article: The Top 7 Best Linux Distributions for You

Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier xonker at
Fri Feb 5 20:57:46 UTC 2010

On Thu, Feb 4, 2010 at 6:47 PM, Paul W. Frields <stickster at> wrote:
> On Wed, Feb 03, 2010 at 05:57:38PM -0700, Robyn Bergeron wrote:
>> Note: Fedora isn't listed for any of the above.
>> Would have been interesting to see something like "Best Distro for
>> Community Participation" or "Best Distro for Engineers".....

Ah, but the best community participation distro isn't very interesting
for anybody who's not participating. :-) Unfortunately, it's the
finished product that users (and typically reviewers) care about.

Well, actually, not "unfortunately" -- having a great community is
wonderful, but if the finished product is lacking, that's a problem.
Not saying that Fedora is lacking, just saying that "community
participation" is not likely to be interesting to readers who aren't
going to be participating.

> Since I get different answers for each of these categories, depending
> on whose article I'm reading today, are any of these articles truly
> useful?  Maybe not.  But more importantly, why isn't Fedora chosen for
> any of these categories?  Does the author disclose on what basis each
> distro was rated?  Were some distros not considered?  I have more
> questions than answers after reading the article, although at the same
> time, I'd be happy to see us more often mentioned in these articles.

Depends on what you consider useful. Obviously, it at least has
sparked discussion about the relative merits of the distros amongst
some in the Fedora community, and probably in other distros as well,
and raised awareness of the differences between distros with some
percentage of users... so probably a bit useful.

Having been on all sides of these kinds of reviews (writing them,
assigning/editing them, reading them, and being on the distro end as
well) it's clear that they do have some impact and while it'd be nice
if there were more objective measures that's usually not the case.
These often depend on the very subjective view of the writer and
sometimes personal and political biases as well. If you have a writer
who doesn't like the company or persons involved with a distro, that
sometimes influences things just as much as any technical merits.

But I doubt that's going on here, as I know Brian and he tends to be
as fair and even-handed as they come. It just doesn't look like
Fedora's strengths are in the categories that were chosen for this

> I'm thinking about changing distros on my main workstation for a week
> or so just to experience what other people think is a clear
> differentiation between them.

A very good idea. I've been using some of this week to test drive
distros other than openSUSE, including Fedora, on bare metal and in
VMs. It's not something I had a lot of time to do previously, and
wanted to see how other distros had evolved over the last two years.
Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier

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