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Stats Desktops (Apple) Open Source Software SourceForge Windows Apple Linux

2-Year Study Shows Mac Users Downloading More Open Source Software 203

Posted by timothy
from the wait-what-kind-of-lies? dept.
AmyVernon writes "We combed through about two years' worth of data on SourceForge, looking at the platforms of the users who downloaded projects, and millions more Mac users are downloading open source projects now than were in February 2010. In the same time, Windows downloads have increased by a much smaller percentage and Linux downloads have actually declined." I wonder how much of this last part can be chalked up to the ever-better download infrastructure that the various Linux distros have. (Note: SourceForge and Slashdot are both part of Geeknet.)
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2-Year Study Shows Mac Users Downloading More Open Source Software

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 19, 2011 @01:55PM (#38109918)

    I also wonder how much of the Mac users downloading more open source software can be chalked up to the better download infrastructures that Linux distros have!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      I've noticed that too. Do people still use SourceForge? This just means Mac users are behind Linux users on the development curve.
    • by andersh (229403) on Saturday November 19, 2011 @02:34PM (#38110170)

      While Linux offers a lot more [out of the box], the average Apple user doesn't need a repository. They can however easily add one! The App Store helped a lot in my opinion. Using Fink and Macports is not mainstream, but it sure works me!

      • by gOemb (755680) on Saturday November 19, 2011 @04:20PM (#38110808)
        Just because you mentioned Fink and Macports, I would like to mention Homebrew [http://mxcl.github.com/homebrew/]. It just amazed me how easy it can actually be. This is *the* package manager for OSX and the only one where everything I wanted worked very well just like that (zsh, tmux, new ruby versions...).
    • by errandum (2014454) on Saturday November 19, 2011 @02:44PM (#38110222)

      Not that, but maybe some mac users (I'm one of them) used to use linux but decided to get a mac simply because it doesn't require you to read 3 manuals just to change some configuration while still allowing you to have a really powerful console.

      Because of my Linux past, I tend to use macports or homebrew to get almost anything, so I suppose I don't count to the sourceforge statistics

      • by geekd (14774) on Saturday November 19, 2011 @02:53PM (#38110274) Homepage

        I second this, and add the reason that stuff (sound, video) actually works with zero user effort on Mac.

        Plus another reason: can't live without software like Photoshop, Pro Tools and Final Cut Pro.

        All that AND I get the unix environment I know and love.

        • by micheas (231635) on Saturday November 19, 2011 @05:59PM (#38111504) Homepage Journal
          There is another explanation that is being ignored. Linux developers are more prone to having migrated to github. Added to that the much larger repositories of debian, and ubuntu which reduce the downloads from the original source. An example of this is that when MySQL stopped offering official downloads for debian, I doubt more than a handful of people noticed, as it was a lot easier to get mysql from debian.org.
    • MacPorts (Score:5, Informative)

      by MrEricSir (398214) on Saturday November 19, 2011 @03:42PM (#38110576) Homepage

      I take it you've never heard of MacPorts? It's a package manager for OS X.

        It's the easiest way to install MySQL and other necessities for web programming.

    • by chmod555 (1525017)
      I agree; Linux users are probably more dependent on the individual distro's repositories. The bigger and better maintained the repo the less users have to venture to outside sources.
      • by tqk (413719)

        The bigger and better maintained the repo the less users have to venture to outside sources.

        Usually. However, it can just as easily go the other way. Try installing afio on Debian squeeze/stable. You can't from the Debian repo's. They've decided it's so non-free, it can't even fit in the non-free section. So, what's the non-free section for again? Great, they've just made a decade of my backups inaccessible! !@#$

        That drove me to Freshmeat ... er, Freecode?!? When did that happen?!?

        tar xzf ... && make && make install

        Works. Thanks Debian. Not. [I'm kidding about that last

      • by WorBlux (1751716)
        Plus those that aren't often use git or SVN where you can pull in a copy without sending browser information.
    • by Darinbob (1142669) on Saturday November 19, 2011 @10:16PM (#38113260)

      Notice that the Mac comes with a compiler on the distribution DVD along with a traditional set of tools that most open source projects will need. Thus you can get source code and build yourself much more easily than on Windows. Of course you can get binary only software but a lot of people shy away from that sort of thing because of malware concerns.

