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

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the wait-what-kind-of-lies? dept.

Stats 203

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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203 comments

Yeah, I wonder that too! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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:Yeah, I wonder that too! (1, Insightful)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110166)

I've noticed that too. Do people still use SourceForge? This just means Mac users are behind Linux users on the development curve.

Different User Groups, Different Needs (5, Informative)

andersh (229403) | more than 2 years ago | (#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!

Re:Different User Groups, Different Needs (0)

MrNthDegree (2429298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110220)

The App Store is a bad attempt at adding a repository. Yet Apple made the n00bish mistake of thinking a whole monolithic blob called an "OS Upgrade" belongs in a repository as a single component.... and I thought Pat Volkerding was crazy!

Re:Different User Groups, Different Needs (5, Informative)

gOemb (755680) | more than 2 years ago | (#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...).

Re:Different User Groups, Different Needs (0)

elfprince13 (1521333) | more than 2 years ago | (#38111698)

I haven't heard anything good about Homebrew from anyone I know irl that has used it.

Re:Different User Groups, Different Needs (1)

tixxit (1107127) | more than 2 years ago | (#38112016)

Last time I tried, homebrew was missing several key pieces of software I used. MacPorts had them, but failed to install them. I miss apt.

Re:Yeah, I wonder that too! (5, Insightful)

errandum (2014454) | more than 2 years ago | (#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

Re:Yeah, I wonder that too! (4, Insightful)

geekd (14774) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110274)

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.

Re:Yeah, I wonder that too! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38110356)

That's because Mac has 1 hardware platform to support with all the specs. Linux does an awesome job with hardware from generic sources... Drivers have always been a nightmare in Windows (again, Mac doesn't count, here is THE driver you need.).

Re:Yeah, I wonder that too! (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38112020)

No not really.

Depending on the Mac you have, you could end up with any one of the 3 major GPU vendors. Although the fact that you are buying a machine with an OEM OS install is probably the key thing here. If you don't bother to install your own OS, you kind of avoid that problem.

As far as after market things go, the Mac is in the same boat as Linux. It may work or it may not be supported at all and you have to be careful what you buy.

Re:Yeah, I wonder that too! (5, Insightful)

micheas (231635) | more than 2 years ago | (#38111504)

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.

Re:Yeah, I wonder that too! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38111110)

Yeah, I believed that too, once. Till I spent half an hour in the OSX paritition manager to find a way to create a partition. No button, no menu entry, nothing.

Turns out you have to click into the picture somewhere (the free space or so). Intuitive, my ass :-)

Re:Yeah, I wonder that too! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38111534)

I'll read three manuals rather than deal with the undocumented shit that you find when you step out the simplified OS X's configuration tools. Gnome's 3 has the same simplified configuration, so that's merely on par. OS X loses, badly.

MacPorts (4, Informative)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110576)

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.

Re:Yeah, I wonder that too! (2)

chmod555 (1525017) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110646)

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.

Obvious (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38109922)

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

Re:Obvious (3, Insightful)

Nimey (114278) | more than 2 years ago | (#38111002)

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.

About those linux downloads... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38109934)

why download?

pacman -S whatever-you-need

Package managers (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Package managers (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110070)

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.

Re:Package managers (1)

CapuchinSeven (2266542) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110122)

How would that make any sense to what the Apple App store is meant to be doing for users?

Re:Package managers (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110178)

FTFY

How would that make any sense to what the Apple App store is meant to be doing for users: draining their pocket books?

That's Apple's right, and the right of users to let them. But let's make sure the idea is complete before posting it. :)

Re:Package managers (1)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110112)

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.

Re:Package managers (4, Insightful)

jpate (1356395) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110182)

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 (1)

vinayg18 (1641855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110198)

Non-geek users don't usually open terminals to install packages. They need simple interfaces. Ubuntu Software Centre [wikipedia.org] , for example, has been in Ubuntu versions since 9.10. That could be one of several reasons.

