Re: Debian is losing its users
OK. Try that search again. This time add ", windows xp" (the comma will give
you 2 graphs on the same axes), or try ", windows vista". I don't think that
this is a valid tool for predicting user base.
On Wednesday 26 March 2008 10:51 am, Daniel Burrows wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 26, 2008 at 02:43:37PM +0800, Wei Chen <firstname.lastname@example.org> was
heard to say:
> > The search volume for Debian has been continuously decreasing in the
> > recent years, as shown in the search trend statistics of one of the most
> > famous search engines. This indicates that Debian is losing its users,
> > e.g. about 50% in the last 3 years.
> So is Linux, apparently.
> That decline looks quite linear to me. At this rate, in another three
> years there will be no Linux users. Doomed! We're all doomed!
> Red Hat is in trouble too, it looks like. And they even pay
> A little more seriously:
> Exactly what statistic is calculated by that page and what's the
> methodology for deriving it? According to Wikipedia, which is of course
> never ever wrong or mistaken:
> > The horizontal axis of the main graph represents time (starting from
> > some time in 2004), and the vertical is how often a term is searched for
> > relative to the total number of searches, globally.
> So what that actually says is that the *proportion* of searches for
> Debian has fallen by a factor of two. I would tend to expect that an
> increase in search volume would not affect all search terms equally: if
> we assume that the increase is due to new users, it seems likely they're
> searching for things that are relevant to them rather than for computer
> operating systems.
> IOW, most Debian and Linux users were probably already represented in
> Google; by definition they already have a computer. What I think you're
> seeing in those graphs (note, btw, that the Debian and Linux ones are
> nearly identical in slope) is that a lot of people who aren't part of
> the Debian user base have started using Google, and they don't search
> for Debian stuff, so the Debian share of searches is decreasing. It
> might be nice to get those people using Linux, but there's no reason to
> run around shouting about how the sky is falling.
> Google Trends is a cute toy, but its numbers aren't especially
> meaningful IMO. Check out the Debian vs Red Hat graph above: do you
> really believe that Red Hat usage is around 10% of Debian usage? I
> PS: people don't like ponies either, apparently.