poll

It’s time for our annual “What’s Your Distro” poll, to determine who gets the FOSS Force Best Distro Award for 2015. This year we’re pulling out all the stops. We want this one to be a metaphoric old fashioned slug fest that will be played until only one distro is standing.

What Hardware Platforms Do You Use? All of Them.

The FOSS Force Poll

The results of our hardware platform poll have been tallied and just as we suspected, FOSS Force readers in large part use every platform available. The poll, which asked what different hardware platforms you use, offered a slate of answers too long to list here. Let’s just say it covered the gamut, from smartphones to desktops, and included separate places to tic for different operating systems.

What Computer Platforms Do You Use?

The FOSS Force Poll

Star Trek Communicator computer
Photo by David Spalding
When Star Trek first hit the air back in the “swinging sixties,” that’d be the 1960s for those too young to remember, many of the technically minded took one look and said, “Impossible.” Or if not impossible, it’d be at least the 23rd century, the era in which the show was set, for the technology to arrive. They weren’t talking just the space travel science, stuff like warp drive, inertial dampers and the like, but were talking the small stuff too, like the communicators and tricorders. Today we have something akin to both, built into a single device called a smartphone. In hindsight, we should’ve seen it coming, but as some folks say, hindsight has perfect vision.

Poll: You’re All About the Raspberry Pi

We didn’t let it get us down after our server hiccuped and lost our active poll results last week. We just turned around and put up another poll. Unfortunately, our rebooting-the-reboot poll (we were only three polls into a reboot of polling on FOSS Force after an absence of a year or more) wasn’t as popular with our visitors as the two we lost, but hey, that’s life.

[yop_poll id=”42″]

For this poll we focused on the Raspberry Pi. We’ve been pleasantly surprised by the number of you who read The Raspberry Pi Report, Isaak Carter’s bi-weekly coverage of the Pi machines here on FOSS Force, so we thought we’d see just how far into the Raspberry Pi phenomena you dwell.

Christine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

The Dog Ate Our Poll Results

Or desparately seeking Schrödinger’s cat’s data

Right about now is the time we told you we’d be giving you the results of the poll we started last week detailing the methods our readers use to receive and send emails. Well, it ain’t going to happen. Nor are we going to tell you next Wednesday about the results of the poll we put up late Sunday night on how you feel about Microsoft as an open source company. Why? The best we can come up with is “the dog ate our homework.” Actually, none of us has a dog, so that’s out. We’ll just say the poll data ran away from home.

How Do FOSSers Use Email?

The FOSS Force Readers’ Poll

The "at" sign in email addressesHow do you receive and send your email? Inquiring minds want to know.

Last week’s article about Mozilla thinking of kicking Thunderbird out of the house to stay with friends started us thinking. For some reason, probably because our thoughts were on other things, such as the difference between the java in our cup (Chock full o’ Nuts, which has no nuts, by the way) and the Java on our machines (which has no Chock full o’ Nuts — go figure), it never occurred to us that the mobile revolution might’ve changed the way folks use email more than we’d realized.

Poll: You Think Mozilla Should Keep Thunderbird — Maybe

The FOSS Force Readers’ Poll

The results of our latest poll have been tallied and FOSS Force readers evidently think that Mozilla should keep Thunderbird instead of helping the project find a new home. Mozilla executive chairperson, Mitchell Baker, announced on November 30 that the foundation intended to eventually separate itself from the popular desktop email client it first released in 2004.

Thunderbird up for Adoption

Thunderbird logoMozilla wants to shed itself of Thunderbird, its popular cross platform email client. Although widely used on GNU/Linux, OS X and on Windows, the organization now seems to pretty much view it as a liability.

According to Mozilla executive chairperson Mitchell Baker in a company-wide memo written Monday and widely published online, the Thunderbird project is now seen as a “tax” by Mozilla because it distracts and takes time away from the organization’s software engineers.

Christine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

KDE Tops Poll

It didn’t take nearly as long to count the votes for our desktop poll as it did for last week’s distro poll, mainly due to the fact that not as many of you voted, but also because there aren’t nearly as many desktop environments and window managers as their are Linux distros. Also, unlike the distro poll, there was a clear cut winner instead of a virtual tie.

KDEActually, of course, it’s not about winners and losers. It’s about what you like. It’s about preferences. After all, unless you’re a diehard command line person, the desktop is how you interact with your computer.

Again this year, KDE tops the list with a commanding lead, piling up over a quarter of the 617 votes cast. This is a huge drop from the 70 percent showing it made the last time we conducted a desktop poll, back in January and February of last year. In that poll, however, users were only given three desktop choices — KDE, GNOME 3 and Cinnamon. This year, voters were served up a menu that included eight popular desktops from which to choose. As in last year’s poll, voters could also opt to place write-in votes.

Why KDE? According to your comments, there were two major reasons: stability and configurability, with many of you saying, “It just works.” But there seemed to be some disagreement over whether KDE’s legendary configurability is as great as it once was.

Poll Results: Ubuntu & Mint End in Near Tie

The FOSS Force Linux Distro poll is now one for the record books. The poll, which ran for a week, finishing just before midnight on Wednesday, asked the simple question, “What Linux distro do you use most?”

We figured this would be a popular poll going in. What we didn’t know was exactly how popular. By the time the dust had settled, over twenty-five hundred of you had voted — more than double the previous FOSS Force poll record, set back in 2013 for the third and final round of our Best Personal Linux or FOSS Blog poll. Back then, a little over a thousand of you voted, leading us to think we’d crossed the Rainbow Bridge into Valhalla.

What’s Your Desktop Environment?

The Linux distro poll is over and we’re crunching the numbers for an article to go up later today. However, first we want to introduce our second annual Desktop Environment poll.

It only seems fitting, somehow, that we would follow up our what’s-your-distro poll with a Linux desktop poll. After all, we see and interact with our desktop everyday — but we never “see” our operating systems — meaning most users actually have a better understanding of their desktop environment or window manager than they do with the underlying distro. So much so, that many users — especially outside of the *nix world, often think of their desktop environment as the operating system.

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