Re:Package managers (3, Interesting)

SnowZero (92219) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Package managers (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 2 years ago | (#38111334)

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.

I wonder.... (5, Interesting)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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).

Re:I wonder.... (2)

laffer1 (701823) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110052)

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:I wonder.... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38110374)

The only downside was no flash.

So, no downsides then?

Re:I wonder.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38111434)

From this developer's PoV, the Intel switch is only valuable when combined with the movement towards VMs. The ability to run Windows in Boot Camp, Parallels, VMWare or VirtualPC for those few instances where I need to run a Windows program allowed me to transition. That wouldn't be possible without the switch to Intel, but it wasn't just the switch that made it possible.

Re:I wonder.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38110054)

Don't be daft! It's because OS X users don't have a proper repository like Linux. Linux users have no need to crawl through shitty Sourceforge, applications are already and waiting nicely organised and dependency clean by each distro, whether it be Debian, Ubuntu, Red Hat, Suse et al.

Re:I wonder.... (2)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110372)

Right, because the Mac App Store; fink, ports and homebrew don't exist... Wait, no.

Re:I wonder.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38111456)

Right, because the Mac App Store; fink, ports and homebrew don't exist... Wait, no.

You forgot the most important one: Google. Last time I checked, precompiled binaries were much harder to get than .dmg/.pkgs

Re:I wonder.... (1)

micheas (231635) | more than 2 years ago | (#38111538)

I would guess that the macports like the freebsd ports grab the source from sourceforge. Can't say as I've actually used macports recently enough to comment on the current setup though.

Re:I wonder.... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38110082)

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.

Re:I wonder.... (4, Interesting)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110394)

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'd like to see Apple use that line in a TV ad.

Re:I wonder.... (2)

JWW (79176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110084)

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.

Re:I wonder.... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38110148)

Yeah, I don't know anyone who uses Linux for dsktops and fewer and fewer who use it for any kind of light weight servers. Too bad, it had a chance for a while but it has become obvious that closed source operating systems are FAR FAR FAR better than open source operating systems. Sorry, open source zealots, but that's just the way it is.

Re:I wonder.... (1)

TimPL (1412079) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110248)

Good luck using Windows Server family on mainframes... Sure, big corporations base their internal communication on the SharePoint, MS Communicator and Exchange. And that's it! But there is more out there than just big, fat companies A lot of small and middle companies who deliver on Linux.

http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2011/09/despite-enterprise-dominance-microsoft-struggles-in-web-server-market.ars [arstechnica.com]
http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/692631.aspx [eggxpert.com]

Re:I wonder.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38110328)

YHBT YHL HAND

Re:I wonder.... (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110612)

I have never seen a mainframe before. Most I.T. people have not as only 250 companies in the whole US need them. Who cares about them as they mostly run old 30 year old cobol written software running in an emulator on them anyway.

Re:I wonder.... (1)

TimPL (1412079) | more than 2 years ago | (#38111320)

There are some countries outside US. There is Europe (please, mind! it's not a country!) and they have corporations, too. And they use big servers with Linux/Unix. I work for a Swiss bank - financial operations and calculations are done on Unix servers.

Re:I wonder.... (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38111914)

I am talkimg IBM mainframes that cost millions a year and hundreds an hour to operate. Not unix servers. I refer to fortune 250 companies that are traded and this includes European countries. Banks of course use mainframes because they can afford them and need something reliable and have very old software they need to run.

Re:I wonder.... (1, Troll)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110404)

Obvious troll is obvious (especially when Linux still has better than 60% of the server market and an even larger share of small servers), but realistically this isn't the end of the world for open source. This is people replacing Windows with MacOS. Which can only be a good thing for Linux, because it helps break Windows lock-in.

