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SuSE Businesses Software Linux

openSUSE Survey Results Online 173

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the liars-damn-liars-and-statisticians dept.
apokryphos writes "openSUSE have announced that the results from the openSUSE survey (PDF) are now online. The survey was live for almost 3 months and more than 27,000 users participated, making it one of the largest Linux distribution surveys ever."
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openSUSE Survey Results Online

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  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hemogoblin (982564) on Friday May 04, 2007 @11:44PM (#18999087)
    I RTFA and even RTF-PDF, but I still don't know the point of this survey. For what purpose was it administered? As far as I can tell, it simply collected the characteristics of people who use openSUSE. Is some organization going to be using these results for something?
  • KDE vs Gnome (Score:4, Insightful)

    by eklitzke (873155) on Friday May 04, 2007 @11:48PM (#18999109) Homepage
    I know that Suse has long been a KDE-oriented distribution, but I was still surprised to see such a high percentage of respondents who used it. When I started using Linux several years ago, it seemed that most users were running KDE, but lately with the huge success of Gnome and Gnome-origented distributions, I was expecting to see a higher adoption rate of Gnome (yes, even among Suse users).

    Also, did anyone else think it was weird that among all the questions asked, they neglected to ask what geographic region respondents were from?
  • Re:KDE vs Gnome (Score:4, Insightful)

    by thatshawnguy (1096811) on Friday May 04, 2007 @11:52PM (#18999145)

    Also, did anyone else think it was weird that among all the questions asked, they neglected to ask what geographic region respondents were from?
    Because "In my parent's basement" can't be found on a map.
  • Conclusion (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Nick_taken (1090721) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @12:01AM (#18999199)
    Everyone got an email
  • by kebes (861706) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @12:21AM (#18999311) Journal

    who still cannot accomplish everything without having to resort to a command line
    Hold on a second... where are you drawing that conclusion from? Is it because 64% of respondents answered "Yes" to the question "Do you use non-graphical tools when installing or administering your Linux operating system?" ??

    I don't think that's the correct conclusion to draw. The 64% merely shows that alot of Linux users prefer the commandline, because it is quite powerful and efficient. If anything, the fact that 36% of users are able to install software and administer their box without ever touching the commandline is evidence that you don't need to touch the commandline in a modern Linux distro. (Unless you think that 36% of openSUSE users never install software or make changes to their system?)

    I agree that many Linux users are technophiles and love the commandline (I know I do), but in a modern Linux distro, there are graphical tools to do just about everything. So can we stop propagating the myth that only UNIX-gurus can run Linux?
  • by navyjeff (900138) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @01:19AM (#18999567) Homepage Journal
    Is anyone else wondering how they managed to get 21,171 e-mail address responses when they had only 21,165 respondents to the survey?

    Seems like some restaurant math to me.
  • Re:KDE vs Gnome (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Daniel Phillips (238627) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @01:21AM (#18999573)
    Considering that GNOME is the default on suse, it is amazing. It looks like the more that the distros push GNOME, they more that they shoot themselves in the foot. Hopefully, this survey will stop that crap, but I am guessing that Novell will disregard this part.

    Obviously, Novell pushes Gnome because Novell does not have nearly the same level of control of KDE as they do of Gnome, where a number of Gnome poster boys are on payroll. Ahem, and it is no exaggeration that Microsoft is now paying part of those Gnome paychecks. Odd.

    To be honest I find it more than a little amusing that Microsoft has chosen to fund (with its "patent" deal) development work on a Linux desktop system. However much I prefer the other desktop, I do not deny that competition between desktops has value. What I do not like is Novell tilting the playing field, turning it more into a political competition and deep pockets competition than an honest features, performance and usability competition.
  • by jgrahn (181062) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @02:15AM (#18999745)

    I have used the Linux commandline in numerous stages of my life (as also DOS and even VMS) and I wasn't impressed. Memorizing arcane commands to do simple things (vi as a text editor is an extreme example of its absurdity) is on par with memorizing Clebsch-Gordon coefficients :P.

    You are wrong, or at least wired differently from me and other command-line people.

    It's not about memorizing arcane commands. It's about being able and willing to research the tools while using them. "How can I use the find command to list all files larger than a gigabyte? *browses the man page* Oh, that's how. *back to work*" If you still know how two weeks later; fine. If not, you simply read the man page again.

    And seriously, how is a GUI better? Take the MS Word preferences which I battled yesterday. A tiny window filled with twelve tabbed screens which jump around at random, each containing more than a dozen settings and frequently sub-dialogues. And no useful reference documentation which explains what these bloody settings actually do.

