Yesterday I was thinking about how much energy my three year old son Tim has. I remembered when I was child hearing my mother and other adults remark “I wish I had that much energy.” This got me wondering, why are children so full of energy? I don’t think it’s because they are young, as everyone says. I can go play with Tim at much the same energy level but my endurance level usually wins. So, what could it be? I tried to think back to when I was child. I remembered that everything was new, much of it undiscovered, and fascinating. Then I remembered back a few weeks ago navigating a corn maze at Anderson Farms. I had that same feeling as when I was kid and I was just bursting with limitless energy (just ask my wife who, in better physical shape than me, was exhausted after only an hour).
So, I think that’s the answer. Children have all of their energy because things are new and fascinating. Adults have considerably less energy because things aren’t as fresh and exciting. What if Linux distributions are children? Let’s compare a few: Slackware – Once (early 90s) new and exciting but now old, established, not that many users comparatively any longer. Ubuntu – new, edgy (and feisty), with lots of users. Hmm, could there be something to this or is it just coincidence? What about Debian? Debian has been around almost as long as Slackware. It is old, established, but, interestingly, has some number of users. Could endurance be a factor?
If these few examples are close to the truth then it implies that a good distro must be stabled and supported (the endurance factor) yet nimble and quick to embrace the “new hotness” (like Ubuntu).
Ever wonder why the fading Fedora Core is gaining users back? They have endurance for certain but take a look at the latest beta – new AIXGL hotness.
On Target or Missed by a Mile? You decide. Post your thoughts in the comments section.