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  • #11
    Originally posted by jacob View Post

    That's a weird thing to say. We are talking about technology, not fashion trends. Look at the Linux distros: virtually all meaningful innovation has always came from the majors (Debian, Ubuntu, RedHat, SUSE). Even Arch, which I don't want to underestimate or diminish in the slightest, brought little in terms of new ideas or technologies that would move the Linux world to some next level. It's the non-mainstream small distros (the likes of Void, MX Linux, K1SS, Obarun and whatnot) that stagnate and seem to forever re-implement the same old ideas - oh but look, this time it's with musl instead of glibc! Look, mine is the same but the package manager is written in Perl! Great.

    The only one-man project that stands out as meaning something to more than just a handful of hobbyists seems to be Slackware, but its significance nowadays is IMO mostly historical (yes I know that it still has regular releases and a community of dedicated fans). And maybe Gentoo.
    Good point, But i think the sheep metaphor exists for all things including technology. Your post is taking a different direction from what i intended, I was using that metaphor more in the direction of just following one distro and blindingly accepting it's choices of progress as the only way forward. The so called 'on-man distro's', in my opinion, are necessary to help keep a healthy ecosystem.

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    • #12
      Originally posted by jacob View Post

      That's a weird thing to say. We are talking about technology, not fashion trends. Look at the Linux distros: virtually all meaningful innovation has always came from the majors (Debian, Ubuntu, RedHat, SUSE). Even Arch, which I don't want to underestimate or diminish in the slightest, brought little in terms of new ideas or technologies that would move the Linux world to some next level.
      You don't always need to bring new extraordinary technologies to be useful. Arch makes it easy to stay close to upstream without having to sacrifice ease-of-use. Furthermore, its pkgbuild system works quite well, even if it is simple. The fact that you can find almost anything in its repos and it is one of the best documentations for everything linux related gives more than enough reason to believe it is a very well distro (it must be really good if people actively spend time developing it and its ecosystem). Thus Arch has very much pushed the linux ecosystem to some next level, by being simple and compelling to many developers/enthusiasts.

      The same can be said of free software organizations. After all, they all "waste" money on non-development tasks which users don't care about (why should I care if Linux Foundation gives money to accountants?). Anything that brings people closer and encourages and facilitates collaboration can be thought of a step forward, and more so as more people join/take part in it.

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      • #13
        Originally posted by jacob View Post

        That's a weird thing to say. We are talking about technology, not fashion trends. Look at the Linux distros: virtually all meaningful innovation has always came from the majors (Debian, Ubuntu, RedHat, SUSE). Even Arch, which I don't want to underestimate or diminish in the slightest, brought little in terms of new ideas or technologies that would move the Linux world to some next level. It's the non-mainstream small distros (the likes of Void, MX Linux, K1SS, Obarun and whatnot) that stagnate and seem to forever re-implement the same old ideas - oh but look, this time it's with musl instead of glibc! Look, mine is the same but the package manager is written in Perl! Great.

        The only one-man project that stands out as meaning something to more than just a handful of hobbyists seems to be Slackware, but its significance nowadays is IMO mostly historical (yes I know that it still has regular releases and a community of dedicated fans). And maybe Gentoo.
        A lot of the innovation in the big distributions comes from borrowing ideas pioneered by the little ones.

        Nix and GuixSD (which the developers openly admit borrow from Nix) take configuration of a distribution to a new level and blur the line between package management and configuration management.

        GuixSD and Debian are borrowing from each other and sharing ideas back and forth in the path towards reproducible builds.

        My seat-of-the-pants impression is that the only thing stopping the Void Linux package manager, XBPS, from being the fastest package manager available is that the Void mirrors aren't that fast. Once the files are downloaded, installation is fast.

        I'm sure there are other examples, too.

        So I think all the small distributions are awesome. I just wouldn't use one for my daily driver machines, and I recognize the staggering amount of work involved so I'll never start one myself.

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        • #14
          I don't know who will fill the Void.

          Bad joke aside, I have to agree with what's been said, it's very difficult for a 1or 2 person Linux distro to be a viable, sustainable project. Even if the person(s) has a unique idea, there are time and monetary constraints that conspire to inhibit the realization of the vision for the project.

          SkyOS is a perfect example, it was a promising one man project, but it didn't go anywhere. There have been some exceptions, such as Knoppix, and of course, perhaps the most successful one man show, Mint, though I think there are probably a few more developers now, but for the most part, it's all based on the work done by large teams of people.

          Even Linux, as an OS, is not the work of 1 man, namely Linus Torvalds. It made extensive use of the software created by the GNU Project.

          And honestly, even the good one man projects wouldn't exist if it wasn't for RedHat, Suse, Mandrake and later Ubuntu.

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          • #15
            Originally posted by piorunz View Post
            That's why you don't use one-man Linux distros. That's just stupid. Would you use one-man car manufacturer?
            So you never buy bread at your local bakery that's run by one baker?

            That being said: yes, I would use a car made by one man (or woman). If the car is good, then the car is good.

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            • #16
              Originally posted by Shiba View Post

              I would, that sounds incredibly interesting.
              For you. And for typical mums and pops? Once that one-man factory walks off, they are left with broken piece of garbage. Same with Linux. One-man distro is prone to bugs, problems, security vulnerabilities. There is simply no enough man power to deal with these.

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              • #17
                Originally posted by SilverFox View Post

                That cheered me up today, thanks

                For me, I've decided to leave the flock on my quest for a more peaceful OS experience. The last 3 months using FreeBSD has been surprisingly bliss.
                Actually, you chose very mainstream BSD system. FreeBSD is used by thousands of corporations and businesses, and many individuals. It's well structured and organized. That's entirely different case than one-man copy-paste Linux distro. FreeBSD will not go away because one developer got bored. FreeBSD is like Debian of Linux world.

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                • #18
                  Originally posted by Michael_S View Post

                  A lot of the innovation in the big distributions comes from borrowing ideas pioneered by the little ones.
                  It usually goes both ways. For example, you can run small distros that facilitate docker containers but those containers run on some boring rehashed server distro. That said, there are both big and small distributions that are completely stagnant and have nothing to offer.

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                  • #19
                    Originally posted by piorunz View Post

                    Actually, you chose very mainstream BSD system. FreeBSD is used by thousands of corporations and businesses, and many individuals. It's well structured and organized. That's entirely different case than one-man copy-paste Linux distro. FreeBSD will not go away because one developer got bored. FreeBSD is like Debian of Linux world.
                    It is very mainstream, Yes, All the other bsd's are based off it. But still a drop in the ocean compared to linux, Which was my point. I wouldn't compare it to Debian though, FreeBSD's repos are more upto date.

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                    • #20
                      Originally posted by SilverFox View Post

                      For me, I've decided to leave the flock on my quest for a more peaceful OS experience. The last 3 months using FreeBSD has been surprisingly bliss.
                      How is the FreeBSD experience? I do think the *BSDs are interesting...but I have never really used them.

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