[CentOS] And then there was one (browser)

Fri Dec 20 18:47:39 UTC 2013
Warren Young <warren at etr-usa.com>

On 12/19/2013 19:50, John R Pierce wrote:
> On 12/19/2013 6:43 PM, Darr247 wrote:
>> On 20 DEC 2013 @02:06 zulu, John R Pierce wrote:
>>>> how many XP systems are still in use?
>> We have 3 XP desktops connected to the LAN in our home.
> that was a rhetorical question, of course I'd expect THIS email list to
> be skewed heavily away from the global norm.
> I suspect there's 100 to 1000 XP systems for every RHEL/CentOS desktop
> workstation on a global basis.

Web site browser stats are often misused to talk about OS market share, 
but in this case, they're perfect.  They measure exactly what we want here.

One set I looked at[*] says the XP:Linux ratio is about 20:1.  Others 
roughly confirm this.

I was unable to find stats that broke the Linux portion down, which is 
unfortunate because it's difficult to build a browser that runs on all 
Linuxes out-of-the-box.

Netscape used to ship an "any Linux" tarball, through Netscape 4.  To 
pull that trick off, they had to include copies of *all* of the 
libraries it was built against except libc, even when the platform came 
with one or more of these libraries.  The lowest-common-denominator 
result didn't take advantage of any platform-specific desktop features. 
  NS4 looked and worked like CDE/Motif no matter where it ran.

Chromium doesn't try to do that.  They'd have to dedicate build 
resources -- test VMs, develoer time -- to each OS they specifically 
support.  They'd then have to choose to either do the sort of LCD effort 
Netscape did, or spend development time creating workarounds for missing 
features on the older platforms they want to support.

To hit your 100:1 number, John, EL6 would have to be 1/5 the Linux 
interactive desktop market.  I'd be stunned if it is that high, given 
how popular Ubuntu and Mint are for that.

I also agree that 1000:1 seems like the far edge of the probability 
curve.  That would mean EL6 is 1/50 the total interactive desktop Linux 
market.  It could be that bad, given that most EL6 machines are probably 
headless servers.

[*] http://gs.statcounter.com/#desktop-os-ww-monthly-201211-201311