Voting by choice of distro/software
When one uses a particular distro or piece of software, it is a vote for that software or distro. This is the same concept that when you spend money on something you vote for that product and ensure that firms continue to sell it. Things are a little murkier in the Linux world because each distro has different flavors. Take Ubuntu vs. Kubuntu. If I use Kubuntu, am I voting for Kubuntu or Ubuntu? If I am voting for Ubuntu, that means I'm voting for MIR, Upstart, and Unity even though I am not using them. I would much rather my vote go to Kubuntu because I would prefer developer patches go to KDE for instance and support the Kubuntu community. Does anyone have any comments on this? How can I ensure that companies register my preferences?
I'd say, do a three component layer split.
Kernel: BSD-based, Linux-based, NT-based, Solaris-based etc.
Userspace/Kernel : GNU/Linux, BSD/BSD, NT/NT, GNU/BSD etc.
Distribution: Linux and its distributions, BSD and its distributions, NT and its distributions.
I think the term "Distribution" in the understanding what it applies only to Linux is wrong.
"Distribution" is the same thing as "Release", "Fork", "Configuration". Its an existing conveyance channel.
- For example, all the BSD favors are nothing else, but BSD distributions. What else, given they use same Kernel, same way of modification and 90%(?) same software stack for the base system. And these things like PS4, they are essentially BSD distributions, from Sony. Completely incompatible, but this is what license allows.
- Prior to w7, there were people that modified windumbses installation scripts (legally) and created (granted for themself) customized windumbses with tools like nLite. Since w7, MS has expressed its negative view on this matter, and main nLite developer disappeared (bribed, c&d, whatever).
- Linux and its "Distributions" that can be extremely different to the point of incompatibility (like embedded). Good thing they are not considered "general purpose", but they are here.
So, using Ubuntu, you would be using: Linux, GNU/Linux, Ubuntu.
As of Kubuntu, if Kubuntu forms independent entity, then its Linux, GNU/Linux, Kubuntu.
In two cases above, you voted 2 times for the same category and third time for the different (if Kubuntu is split entity, I think it is).
As of voting on software stack such as Mir, etc, do we have to do this, at all? We sure can as fourth layer (initsystem/display system/audio system).