  • Obvious (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 19, 2011 @01:55PM (#38109922)

    After buying our Macs we don't have any money left to buy software.

    • Re:Obvious (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Nimey (114278) on Saturday November 19, 2011 @04:50PM (#38111002) Homepage Journal

      That's the funny thing:for some reason Macs have been a stronghold for shareware for /ages/. If you can find a program to do something for free on a Windows machine, odds are you have to pay $19 for a rough equivalent on the Mac.

      • by N_Piper (940061)
        I really don't know where or what you are looking but most of the software on my Macs is just plain old beggar-ware, you know "If you find this helpful please consider donating" that sort of thing.
        As I've transitioned to windows I find is hard to locate software with the glut of abandoned products that won't work on newer versions of windows.
      • Well, you *can* pay for LAME on the mac...

  • Package managers (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 19, 2011 @01:57PM (#38109942)

    I'll tell you why downloads for Linux have declined - better and more complete package manager systems give users less incentive to go to places like SourceForge for programs, because they can use built-in tools like Ubuntu's Software Center.

    • by RonVNX (55322) on Saturday November 19, 2011 @02:01PM (#38109980)

      The original "app stores" for Linux are its package repos.

    • by Nerdfest (867930)
      With the bonus being that things are kept up to date. I'm still amazed that the Mac app store doesn't allow third party repositories to be added. Well, not really amazed, I think Apple and I have different goals.
    • by Korin43 (881732)

      It doesn't really explain why it's declining since 2010 though. Linux distros have had package managers for over 10 years. I'm not aware of any huge changes in package managers recently, but it could just be that there are more packages and people are getting better at using their package managers.

      • by jpate (1356395) on Saturday November 19, 2011 @02:37PM (#38110182) Homepage
        My guess is that it has to do with the rise of github and bitbucket, together with version control systems that aren't completely dependent on a central repository. Sourceforge used to be the go-to place for coordinating open-source project development, but not so much anymore.
      • Re:Package managers (Score:4, Interesting)

        by SnowZero (92219) on Saturday November 19, 2011 @02:46PM (#38110238)

        There has been a shift toward Debian-based derivatives such as Ubuntu. Historically at least, Debian repos were bigger and didn't require going outside the manager to download an RPM/tgz as much. RPM distros also seemed to be more fragmented into incompatible subgroups, while Ubuntu and several others stay close enough to their parent that simple packages (the bulk of long-tail software) can be exchanged. Things are much closer than they used to be, but if you gather a lot of data you might still see a statistical difference.

      • by digitig (1056110)
        It might indicate that the number of non-uber-geek users -- users who wouldn't necessarily see beyond the repositories. I have to count myself in that class; I'm mainly a Windows user but I'm a casual Linux user, and I'll venture beyond the Ubuntu package manager as far as apt-get, but any further and I'm likely to figure the installation is going to be more trouble than the application is worth.
    • by Jerry (6400)

      Exactly.

      Since I moved to Kubuntu, in Feb of 2009, I have downloaded only 3 apps from SourceForge. Everything else came from the repositories or the PPA's.

  • I wonder.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ducomputergeek (595742) on Saturday November 19, 2011 @01:58PM (#38109954)

    If it's because more *iux developers have moved to Mac, especially on laptops. 10 years ago I knew more "switchers" who switched from Linux to MacOSX for development including myself. Mainly because all the hardware worked and I had the same software stack for the projects I was working on even if the final deployment would be to linux servers.

    Every year since I've watched the number of developers using macs increase at conferences so much so that in the past couple years non-mac laptop users really stood out at the three conferences I attend every year.

    • Re:I wonder.... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 19, 2011 @02:03PM (#38109994)

      I think the Intel switch in particular was the biggest accelerator of this. Once this happened, one machine could easily run OSX, Linux, Windows and whatever else you might need it to. The Mac lets me be lazy when I want to be (ie use "mainstream" applications like Word, Photoshop, etc) and still gives me easy easy to tools when I need them (ie MacPorts).

