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Re: Debian is losing its users

On Tue, March 25, 2008 11:43 pm, Wei Chen wrote:
> 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.

    No, it doesn't.  It indicates that people are searching on the term
"Debian" less.  You're deriving from that single point of data that
people are using Debian less.  Personally when I search Google for the
word "Debian" it is often because I have a problem I am trying to fix. 
For example, I am using the FF3 Beta but Flash doesn't work.  I search
on "Firefox 3 Beta Debian Flash".

    Ah-ha, a hit!  Because of a problem!  Therefore less searches for Debian
means Debian's quality is increasing and people need to search the web
for answers less and less.

    Also, as others pointed out, even if your logic were sound it does not
mean that Debian has lost popularity.  It could mean that users of base
Debian have moved to Debian derived distributions which better suit
their needs.  This is, of course, at the very core of FOSS.  For example
there's me, again, using Debian on 3 machines (leased Xen VM, home
router/firewall, laptop) and KUbuntu on one machine (game machine).  The
laptop sometimes gets XUbuntu or KUbuntu installed on it.  The game
machine sometimes gets Mepis installed on it.  Mepis is now derived from

Mepis - >[X|K]Ubuntu -> Debian

    I don't think that users migrating to a descendant of Debian is lowering
the popularity of Debian, it is increasing it.  That is because those
descendant's rely on Debian's health and stability.  If Debian were to
go poof then they would have serious overhauling to do.  It is in their
interest to keep Debian afloat.  Even better, since they are addressing
classes of users that Debian does not address directly they allow Debian
to remain as focused.  Again, that is the core of FOSS.

Steve Lamb

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