Applications developed only for Windows rarely run properly on Linux. Applications developed with portability to MacOS in mind get a Linux port nearly for free, because MacOS and Linux share the *nix APIs and you've already separated out all of the platform-specific bits of the code to do the Mac port, plus you've then probably used some kind of cross-platform framework like qt and avoided MS lock-in like .NET.

So the win follows: MacOS achieves a critical mass to get third parties to target it as a development platform and stop writing Windows-locked applications. Then those applications are either easily ported to Linux or someone implements a MacOS equivalent of WINE which will be easier to do and more seamless because of the greater level of similarity between two Unix-like operating systems than between Linux and Windows and because unlike Microsoft, Apple doesn't go out of their way to keep their platform a moving target to keep Linux from achieving compatibility. Linux then solves one of the greatest long-standing barriers to increased adoption, namely support for third party applications.

Obviously the death of open source, that.

Re:I wonder.... (1)

kermidge (2221646) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110480)

....I don't know anyone who uses Linux for dsktops....

Now you know one. Linux on my tower, which I'm using right now, and Linux on my laptop which I loaned to a friend for her business.

While I sometimes use XP in a vm, I ditched Vista on the tower and Win7 on the laptop due largely to maintenance annoyances. I didn't need any Windows-based software that doesn't run in a vm or its open-source analogue on Linux. I made the switch mostly for convenience; any inclination to zealotry was left behind long ago with my youth. YMMV, of course.

Re:I wonder.... (1)

RobbieThe1st (1977364) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110616)

Same. Debian+KDE on my desktop(now two of them), Debian+LXDE on my laptop(I have a W7 partition, but it's slow and annoying compared to LXDE), and my file/backup server, Maemo on my phone/tablet... What more do I need? Everything Just Works(TM) after initial install/setup. And I can control any machine from any other with SSH, and/or mount any drive to any machine with sshfs or nfs, including my phone!

It's /lovely/.

And the games ... (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110160)

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.

Re:I wonder.... (1)

JanneM (7445) | more than 2 years ago | (#38111904)

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 - typically Ubuntu booted native or in a virtual machine - since that's where the software tools we use have the best support.

Wonder no more Timothy ... (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 2 years ago | (#38109964)

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. (5, Informative)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 2 years ago | (#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. (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38109986)

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.

Re:Linux user here. (1)

laffer1 (701823) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110066)

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. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38110202)

...and it rarely works.

Re:Linux user here. (3, Interesting)

TheLink (130905) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110568)

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.

Re:Linux user here. (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110658)

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 course of Gnome3/Unity, I'll probably end up using XFCE. It's not bad, but nowhere near as useful as Gnome2/Compiz (yes, I know Compiz can be made to work with XFCE, but it's sort of buggy.)

Re:Linux user here. (1)

ninetyninebottles (2174630) | more than 2 years ago | (#38111176)

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.

Macs have Homebrew (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38110210)

https://github.com/mxcl/homebrew — that's how I get nearly all of the open source software I use on the Mac.

Re:Linux user here. (4, Interesting)

taiwanjohn (103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Linux user here. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38110266)

I can't remember the last time I had to go to sourceforge for anything.

I use both Linux (Arch) and Windows (XP and 7), and it is extremely rare for me to go to Sourceforge when I'm on the Linux side of my box, precisely because there's almost always a package for what I want in one of the distro repositories. That leaves only the relatively few cases when I want the absolute latest version of the code, or there's something really obscure that I want to play with, in which case it's probably not on Sourceforge to begin with, like the ancient wireframe 3D viewer I was tinkering with recently.

On the Windows side, I hit Sourceforge all the damn time, though I'm always downloading precompiled installers in that case. Setting up the build toolchain on Windows is enough of a pain in the ass that I haven't bothered. I'm a Linux programmer, but I'm just a Windows user.