      • by laffer1 (701823)

        I'm sure Intel chips helped, but Ubuntu PPC was pretty awesome on G4 era iBooks. I remember dual booting while I was in college for awhile. Even wifi worked. The only downside was no flash.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      A little off topic, but following the parent thread. I am a freelance IT consulting and I see more of my colleagues using Macs with VM software. This combination gives one all that they need. You have complete *nix and all the command line stuff with useful Mac UI and then VM software for all the Windows legacy crap you have to deal with from time to time.

      I downloaded MySQL 5 as my DB of choice and PHP (plus python, perl, apache, and others) came pre loaded on the mac.

    • by JWW (79176)

      Yes, that's where I'm at too. Mac OS on my laptop, Linux on my servers. It seems weird but its way better than Windows. On your PC, Linux on your servers.

    • I wonder if it's because more *iux developers have moved to Mac, especially on laptops. 10 years ago I knew more "switchers" who switched from Linux to MacOSX for development including myself. Mainly because all the hardware worked and I had the same software stack for the projects I was working on even if the final deployment would be to linux servers. Every year since I've watched the number of developers using macs increase at conferences so much so that in the past couple years non-mac laptop users really stood out at the three conferences I attend every year.

      Don't forget the games. While not as good for gaming as Windows, Mac OS X was certainly far better than Linux.

      • Macs have laptop-class GPUs at best...
        • by perpenso (1613749)

          Macs have laptop-class GPUs at best...

          That is not accurate, many PCs have low to midrange GPUs as well, the majority of PCs sold today to individuals are laptops, and what good does a better performing GPU do if developers do not target your platform? It is a frequent comment of Linux users that they configure their system to dual boot to Windows because of the lack of games under Linux.

    • by JanneM (7445)

      Don't be fooled by simple visual impressions though. Macs all look the same, while other machines all look different. The logo stands out and makes it look more prevalent than it is.

      I was at a summer research school last year, and my impression the first few days was that more than half - and perhaps more - were using Macs. When I actually counted, though (not all lectures are absorbing and relevant to your own work), the reality was that about 25% were macs.

      The most used OS, by the way, was Linux - typical

  • I wonder how much of this last part can be chalked up to the ever-better download infrastructure that the various Linux distros have.

    The answer is: (drum roll please) ... more than 99% of it.

  • Linux user here. (Score:5, Informative)

    by IANAAC (692242) on Saturday November 19, 2011 @02:00PM (#38109970)
    I can't remember the last time I had to go to sourceforge for anything. Everything I have needed is usually already in my distribution's repositories, or another easily addable third party repository.

    Macs (or Windows, for that matter) don't have any sort of repository, do they?

    • Re:Linux user here. (Score:5, Informative)

      by TheRaven64 (641858) on Saturday November 19, 2011 @02:02PM (#38109986) Journal
      Macs have macports, which is a port of the FreeBSD ports system to Darwin. It usually does source builds though, and will try to grab the source from its upstream location, so these will still count towards the stats.
      • by laffer1 (701823)

        There's also mirports from the MirOS project as well. Not nearly as popular, but good enough to grab a few essentials like git for my Mac Pro.

      • Re:Linux user here. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by TheLink (130905) on Saturday November 19, 2011 @03:41PM (#38110568) Journal
        The last time I tried to use mac ports (last year?), it didn't work, the site was down or something. And I tried more than once over a period of time. Gave up.

        FWIW at work I use Windows for desktop stuff, Linux and Windows for server stuff. And OS X for testing some OS X client stuff.

        Many prefer OS X. That's fine with me. OS X doesn't suit the way I work. I typically have 30+ task buttons on my Windows taskbar. OS X's Expose would just be slower for me - would take more steps to switch from one window to a specific window. Yes it does it more stylishly, but no thanks ;).

        I'm not surprised if many OSS developers/users are using Macs. The "Desktop Linux" developers often seem like they're sabotaging "Desktop Linux" with PulseAudio and other crap. To those who will reply "It Works For Me", hey the rest of the world says Windows and OS X works for them, and OS X's market share has grown way more than Desktop Linux has in a shorter space of time.

        I get the impression that Desktop Linux users are having to switch distros every few years just to have something that works not too crappily.
        • by IANAAC (692242)

          I typically have 30+ task buttons on my Windows taskbar. OS X's Expose would just be slower for me - would take more steps to switch from one window to a specific window. Yes it does it more stylishly, but no thanks ;).

