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ONLamp 2005 Survey Results
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Few readers are monoglots. Sixty-one percent use PHP, 55% use Perl (hey, we have a website about that too!), 47% use C or C++ (we ought to separate those for the next survey), 37% use Python, 21% use Ruby (moving up in the world), 16% use .NET, and 8% use Mono. Other technologies include Apache (presumably Apache httpd) at 78%.

For development systems, 72% of readers use Linux, 55% Windows, 25% BSD, 22% Mac OS X, and 13% Solaris. It's likely that some people use Unix boxes for development, though they tend to use Windows machines for desktops. (My most recent development job was much more pleasant after running a remote X session from a Linux machine on Cygwin's X server and ignoring as much of Windows as possible.) In the comments section, a few people reported AIX, a couple VMS, a few IOS and VxWorks, and one DG/UX. Wow.

Looking at the systems our readers deploy to may help to confirm that: 81% deploy to Linux, 51% to Windows, 31% BSD, 18% Solaris, and 18% Mac OS X. Correlating these answers to the types of software developed might be very interesting. There are also a few deployments to AIX and HP-UX.

In terms of tools used, 59% of readers use gcc, 50% CVS, and 40% Subversion. It'll be nice when those last two numbers reverse -- perhaps next year. Other standout tools were Eclipse (29% of readers) and gdb (28%). In the comments, vim came up often, as did emacs, Ruby on Rails, Komodo, and Visual Studio. One of those things is not like the other (hint: Ruby on Rails).

Twenty-one percent of readers consider Debian GNU/Linux their primary distribution, 17% Fedora Core, 14% Red Hat, 12% SuSE, 10% Ubuntu, and 8% Gentoo. Mandrake had a small showing, but JDS, Conectiva, and TurboLinux did not. Many of the comments mentioned FreeBSD and a few Slackware. (One of the admins here swears by Slackware.)

Our next question was quite bad, asking how many CPUs readers have in their largest Linux system. Obviously (now), saying "one to five" is fairly ambiguous, if we want to know if you're doing SMP. We'll fix or flush this question for next time.

Eighty-four percent of readers run primarily open source software on servers, with 58% running it on developer systems, 46% on administrator systems, 31% on desktops, 13% on application terminals, and 8% on thin clients. 7% don't use it anywhere. 76% of readers plan to migrate to an open platform for at least one category there, and of those who do, 61% plan to migrate servers, 41% developer systems, 38% administrator systems, 36% desktop systems, 17% application terminals, and 15% thin clients. Thin clients are on the rise, but servers, developer systems, and administrator systems remain the domain of open source software.

As alluded to before, our readers mostly use MySQL, with 57% of those answering the question mentioning it. Eighteen percent use PostgreSQL, 13% Oracle, 2% SQLite, and 1% Sybase. In the comments, plenty also use SQL Server, a few Firebird, and the others you might expect. Users who plan to switch databases prefer PostgreSQL (49%), then MySQL (26%), Oracle (11%), with 3% SQLite and 1 Sybase. Not one percent, one reader. In the comments, Firebird came up most often.

Plans and Predictions

Around one-third of respondents are taking concrete steps to move users from Windows or Macintosh systems to Linux. The comments indicated that we worded this question poorly -- some saw no reason to switch, others moved to Windows and Mac OS X from Linux, and some migrated to BSD. Several respondents are ISPs or web companies where it makes little sense to talk about migrating customer desktops.

Of web developers, 49% are planning to deploy web services -- defined as a SOAP or REST interface -- on their LAMP systems. My favorite comment was "CGI isn't an interface anymore?"

Predictions are always fun . . . of the topics our readers expected to make it big in the next few months, there was plenty of Ruby, lots of Ruby on Rails, quite a few Ruby on Rails competitors and workalikes, and more than a few responses of "Perl 6." Keep the faith!

chromatic manages Onyx Neon Press, an independent publisher.

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