I happened to be reading the change notes for the latest release of Pine (which I used for about 5 years during and after college), when I noticed that they're also tracking the adoption rate of Pine. In doing so they've created some interesting charts related to Pine's growth (bottom of the page).

The most interesting to me are those that plot the popularity of Pine on various Unix and Unix-like operating systems over time. For my mind, that's a reasonable proxy for tracking the growth of the operating systems themselves. I remember watching first-hand as SunOS/Solaris, Ultrix, and other operating systems began to level off at the same time that Linux was really starting to gain popularity.

I was never able to quantify this effect and rarely saw anything that did a good job of representing those trends--at least the way I saw them in academic environments. Well, the Pine graphs seem to do an excellent job of that.

Posted by jzawodn at May 10, 2004 11:43 PM

Reader Comments
# rayg said:

too bad they're not tracking macos x

on May 11, 2004 12:40 AM
# scotty said:

It does not seem to be an accurate way to track popularity of unix-like operating systems, even though it never claims that it does. It is probably more accurate in tracking popularity amongst pine users. That means most Mac OS X users are out (they use Mail.app). Linux users with GUI MUA are out too. Actually, I have not met one single Linux user over the past 5 years who still uses Pine, if he/she has not switched to Mutt yet. That also explains relative hight number of SunOS/Solaris in the figure, as they are probably university boxes with nothing but Pine, Elm and /bin/mail!

on May 11, 2004 01:07 AM
# kasia said:

.. and of course there's the clouding of re-installations.

on May 11, 2004 05:11 AM
# Manish Jethani said:

Pine rules.

on May 11, 2004 05:52 PM
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