          I'm not surprised if many OSS developers/users are using Macs. The "Desktop Linux" developers often seem like they're sabotaging "Desktop Linux" with PulseAudio and other crap. To those who will reply "It Works For Me", hey the rest of the world says Windows and OS X works for them, and OS X's market share has grown way more than Desktop Linux has in a shorter space of time.

          I'm very much a keyboard kinda guy. Two of the most useful features of any Linux desktop I use (currently Gnome 2.x and Compiz) are [Super]A and [Super]W to get an overview of everything I have running and switch to, if need be much like you would with a Mac. I suppose I could also just cycle through [Alt]TAB as you would on Windows, but that seems cumbersome to me.

          You're right about Desktop Linux getting sabotaged: Gnome3 and Unity purposefully seem to restrict the way I work. Sadly with the current cour

          • I suppose I could also just cycle through [Alt]TAB as you would on Windows, but that seems cumbersome to me.

            On Windows I still do this a lot. I used to do it on OS X before Expose and it was nicer (one chording key to switch apps and one to switch windows within an app is way, way faster when you have lots of apps and lots of windows). Now though, I think we've found a better way.

            • by TheLink (130905)

              I wrote a program that runs on MS Windows that allows you to quickly assign alt/winkey+ to windows.

              http://sourceforge.net/projects/linkkey/ [sourceforge.net]

              Basically if you suddenly have 5 windows you need to quickly switch amongst, just click/raise them in reverse order of precedence (window #5 to window #1), then press "winkey+0".

              After that:
              winkey+1 = window #1
              winkey+2 = window #2
              and so on, till winkey+9 in most recently raised order.

              Probably only a few people in the world would find it useful, but my turn to say "Works F

        • To those who will reply "It Works For Me", hey the rest of the world says Windows and OS X works for them, and OS X's market share has grown way more than Desktop Linux has in a shorter space of time.

          Its true. The Linux community can ignore the requests of users, but then users will continue to migrate. Same deal with Windows and even Macs at different points in their history (and still today). Ignore your market, your market leaves. For Linux, I think the most common requests are "a desktop that isn't a resource hog, looks nice, and let's me work how *I* want to work" alongside the eternal ask for "better hardware support", with "better office apps" and "better support for windows apps" along for t

        • "Desktop Linux" with PulseAudio

          It works for me!

    • Re:Linux user here. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by taiwanjohn (103839) on Saturday November 19, 2011 @02:45PM (#38110226)

      Same here. It's been a long time since I had to "go searching" for an app that wasn't already in the distro's collection. And it's been a good deal longer since I last downloaded something from Sourceforge. The only thing that even comes to mind is iscan which I need for my Epson scanner, and it's not hosted on sourceforge.

      In any case, I'm glad to see the uptick in Apple downloads, though I suspect that's more a reflection of Linux geeks choosing Apple hardware, rather than the other way around. I don't have a laptop at the moment, But my last laptop was an iBook, and the the next one will probably be an iMac-Pro... because I know that Apple has good, solid hardware, and because the hardware is so tightly controlled, I know that it's easy to write for. If I get an Asus notebook, it's a crap-shoot for which chipset, which graphics chip, etc..

      I'll gladly bet a beer that any decent Linux distro will boot "out of the box" on Apple hardware. But I'd be cautious about that bet on some random confabulation of "commodity-PC" hardware.

    • I'd add a me to here. In fact, I used to download things from Sourceforge, mainly because the version available at my distro was old or had a version dependent bug. I don't do that anymore, in part because sourceforge stopped working as well as it used to (I can't even login again, try using a forum or bugtracking) and because Debian started to correct bugs faster than the packages available at Sourceforge.

      Not that the data of the article is much relevant. It is composed of only two years (came-on, Sourcefo

    • Yup. If I have to grab something from source, I'll usually look for an alternative as it means I'll have to keep it updated and managed, versus having apt do it all for me.

