The worst best list ever

I’m disappointed. I managed to find my way to (what appears to me to be) one of the first “distro year in review” pages to appear for 2010, and found it less than satisfying.

Perhaps that’s because TechRadar’s list is really just a list of the heaviest and best-known distros available, arranged to suit dull, hackneyed categories.

Every big-name release, plus a few of their variants, is represented, and everyone got a nod in the same way everyone got a prize in your primary school’s sports day. Even if you lost, you took home a cheap plastic trophy.

What’s the point in that? I’ll concede that Puppy Linux deserves to be on there; Puppy is fantastic stuff and anyone with a 200Mhz machine or faster should at least try it out and see how it feels.

But four deviations from Ubuntu, a giveaway to PCLinuxOS as the best distro for “new converts,” and a couple of nods to Fedora, Debian and OpenSuse? How was that list made? By plucking the first ten names on Distrowatch’s hot list, and giving them obvious nicknames?

Tsk, tsk. And you call yourself a journalist. Time to get off Facebook and actually go outside the building. “Bright light! Bright light!

Sorry. Media joke. 😳

No, that list just makes me feel hollow and empty … like when I took home the cheap plastic trophy for my abysmal performance in the 100-meter sprint back in 1976. Even then I knew it was a pointless gesture. I didn’t win. I was just there.

What’s needed is for someone to actually take the time and think about 10 good distros. Someone who actually looked at more than 11 distros last year, and knows more about them than their default desktop colors.

Then maybe I’ll get the feeling that the list was actually made of interesting and influential Linux projects, instead of watching the open-source rendition of a one-room schoolhouse popularity contest. Or the Academy Awards. 👿

13 thoughts on “The worst best list ever

    1. evidex

      It should be 🙂 I’d be interested to see what you would pick KMandla.

      If I was doing one, Slitaz would be up by the top for sure. A fantastic distro 🙂

  1. ThirdMonkey

    I’ll third that. You can’t complain about a top ten list and then suggest the “someone” do a better job without producing your own list. 😀

  2. llewton

    For once in my life I won’t even click on a link. Techradar is not a very serious authority 🙂

    But, “nods to Debian”. Surely all them Ubuntus are a nod to Debian and then some.

  3. arin

    Why didn’t they just declare that Debian is the best distro in the world? Six out of ten entries based on it, or crucial parts of it, can’t be wrong, or at least won’t be too far from the truth.

  4. Duncan Snowden

    It’s by Graham Morrison, Reviews Editor of Linux Format. I think he’s tried more than 11 distros this year. In fact, I know he tried some pretty obscure distros and configurations – no X for two weeks, for example – in “challenges” for their TuxRadar podcast.

    But it’s for a general tech site; I suppose he felt he had to dumb it down a bit, which I agree is a pity.

    1. Duncan Snowden

      Sorry for replying to my own comment, but I’ve just bought this month’s LXF and it has an eight-page “alternative distro” roundup, which presumably Morrison had a hand in: Slitaz, Zenwalk… even your beloved Crux is in there. 🙂 I think this reinforces my impression that he simply didn’t want to get too obscure on a non-Linux-specific site.

      1. K.Mandla Post author

        Fair enough, I’ll take your word for it. I still think it was a bit bland to use every big-name distro as a blanket for such generic categories. But if there is a print article that fills in the rest of the gaps … I’ll concede.

  5. Adrian

    What baffles me is the following:

    – Best distro for the office: SuSE
    because it has ties to Microsoft, so if your work relies on MS Office, SuSE is the best? What?

    AFAIK you still need to run Wine for MS Office, which will run exactly the same in Ubuntu, Fedora, heck Arch Linux.

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