Attention / Interest / Desire / Action,, or why marketing 'the Fedora project' is a bad idea.

Tom Adelstein adelste at
Thu Jun 23 17:50:42 UTC 2005

On Thu, 2005-06-23 at 13:47 -0400, Jeff Spaleta wrote:
> On 6/23/05, Tom Adelstein <adelste at> wrote:
> > A Sun market study, Canonical Ltd., Debian's web site analysis, my
> > publisher - O'Reilly, former Ximian - now Novell people, the executive
> > suite of Novell, IBM, a survey of users, classified information from a
> > DoD study, results of a series of articles reviewing various
> > distributions, Linspire, Xandros, and sampling from Linux forums such as
> > Linux Questions.
> I was hoping for citations that i can get a look at with some raw data
> and potentially a summary of the methodology for sampling. I'm very
> interested in getting statistically verifable analysis for any usage
> numbers for any distribution.  I'm especially interested in any
> analysis break down of ubuntu's numbers not lumped in with as a debian
> aggregate.
> The last publicly available data I am aware of that even attempts a
> comparison... is the webserver survey of netcraft:
> I'm more interested in the raw data than the glowing conclusions. In
> fact I'm really not thrilled with how fast fedora is growing in that
> study of webservers. The implication that fedora web servers are going
> leaps and bounds sort of worries me that hosting companies are
> choosing fedora without telling customers about the support lifetime. 
> I really didnt expect fedora usage in the web server space to increase
> as fast as it has.  There's a lot of room for interpretation of that
> data. But sadly its the only comparable raw data with a set sampling
> methodology that I am aware of.   I am of aware of the
> polling, but even they don't attempt to claim their poll is an
> expression of real world userbase stats. At best its "popularity" and
> they admit the sampling methodology can easily be manipulated by the
> self-selecting participants.  Remember poll..
> what was the best distro of the year?  slackware.   Not to knock
> slackware or anything. But that result seems to indicated a very
> different world order than you are suggesting... and you even site
> sampling of as a credible source. Sorry, but forum
> activity just can't be used for anything more finer grained than
> "critical mass" userbase analysis.
> Also unfortunately ubuntu shows up as an aggregate with other "debian"
> releases so even in the very narrow scope of web servers I still don't
> have publicly comparable raw numbers for unbuntu alone. We could very
> well lump fedora in with rhel and get equally meaningless results
> similiar to lumping all debian derivatives together.
> If you have any references to publicly available raw data, I'd
> absolutely love to see it.
> Even getting accurate stats of downloads is really tough. Because of
> mirrored distribution and secondary torrents  you have a hard time
> knowing how many copies are really floating around out there. At best
> you can get a nice lower-bound to know if you are getting a critical
> mass of support, but anything beyond that is impossible to do
> accurately with download stats.
> -jef

Remember that Ubuntu was released in November, 2004.

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