  • We have X! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wjcofkc (964165) on Saturday November 19, 2011 @02:02PM (#38109988)
    Also a long time Linux user, I jumped onto the Mac bandwagon as my full time platform in 2005. Best personal computing decision I ever made. On the one hand, Apples default applications are remarkable (Garageband\iMovie anybody?) I also use textedit like crazy. For me the single most important piece of default software has been X windows. If you are running it on Linux I can almost certainly run it on my Mac. I use GIMP frequently. OS X comes with GCC, apache, etc... I also like that I don't really ever have to minimize anything since tiling a bazzion windows on a Mac really is very effective. Then there is built in system wide spell check. Did I mention spotlight? I could go on and on.
    • by mspohr (589790)
      I found textedit very limited so installed gedit for Mac. Much better.
    • How are you liking the global menu? The broken mouse acceleration curve? The lack of configurable font rendering?
  • by Phat_Tony (661117) on Saturday November 19, 2011 @02:11PM (#38110024)
    It's not a popular idea around here, but among my hard-core geek tech industry friends, there are several who used to use Linux as their primary OS who then got a Mac. Many still run both Linux and Windows virtualized, but still tend to boot into OSX.

    A lot of geeks just hated Microsoft and were not necessarily huge fans of Linux on the desktop. Once Apple went to Unix, and to Intel, and started making nice laptops, it was an appealing option. Other geeks like open source but also still find Linux frustrating with dependency hell or config file editing or lack of some piece of software functionality, and just want an out-of-the-box OS that they feel they can spend less time messing around with so they can spend more time messing around with their code. [Obviously a contentious topic around here, but in my limited experience I have spent relatively less time troubleshooting configuration on OSX than Linux. Yes, yes, OSX supports a limited set of hardware and Linux tries to support everything, but that doesn't change the time commitment to making your stuff work.]

    There are also developer geeks who, until Lion (which allows virtualization), practically had to buy a Mac because they wanted to test their software under Windows, Linux, and OSX, on one machine. So it had to be a Mac virtualizing the other two.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jasnw (1913892)
      I was going to respond to this topic, but this response pretty much sums up what I wanted to say. I switched from Linux+Windows in 2004 to Mac and haven't looked back. I've got two iMacs and a MacBook Pro, all running VMware with Linux and Windows virtual machines. I have a number of Open Source packages installed on all OS X setups using macports. There are things about OS X (and Apple) that I don't like, but the damn things pretty much "just work" and I can roll code that I need done and not that my O
    • by Kenja (541830)
      More or less the reason I went with OSX. Scaled down from five different computers running different OS to one machine with lots of CPU power running OSX and my five old systems virtulized.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Coolhand2120 (1001761)

      There are also developer geeks who, until Lion (which allows visualization), practically had to buy a Mac because they wanted to test their software under Windows, Linux, and OSX, on one machine. So it had to be a Mac visualizing the other two.

      Just realize that the fact you can run Windows, Linux and OSX on the same machine has much more to do with Windows and Linux and really nothing to do with OSX.

      The only reason you can't do this on every PC hardware platform is because Apple goes out of their way t

      • by Guy Harris (3803)

        I find it very ironic that the only reason that a lot of people give for switching to Mac is that OSX is the very reason that Apple is much maligned: locking the OS into their hardware. Nobody else would even consider doing such an insidious thing.

        There's "locking the OS to their hardware", and there's "only developing the OS for their hardware". Apple does both, but it's the latter, not the former, that people are giving, if by "the only reason that a lot of people give for switching to Mac" you're referring to "you don't have to fiddle with the OS to make it work with your hardware". There may be something "insidious" about the former, but not the latter.

      • by stms (1132653)

        The only reason you can't do this on every PC hardware platform is because Apple goes out of their way to prevent everyone else from running OSX on non-Apple hardware. They are the only player in the game that has ever done this and it's the most underhanded anti-geek thing there is. What if every OS was keyed to a specific hardware platform?

        As a Hackintosh user I can tell you they don't "go way out of their way to prevent other hardware from being run" there's a very small amount of copy protection on OS X compared to what it could be. I can remember having to tinker more to get my first windows install working then my first Hackintosh. They mainly just don't support 3rd party hardware. They still support their software on that hardware through the software update.

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      Alternatively, I have a Mac that sits and collects dust because it doesn't live up to the hype. I don't "need" it for many of the reasons that fanboys like to crow about. Plus the thing is underpowered and difficult to deal with.

