eric.dunbar at gmail.com
Thu Dec 29 13:46:15 GMT 2005
I thought this thread had already been moved to sounder...
Response is posted at bottom. Context included for anyone who cares
and didn't see it before.
On 12/23/05, paul cooke <paul.cooke100 at blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
> On Thursday 22 December 2005 20:52, Mike Bird wrote:
> > On Sat, 2005-12-17 at 22:04, Eric Dunbar wrote:
> > > I would suggest you stop and take a look at the following (crude)
> > > break down on page views for the past three months at DistroWatch
> > > <http://www.distrowatch.com/index.php?dataspan=13>:
> > > Rank Distribution Hits Per Day
> > > 1 Ubuntu 2739
> > > 2 SUSE 1891
> > > 3 Mandriva 1801
> > > 4 Fedora 1030
> > Eric,
> > Those figures are certainly interesting. However, they count
> > views of the page describing Ubuntu, not people actually using
> > Ubuntu. Most of the people viewing that page are people who
> > have heard about Ubuntu and are considering switching but are
> > not actually running Ubuntu yet.
> > It's already been noted that Ubuntu was invisible in Netcraft's
> > server rankings, but that measure is subject to the criticism
> > that Ubuntu has not yet put out a proper server release.
> > I therefore analysed the last million hits at a national-
> > -brand website with largely teen and young adult demographics.
> > (To avoid bias, I first filtered out the accesses from our
> > office and customer systems - about 0.3% of the total hits.)
> > PERCENTAGE OF ALL HITS
> > Linux 0.13%
> > Macintosh 3.08%
> > SunOS 0.01%
> > Other 96.78%
> > PERCENTAGE OF LINUX HITS
> > Debian 3.7%
> > Fedora 0.1%
> > Mandrake 0.0%
> > Mandriva 2.2%
> > Redhat 0.0%
> > SUSE 0.2%
> > Ubuntu 5.7%
> > Anonymous 88.4%
> > It turns out that 88.4% of user agent hits which included the
> > Linux string did not include a recognisable distro. Although
> > Ubuntu and Kubuntu include the distro name in their Firefox
> > and Konqueror user-agent strings this is rare.
> > I also analysed the 50.4% of Linux hits which were from either
> > Firefox or Konqueror:
> > PERCENTAGE OF FIREFOX OR KONQUEROR LINUX HITS
> > Kubuntu/Konqueror 5.9%
> > Mandriva/Firefox 4.3%
> > SUSE/Firefox 0.3%
> > Ubuntu/Firefox 0.8%
> > Anonymous/Konqueror 14.4%
> > Anonymous/Firefox 75.0%
> > >From this unbiased but limited data, it appears that Kubuntu
> > is doing well in the KDE world but that Ubuntu is lagging.
> > As always, better statistics would be welcome if anyone has
> > them.
> > --Mike Bird
> try these:
> not based on web page hits but actual machines registered by users.
These statistics are _wildly_ unreliable if you're using them to make
population extrapolations. They're based on REALLY OLD data*.
First problem which is a problem with virtually ALL internet-based
polls: self selecting respondents. People who are motivated respond to
polls (or, in this case, Linux Counter site). Thus, an internet poll
for support/opposition to abortion, for e.g., will not give reliable
results since only strongly opinionated people will respond. All it'll
tell you is the opinion of the people who _responded_, nothing more,
Second problem... also, related to self-selection by respondents. Web
sites have certain demographics. You could easily be drawing in only
the tech geeks, and not the users.
And, now for the coup-de-gras, the data are OLD and cumulative*!!!
Most participants in the counter program signed up _before_ Ubuntu
even existed. Because it's a running total, you have old tech mixed
with new tech. If the growth of Linux on the desktop is really as
great as claimed (and, I'm not convinced it's as dramatic as
proponents would have us believe), then RedHat should barely even
register on this counter.
The only good assessment of Linux usage patterns (in a particular
country) would be to randomly select a thousand (or more) computer
users (to save money not surveying non-computer users) and as them
what they use (Windows, Mac, Linux (what distro, if known), etc.).
*Even though the data are old, they can give an interesting peek into
the geography of Linux use (although, even there any conclusions will
be weak, at best since expanded language support means that Linux is
now far more accessible to non-English speakers).
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