    Above all, why it's become fashionable to run these tasks in your own personal RAM (*points to brain*) when the mindless computing machine in front of you can handle them quite easily is a mystery to me.

    It's not fashion; many of us seriously believe the command-line way is superior for most tasks. I truly cannot see how not doing that way somehow offloads work from your brain to the computer. My experience is exactly the opposite -- pointless memorizing, futile searching and mindless repetive tasks is something I associate with non-commandlines (i.e. using Windows and GUI applications).

  • Re:KDE vs Gnome (Score:2, Insightful)

    by lattyware (934246) <gareth@lattyware.co.uk> on Saturday May 05, 2007 @04:03AM (#19000083) Homepage Journal
    I'm sorry, but GNOME is important. I have friends, they will run a GNOME distro, but not a KDE one. KDE is harder, and ugly as hell. Note that I run KDE myself, because the software and configurability is better, but to most end users GNOME is way more attractive and easier to use. GNOME will be the desktop of choice for the linux masses if the day ever comes, KDE will remain the power-users desktop, as far as I can see.
  • Re:KDE vs Gnome (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dalutong (260603) <djtansey@gmail. c o m> on Saturday May 05, 2007 @04:16AM (#19000135)
    You talk about the open source value of meritocracy. I agree that it is an important value. But it is a value for "consumers" to consider, not Novell (the parent company of SuSE and Ximian.) If people were supposed to only support the development of the better software, then there would only be one choice out there. So I don't think it undermines the value of having a meritocracy to have companies fund alternative environments.

    Just as an aside, you say that the "Big Distros" rally behind GNOME. That's just false. Until relatively recently, Red Hat was the only Big Distro to come with GNOME as default. They have to consider their interests in doing such: they have been using GNOME for a long time and probably care more about familiarity and consistency than about which environment is better.

    You also mention the Ubuntu forums. Ubuntu uses GNOME as a default and is the most popular linux distribution out there. Couldn't that be evidence that people like GNOME? Or are the statistics only worthwhile when they support your desktop environment?

    I started using GNOME way back when there was still a substantive debate regarding which was truly free software. Miguel de Icaza was, at least in my young eyes at the time, one of Free Software's champions. I remember Antitrust's scene where you can see GNOME on the computer. All of those associations, basic familiarity, and the fact that my concept of the desktop matured while using GNOME have caused me to stick with it.

    I won't disparage KDE; I simply don't know enough to do so. I just don't see the value in arguing that GNOME shouldn't be supported.
  • by apokryphos (869208) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @04:16AM (#19000137) Homepage
    If you got out of your trolling tantrum you'd realise the survey was about the _distribution_ and not political opinions on political decisions. The survey was to get information about the usage of openSUSE, opinions from the users, and hard-data from those taking it. It succeeded, and just because you don't find the information interesting, it's not to say that it's not very important.
  • Re:KDE vs Gnome (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hclyff (925743) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @06:53AM (#19000669)

    I think the difference between KDE and Gnome can be explained sufficiently well by two screenshots, taken from random places on the web.

    Copying a CD with KDE [plainblack.com]

    Copying a CD with Gnome [launchpad.net]

    I don't see much explanatory value in talk about "power users". That I am an expert on speech recognisers does not make me want to manipulate zillions of settings when I'm burning a CD. I have better things to do. KDE is not the desktop of choice for "power users", but for people with too much time on their hands.

    Nice generalizations you have there. What do you do when you know your CD is scratched and won't copy using the default settings? What do you do when you have to leave in 5 minutes and need to quickly copy a CD directly from one drive to another (on-the-fly)? If your answer is 'I wouldn't know how to do these anyway', you can hardly call yourself a power user. And in either case, you can always ignore the extra settings.

    Come to think of it, that's exactly the psychological profile of the average Slashdot reader!

    Yes, because IT people are generally known to have lots of free time.
  • by Balinares (316703) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @07:17AM (#19000795)
    I've long thought that distros generally prefer GNOME (probably for license and looks-better-out-of-the-box reasons) but users have different criteria about desktop environment choices (looks better after tweaking, does everything you want, fast, and otherwise remains very much out of your way, etc). It is interesting that distros and users should have wants driving them to opposite choices, though, and probably goes to show that Linux has already spread far, far beyond the demographic of geeks that take part in its development.

This process can check if this value is zero, and if it is, it does something child-like. -- Forbes Burkowski, CS 454, University of Washington

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