      The only real valid part of you comment is "software functionality".

      For that, Windows has a far greater advantage in both apps and games as well as having a less "walled garden" mindset.

      Apple products want you to adapt to them as much as the worst Unix interfaces out there. They jus

  • by gnasher719 (869701) on Saturday November 19, 2011 @02:13PM (#38110044)
    The number of Mac users is growing. Therefore the number of Mac users doing X is growing, whatever X is. For example, the number of Mac users downloading open source software can be expected to grow since there are more Mac users. Now the _percentage_ of Mac users downloading open source software, that would be interesting to know.
  • by phrostie (121428) on Saturday November 19, 2011 @02:24PM (#38110100)

    I hit up Sourceforge if i'm looking for what is out there,

    to download, i use apt-get.

    I only download from Sourceforge if there isn't a native package already

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I want to be clear that the comments below refer to Desktop Linux, not Linux on the server or elsewhere.

    After 12 years of being a Linux hacker, and running Linux on all my boxen, I switched to a macbook pro (running OSX) a little over a year ago. Oh, how I wish I had switched sooner. I wish I could reclaim all of the hours spent trying to get things to work on Linux. What a waste of time. My productivity as a software developer took a nice Jump now that the platform works, and is actually a pleasure to

  • My guess is that there are two main reasons for the decline from linux users -- one is that the old projects are already in distrib's repositories, while new projects don't really go to sourceforge, because of its insfrastructure. For the project admins code.google.com, github and etc. are way easier to manage comparing to sourceforge (I'm speaking as owner of a few projects on sf.net, code.google and github).
  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Saturday November 19, 2011 @02:42PM (#38110206)

    The article is basically worthless. "A few short years ago ... you would not have shown your face at, say, ApacheCon, with a MacBook"? Please. Powerbooks are older than MacBooks, and back in the day I recall when those started to show up - a lot - at Linux-heavy events.

    It's worth noting the author is a writer, not a developer - so she probably hasn't actually hung out with the rank-and-file attendees at these conferences much this past decade.

    Actually my lead-in was a bit harsh. It is worth noting the large number of Mac-centric projects that exist on SourceForge nowadays as opposed to 2003 (when my desktop switched from Linux to Mac). Back then, it seemed most all projects I was interested in had to be grabbed as a .tar.gz file, built using config/make/make install, and used X11. Now there are a goodly number of Mac-only projects (although I suspect more of those live on code.google than on sourceforge), and a non-insigificant number of "Linux" projects offer a .dmg download as well. But beyond just noting the numbers, the article offers absolutely no justification for any of the speculation it proffers as to "why".

  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Saturday November 19, 2011 @03:41PM (#38110566)

    I've been saying this for a while... Mac gets access to open source products shortly after Linux gets them and much before the project is ported to Windows.With the ability to run Windows by Boot Camp, VMWare Fusion or Paralells Desktop a Mac user gets access to all the Windows-only stuff and you can't forget the number of applications dedicated to Mac use. In total, it all just works.

  • by nomadic (141991)
    I switched from linux back to windows a few years ago, and don't regret it; as far as I'm concerned Windows 7 on the desktop is now better than Linux on the desktop, even if the previous iterations were not.
  • by devent (1627873) on Saturday November 19, 2011 @04:07PM (#38110728) Homepage

    A lot of mac-fanboys (maybe girls, too?) here. I'm using Linux because a) I can put it on every computer/laptop and b) it is a lot easy to use as alternatives (is there KDE for Mac?)

    Just now I updated my Fedora 15 to 16, and I don't have to pay a dime. In a year I update to 17 and get the new awesomeness of KDE and other Linux apps, all for free.

    But I know in our society if you can't pay for it, it is worthless. So you can't impress your friends with the newest useless expensive gadget. "I have Fedora 16 with KDE4.7" --- "Bahh I have it, too, it's free so you can't impress me"

    I was only on sourceforge to download some java or c libraries, because I'm a developer. I wouldn't know what else to download from that site. Everything I need I can download and install with a few mouse clicks. To go to some obscure site (like sourceforge or download.com or some other crap website), it's like back when I still had Windows XP (with all the crap what the setup.exe are installing).

