Does Linux need more distributions and desktop environments?

Image credit: Softpedia

In today's open source roundup: Does Linux have enough distros and desktop environments? Plus: Pear OS lives on, and open source licensing choices really do matter

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One of the best things about Linux is that there's literally a distribution for everybody. Linux offers users the greatest range of choices of any desktop operating system. But do we need even more options? Softpedia thinks that we do and explains the advantages of having more desktop environments and distros.

According to Softpedia:

What people don't really understand is that Linux needs as many Linux distributions and desktop environments as possible, much more than it has now. This is not about competition, but the other way around, it's about completion.

If someone makes something good, all the other developers will want to have it. This is one of the most important ways in which a project is capable of influencing another project without actually sharing code. This can only be efficient if there are many people out there doing similar, but parallel work.

If developers were to gather around a few major projects, like some members of the Linux community would suggest, these kinds of innovations would be much less frequent. The same is true for Linux distributions and any other kind of applications.

More at Softpedia

I've always believed "the more, the merrier" when it comes to Linux so I'm inclined to agree with Softpedia's take on this. Innovation often comes from different people offering their own ideas about how to do something, and that helps push Linux development further along with each software iteration.

Pear OS downloads continue

Softpedia also reports that Pear OS downloads continue despite the fact that the distribution was sold to an undisclosed company a while back.

According to Softpedia:

What's even more interesting is the fact that Pear OS continues to be downloaded quite a lot and surpasses some newly launched Linux distros that promise support for a long time. Since the developer announced the end of Pear OS in January, the distribution was downloaded from Softpedia over 35,000 times, with an average of 300 downloads every day.

To end this with a fun trivia fact, Pear OS was forked shortly after its closure by a developer. The new Clementine OS was announced, but its developer received a letter from an American company that forced him to abandon the project. The name of the company was not revealed, but the Clementine developers said that it wasn't Apple.

More at Softpedia

The mystery of who bought Pear OS continues, and I find it more than a little amusing that so many people are still downloading it. How odd that a Linux distribution made to resemble OS X has gotten so much attention, and generated so much interest in the Linux community. It's a strange story all around.

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