Linux and plethorization
Why is it that Linux distros divide and multiply? And do we have a better name for how and why that's done than, say, "forking"?
For the many years I've been writing about Linux, it has always amazed me that no distro ever wins, in the sense that it vanquishes many opponents in the marketplace. Instead success breeds other successes through forks, variants and derivations by other labels.
In explaining how this works recently, I used the verb "plethorize" and the noun "plethorization", both derived from the noun plethora, which comes to us from Greek via Latin. In the Greek it meant "fullness". As synonyms Wiktionary lists "(excess, abundance): glut, surfeit, superfluity, slew". So I suggest that plethorize would mean to create abundance, and plethorization would be a generalized process of doing that.
What makes Linux an ideal example of plethorization is its abundantly useful nature. It lends itself toward endlessness in the ways it gives you to try, fail, retry, succeed and improve. That's why it's hard to fight against it. Whacking at it becomes like the sorcerer's apprentice taking an ax to his magic broom. Each splinter becomes a new magic broom. The difference with Linux is that all the magic brooms go off in their own directions, try different approaches, and improve in their own ways, all along sharing the results with everyone who is interested.
Anyway, here's the beginning of an experiment. On Google today we see these search results:
I used the + to force exact returns.
It'll be interesting to see how those change.
Doc Searls is Senior Editor of Linux Journal
- Android Browser Security--What You Haven't Been Told
- Readers' Choice Awards 2013
- Epiq Solutions' Sidekiq M.2
- Nativ Disc
- The Many Paths to a Solution
- Synopsys' Coverity
- Download "Linux Management with Red Hat Satellite: Measuring Business Impact and ROI"
- Returning Values from Bash Functions
- Securing the Programmer
Pick up any e-commerce web or mobile app today, and you’ll be holding a mashup of interconnected applications and services from a variety of different providers. For instance, when you connect to Amazon’s e-commerce app, cookies, tags and pixels that are monitored by solutions like Exact Target, BazaarVoice, Bing, Shopzilla, Liveramp and Google Tag Manager track every action you take. You’re presented with special offers and coupons based on your viewing and buying patterns. If you find something you want for your birthday, a third party manages your wish list, which you can share through multiple social- media outlets or email to a friend. When you select something to buy, you find yourself presented with similar items as kind suggestions. And when you finally check out, you’re offered the ability to pay with promo codes, gifts cards, PayPal or a variety of credit cards.Get the Guide