    As Linux gets more attraction (like with Ubuntu), there is no wonder that less Linux users will go to Sourceforge to download apps. To get real popularity for a project there is nothing better as get into the main repositories of Debian, Ubuntu, Redhat, Suse (and the other distributions).

  • by cyberbill79 (1268994) on Saturday November 19, 2011 @06:43PM (#38111806)
    I find many of these posts very interesting... especially the number of developers getting Macs. I was one of them myself at one point. But I find what intrigues me most is wondering about their histories and past experiences with the os's.

    I am currently 99.999% linux, only using Windows or Mac when testing sites or software. But that's not how things began...

    I am currently 32. I like many my age, but not all, had grown up with the Apple II's in my elementary school. My earliest memory of such events was being the 'printer expert' in 2nd grade. When anything went wrong with it, I was asked to fix it. I was an Apple fan, amazed at what I could do with this yellowing grey box on the desk. At one point my father came home with an Apple IIgs which just expanded on my experiences, buying my first modem and connecting to the world via the BBS's around at the time. My first email address was through one of these boards. We later got a Macintosh, I forget the model, but it had all sorts of multimedia capabilities. In high school, I bought my first PC from a friend. He gave me MS DOS 6.22 to use, and later Windows 3.11. I found it all very interesting, and learned quite a bit about the OS after formatting and reinstalling it so many times. Maybe a year later, I found out about Linux from another friend at school. He was very passionate about it which made me so curious about this relatively unknown OS. My first time installing Linux was very painful, but I was determined. Through Windows, downloading a handful of disk images, and then rebooting and loading what I downloaded onto a second partition. After a few times going back and forth, I had enough of the system installed, that I could get myself online through Linux and continue installing the packages there. Compiling the kernel I don't know how many times to get this or that working. Finally the full installation setup with X a week after I had began. From that point on, I had strived to use Linux as my main system. Only problem was I liked using laptops. It took a very long time for Linux to become viable in this arena. I switched from various versions of windows to linux and back again for many, many years. I could never switch fully over for one reason or another. Quite often it was due to lack of software for some task. I keep trying, though I often had a second system setup as a Linux server for various network related tasks. Fast forward to about 4 years ago, I got my first Macintosh since way back. A Macbook Pro with the intel processor. I got Parallels and was able to still do my Windows stuff and play with Linux when I wanted to. 2 years later, I had my motherboard replaced because of the NVIDIA issue. It was at that point that I felt incredibly vulnerable if my system had actually gone down. Was I going to drop another $2,000 on a new Mac replacement if something went wrong? All my software was Mac-only! I had backed myself up against a wall. I began looking for multi-platform open-source free software to replace all of the OSX-only programs I was using. 6 months later I did a full backup of my system in-case anything went wrong during the transition, and leapt back into the Linux community wiping my Mac and installing a recent edition of a Linux distribution. Only a few stumbling blocks since the Macs were just starting to get support, but I had made the switch. One year later, the screen on my MacBook went bad, an internal crack that would cost about $300 for me to replace it myself, more if I had someone else do it. Typing blind, since the screen was completely unreadable, I got myself to another tty console and installed ssh using apt-get. I can't believe it wasn't on there, but now it's one of the first things I do. I was able to access everything on my computer now from my fiancée's laptop, which I had recently switched to Linux (she loves it! :) ), while I contemplated my situation. Replace the $300 screen on this 'aging' laptop (wow technology moves fast), replace it with a new one (I find just about every laptop I
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I am currently 99.999% linux

      Which, unfortunately, does not yet seem to support the carriage return.

  • by j8ee (157653)

    I would have guessed it was it only VLC that mac users download from sourceforge... I have many friends with mac's, and they all use VLC.

    • I've stayed in hotels where the in-room AV is provided by an iMac, running VLC. They stream everything from a central server, including the TV (much easier in a country where all the broadcasts are now DVB-T).

      I appreciated the technical coolness of this solution, as well as the very welcome extra features of having a fully functional computer in the room. I wish more hotels would do it.

  • However, since i dont have to compile the software included in the distros myself, i usually dont do it. Unless the version is outdated or i want to patch something.

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