[OT] Free software versus software idea patents

Steven D'Aprano steve+comp.lang.python at pearwood.info
Wed Apr 13 01:45:36 CEST 2011

On Tue, 12 Apr 2011 13:37:08 -0600, Ian Kelly wrote:

> There is at least one method of measuring it without resorting to sales
> figures: logging user-agent data from web browsers.  Is it perfectly
> accurate?  Of course not.  But there are a number of different
> organizations that do this, sampling hundreds of thousands of different
> websites, and they consistently report that the various versions of
> Windows have a total usage share ranging from 80% to 90%. That at least
> gives us an upper and lower bound with a great deal of confidence.  In
> the same data, Apple systems range from about 7% to 15%, and Linux
> musters a meager 1% to 3%.

Yes, but it's the most important 1%.


Seriously, I would expect that Linux is seriously under-reported in 
surveys based on user-agent, for various reasons, starting with the 
number of people who have their user-agent set to claim to be IE on 
Windows even when they're running (say) Konqueror on Linux. Nevertheless, 
I'd be gratified if Linux marketshare of the desktop was as high as 5%. 
That would be awesome.

Another interesting source of data might be on-line games that offer 
clients for multiple platforms. E.g. EVE Online (to pick an old, well 
established one that just so happens to use Python as its scripting 


More information about the Python-list mailing list