Survey on package freshness/outdatedness in Linux distributions.

LinuxFreshness

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Hello everyone,

I am a researcher and would like to solicit participation in a quick survey, estimated to take 5 minutes. The survey is anonymous, unless you desire to leave us an email address for eventual follow-up questions (this is unlikely), or to be notified of results (several respondents have already made this request).

As the title of this thread indicates, the survey pertains to the freshness of packages, and the perception of package freshness amongst users. "Package freshness" is the notion of a package within a distribution being up to date with the latest release from the package maintainers.

We welcome answers from users of any level of familiarity and experience with Linux and from users who regularly switch between different distributions to users that stuck to the same distribution for years on end, although after the first question, we ask that you answer based on whichever distribution you consider to be your "principal" distribution.

Link to the survey (google forms).

Thank you in advance for your participation.
 


jglen490

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What research firm do you work for, and what entity that hired your research firm is actually looking for this information?
 

sp331yi

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Since the survey includes neither Slackware-current nor Debian Sid in the statistics, results will very likely be skewed towards the most popular distros now extant. I question survey's usefulness regarding 'Linux Freshness' without their inclusion.
 

LinuxFreshness

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What research firm do you work for, and what entity that hired your research firm is actually looking for this information?
I work for a university. We were not hired by anyone to conduct this research. We are entirely publicly funded, as is the norm for Belgian universities.

Since the survey includes neither Slackware-current nor Debian Sid in the statistics, results will very likely be skewed towards the most popular distros now extant. I question survey's usefulness regarding 'Linux Freshness' without their inclusion.
There is a free field to add any distribution you wish, and it will definitely be taken into account. Someone has already answered Debian SId, actually.
 

sp331yi

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I work for a university. We were not hired by anyone to conduct this research. We are entirely publicly funded, as is the norm for Belgian universities.

There is a free field to add any distribution you wish, and it will definitely be taken into account. Someone has already answered Debian SId, actually.
Yeh, that was me, most likely if only ONE! Out of how many?
 

captain-sensible

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i don't think that much research was done @LinuxFreshness otherwise slackware versions would have been specified. Also a question could have been "do you maintain any package for a Linux repo; if so what prompts you to update it, how often do you update?"
 

dos2unix

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In the past I did maintain a few packages. I don't now. Why did we update the packages?

1. I didn't write the code, it wasn't specific to our distro, I just compiled it and turned it into a package compatible with our distro. I not only had permission from the developers to do this, I was asked to do it.
2. On a small package I did help write code for, we have an automated build pipeline, anytime that any new system libraries, (specifically glibc) or new kernels were released, the code was automatically recompiled against the new kernel and c libraries, even if the code didn't change. The version was incremented simply for this reason.
3. Sometimes the code was just bad. It was re-written better, faster.
4. Sometimes there were bugs, the program didn't do all the things it was supposed to do.
5. Sometimes users asked for new features.

I am no longer involved in much of this anymore.
 

captain-sensible

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not sure if i'm going to be able to continue to maintain either; have a flight booked 1 July bound Ghana west Africa now that wife is well all depends on corvid 19. the reason i got into it is that you always learn something when doing something new. it forced me to brush up on bash to make sure SlackBuild would work , poke about inside src mess around with ./configure --help launch "make" to get a manual etc. Then talk to mods at slackbuild etc
 


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