As for Mac users, I can only guess since I don't have a Mac and I'm not interested in owning one. But considering the increase in the Mac's popularity in recent years, it would be surprising if there weren't more Mac downloaders just because of their sheer numbers. There's a lot of good open software out there, and I don't see any reason that Mac users would be any less interested in it than Linux or Windows users. Given the cultural differences, I doubt that Mac (or Windows) users download as many commandline tools as Linux users but there's been a veritable explosion of open graphics, video, and audio tools in recent years, and those are going to appeal to people who want them no matter what their platform is, and MacOS has long been a popular choice for that kind of application.

Re:Linux user here. (2)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110268)

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, Sourceforge is there for a decade now), and most of the downloads are for unknown operating systems. Also, the trend on Linux isn't a trend at all, it is composed of 4 months with a lot of downloads followed by several months with less downloads, out of that change there is no visible trend (on other OSs there is no sudden change, they are just noise with a small signal added to it). It could be that something interesting happened by 2010-2 to 2010-5.

Re:Linux user here. (1)

RobbieThe1st (1977364) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110632)

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.

Re:Linux user here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38111270)

I'm a linux user that's a developer. I run Windows in virtual machine for development. I run Mac OS X, but an old version by Apple standards (even if it would be supported by Ubuntu LTS release and definitely in Microsoft release cycle).

1. No one uses sf.net for development. People use things like github or similar.

2. I haven't been to sf.net for a while. The most recent trip there was to get mingw for Windows.

Overall, I don't like OS X, so whoever said that OS X is where "everyone" is, must be mistaken. OS X is even worse to use than Windows + Cygwin. Actually, I would have to say,

Linux >> Windows+Cygwin > OS X > Windows

We have X! (5, Interesting)

wjcofkc (964165) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:We have X! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38110004)

It would be nice if said programs would stop depending on X as it is rather shit.

Re:We have X! (1)

CapuchinSeven (2266542) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110338)

I agree, I've moved from Linux to some Apple stuff and it's wonderful to use. My laptop is an 11" Air and I use a Mac Mini as a home desktop for all the reasons you've listed and more, I honestly couldn't go back to a Linux GUI, any of them. It still has its home on my servers though.

Re:We have X! (0)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110620)

It seems to me that Linux is a poor mans Mac. I can't justify the price and the way Jobs leaves old versions of MacOS in the cold fast. It is great if you do not have $$$$ in student loans or get paid pre-2009 salaries but count your blessings if you do and can afford one.

In the Windows world people still use XP which is over 10 years old for crying out and software companies still support it.

I left Linux but switched to Windows because it is much cheaper and I can run Linux in a VM

Easy to use nice computer (4, Interesting)

Phat_Tony (661117) | more than 2 years ago | (#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:Easy to use nice computer (3, Interesting)

jasnw (1913892) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110302)

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 OS needs done. Linux sans the desktop is still my main workspace (space-related research), but everything else that doesn't require Windows is done in OS X.

Re:Easy to use nice computer (2)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110306)

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:Easy to use nice computer (2, Insightful)

Coolhand2120 (1001761) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110350)

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 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?

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.

Re:Easy to use nice computer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38110916)

i applaud their locking their os to their hardware. they are a hardware company afterall, you shouldn't begrudge a rational decision...

Re:Easy to use nice computer (2, Insightful)

manicb (1633645) | more than 2 years ago | (#38111244)

Rational decisions will ruin us, and condemnation is all we have to oppose them. See Garrett Hardin's seminal essay The Tragedy Of The Commons [sciencemag.org] or, if you're in more of a rush, the Prisoner's Dilemma.

Re:Easy to use nice computer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38110998)

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 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?

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.

Not tying the OS to specific hardware is exactly what makes the Linux and Windows experiences so god damned shitty.

Re:Easy to use nice computer (2)

Guy Harris (3803) | more than 2 years ago | (#38111194)

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.

Re:Easy to use nice computer (1)

stms (1132653) | more than 2 years ago | (#38111662)

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.

