Still, when I need to take a break, I've been able to play Braid (nice game!) For shorter sanity-keeping breaks, Connectagram, Pynagram, and Circus Linux fit the bill.
Also, to expand my horizons, I've learned to create presentations with Inkscape and I've read some Linux-related articles.
Apparently, several sites have been asking their visitors their opinion on the number of Linux distros. Results have been somewhat varied, although it seems that most people believe that the number of penguins in the wild goes from confusing to overwhelming.
This raises the always present question (again):
Is GNU/Linux fragmented?
Some say "just look at the name!" Some call the penguin "Linux" and others point out that it should be called "GNU/Linux." Eric, the Nocturnal Slacker, has also proposed the name Gnix.
From the name, we jump to distro numbers. Currently, DistroWatch lists:
- Number of all distributions in the database: 763
- Number of active distributions in the database: 301
- Number of dormant distributions: 52
- Number of discontinued distributions: 410
But we still need to add the number of distributions on this site's waiting list: 312
Does that mean that there are too many distros for newbies?
Does that mean potential Linux users will get confused?
Does that mean duplication of effort and waste of time?
Is it better to have just 10 big distros?
Now...which ones would those be? The first 10 from DistroWatch?
Currently, I have 8 distros spread among my different computers. Interestingly, none of them is part of the top 10 of DW. In fact, one of them is not even listed there!
Do they work? You bet they do! One day I use one, or several. Another day I use another (or others)... My brain hasn't exploded because of that.
I think that Linux, or GNU/Linux, or Gnix, is an ecosystem. A chaotic one if you wish. That's why many people feel baffled by the number of penguins around and think it is better to limit them to an easily manageable number.
But that desire actually comes from the inner human need to control their ecosystem. We want to rule over our world; we want to feel we are in control (even when we aren't.) In spite of all our efforts to dominate our ecosystem, nature has always proved us wrong.
We'd better accept it: Linux is free and open. Freedom and openness also mean that anyone with enough knowledge can do whatever he or she sees fit with the tools that this person has. As long as Linux is free, there will be new distros appearing and old distros fading away into oblivion.
We want a number of distros that is easy to handle? Then, let's make Linux closed source, hand it to a small number of companies, and give our freedom up.
That's the way to go! Who wants freedom anyway?