It wasn't until 1995 that I actually got my hands on a Linux system; when I did, I immediately felt that it would take off. I was VERY disappointed to see how slowly that actually happened. But now in 2013, it is evident that Linux, whether just the kernel, as we see in Android-based systems in phones and tablets, widespread use in servers in ISP sites, and now professional systems that are actually making cloud-based computing relevant and affordable, we're actually seeing something serious and major taking place.
Now that we're where we currently stand, I have no illusions that Linux will dominate the traditional desktop systems we have known, but I do think it will be a major force in systems of the future: mobile-based systems that we've seen, such as phones and tablets, but now in emerging stuff that we've barely seen; wearable devices is one possibility, voice-driven systems is another, and a whole host of ideas that have not fully germinated, to me, are not only likely, they are almost CERTAIN.
It's been a REALLY LONG TIME, but it's finally happening.
Forget about dominating over Windows; the systems that we've known on the desk, while they continue to exist, are still likely to have Windows as their major OS; however, that market is in decline. We're already seeing where things are going: always available anywhere. Right now, that is the phone and tablet market. I think, over time, that, too, will change. What appears likely in my mind is that fast networks, small size, and take it anywhere, use it anywhere technology - in whatever form that takes, is likely to dominate, and I predict that Linux will be there, and will, at a minimum, be a significant force; at best, it will dominate those markets.
I am not concerned about the 1-2% desktop market share; as I pointed out, that is a market in a rather steep decline. Tablet sales have nearly caught laptop sales already, and are likely to pass them in the next year, if not sooner.
Not sure if this is a question that can be answered by history and facts, as weird as that sounds.. A lot of people here are debating that but I think it really is beyond that.
A distro is always derived from something. In this case, "distro" often refers to a "Linux distribution" - so talk of BSD and the like as I saw mentioned aren't included as far as I'm concerned.
They all come from one "system", and I don't think it had a name.
That one distro was simply when Torvalds made the Linux kernel, and the toolchain started to be built up around it (a lot of GNU tools were used, if I understand what happened correctly), that, at some point or another, became the father of Linux, IMO. Not as much a distribution itself as it was just a system of parts that people felt free to swap out as they pleased.
After that, anybody who took that core setup, changed utilities, it doesn't matter what they are, people talking about package management and stuff, I think that's irrelevant. Whether you're changing the package management system or the "cp" program, or even the kernel itself, you're simply modifying the original system even further.
The only difference is that while things began with simple changes, modifying it as they pleased, replacing certain simple utilities with others, it simply became more complex. Kernel modules, kernel changes, then UI's came around, UI changes, creations, modifications, etc., and it forked out into what's basically (IMO) an infinitesimal amount of Linux distributions.
Distribution, from the root word "distribute" is simply somebody (or group) distributing their modified version of the original system, and I really don't believe it's anything more than that...
So at what point is a linux distribution no longer based on another distribution?
IMO: When it shares no common code with the parent distribution. At that point, it is no longer derived in any way, shape, or form.
I really think it's just evolution and it can't simply be broken down to 'when' stuff happened and what was based off of what and when...I just see it as constant evolution of the original, nameless, system....and people started naming it, selling support for it, and *distributing* it.
Just my $.02, not sure if anybody agrees (don't particularly care).
On a side note, for people flipping out while reading because I said I don't count BSD and the like. The reason I don't count that is because to me it doesn't matter where he drew his inspiration from, the point is he didn't use their code base to do it. So if you're using distro as most people do, and that's short for "Linux distribution," then I don't include BSD, or anything else for that matter.
Being a trained ecologist of plant communities, I place more importance on functionality within a given community than I do origins of individual species. Second only to function is the diversity of species fulfilling a range of functions necessary for the community to remain resilient in the face of change. Climate change necessitates species composition change, especially in ecotonal zones, where functional change is most pronounced. I have always found the importance Evolutionary Biologists place on Darwin's theory puzzling and amusing at the same time. Parallel to this introductory analogy is what differentiates your thinking and mine.
The kernel is evolving as necessity dictates and remains just that, the core around which all Linux distros revolve. One of the best ways to differentiate the myriad distros, IMO and that of others, is via package management. Package management is the single function that allows change to occur most readily within a group in which we may say individual members are related. As such, to call this means of change irrelevant is a mistake. That is unless, of course, it is held that, at the origin of (to continue our biological analogy) all Homo sapiens (to take but one example of a single species) share a common heritage. This, however, flies in the face of most if not all evolutionary theory!
As Einstein stated, "Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better." Just my 2¢ worth!
I did not figure you could. BTW, which syndicate put you up to this?
The intentional misspelling goes back almost a decade (not on this forum, somewhere else), when the true spelling username was already taken. Used this handle since.