Simple reason: More Macs (4, Insightful)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Debian / Ubuntu user (4, Insightful)

phrostie (121428) | more than 2 years ago | (#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

The reason: Life is too short for a Linux Desktop (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38110104)

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 sit in front of. I'm sure other developers have arrived at the same conclusion: Life is too short to waste in front of a Linux Desktop.

OSX isn't perfect. I believe the Linux kernel, and other systems level components to be superior on Linux. The overall experience, however, is much better on a Mac. Now that the Linux Desktop is marginalized (due to various reasons), the desktop becomes a means, not an end. People just want things to work so they can get things done.

SourceForge is awful (1, Insightful)

tires don exits (2460114) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110108)

SourceForge is an awful interface for development. The only reason to go to SourceForge for Linux users is if the project is new enough that you need to download the source and compile it yourself. I've seen more and more new projects moving to GitHub or BitBucket instead of SourceForge. SourceForge's user interface, bug tracker, wiki software, is kind of awful. The newest development isn't happening on SourceForge, it's on GitHub.

The projects still on SourceForge started there when SourceForge was where to go. They're all old enough that they're mature and in the package managers.

linux users decline (2)

sega_sai (2124128) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110124)

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).

Bogus (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#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".

Re:Bogus (1)

HatofPig (904660) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110648)

so she probably hasn't actually hung out with the rank-and-file attendees at these conferences much this past decade.

But we are hanging out! This is hanging out. This is hanging out, isn't it?

Back soon.. (1)

bwashed75 (1389301) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110252)

Not a major point, but with distros going crazy like Ubuntu recently, I don't particularly feel like installing anything I don't know on top of that. I only have so much time. I'll come back when my OS doesn't get in my way. /rant

Better look out for apple trying to do more lockin (0, Troll)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110336)

They may in the next mac os move to more of a app store only lock in.

Right now alot of software in the app store is cut down vs the non app store ver and I don't think a lot of the open software will pass apples guide lines to get in to the app store any ways.

Re:Better look out for apple trying to do more loc (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110588)

And your source for that rant is what? Apple ignoring the open downloads available from open sources will drive many people to Linux. They're not stupid enough to attempt the lockin nightmare you're imagining.

Uh that's not a good idea (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38110368)

open source is known to have tons of viruses and porn/child porn in it. avoid it at all costs. its illegal and will screw up your macintosh

mod this post up plz so ppl know.

The answer is obvious... (1)

icongorilla (2452494) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110542)

Everybody on Windows is waiting for GIMP 2.8. Everybody on linux is waiting for gWaei which I just released yesterday. ;-D Expect those numbers to go up!

Mac: It runs everything. (3, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

idea (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110714)

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.

A lot of mac-fanboys (2, Insightful)

devent (1627873) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110728)

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).

Netcraft confirms, Linux is dying. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38111036)

Netcraft confirms, Linux is dying.

How did you get here? (5, Interesting)

cyberbill79 (1268994) | more than 2 years ago | (#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 upgrade to costs around $2000), or buy a refurbished PC laptop with very similar specs, but double the RAM capacity for about $300... I bought the refurbished one. Installed the latest version of my favourite distribution, using a backup program I backed up my files from the macbook and restored them to my PC laptop. Other than the week when my screen died, it was like nothing had happened. I had moved myself on to a very open, pliable, and well supported distribution, that worked on both this laptop and the last, with a minimum of hassle. Remembering back to all the 'Linux Year of the Desktop' articles and comments, I say it already happened. Just not everyone was watching. Linux is very viable as a desktop OS and still amazes me when I do something that would be very hard or at least 'kludgy' on a Windows or Mac OS. I still have that Macbook, but now it resides plugged into my tv as a media center still running Linux. When it comes down to it, it all depends on how passionate you are about something. It took me 15 years to switch to Linux full-time, but I never doubted it would happen.

I don't know if you'll see this, or even bother reading it, but I am truly curious about other people's past experiences.
Do you have a story? I'd love to hear it.
-Bill
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