“You’ll frequently hear references to a “software ecosystem” on
various platforms, but it’s relatively rare to see someone take
that sort of terminology seriously. A group of evolutionary
biologists, however, has now used the tools of ecosystem analysis
to look at the evolution of Debian releases, examining things like
package dependencies and software incompatibility.
The team went back to 1993 and compiled statistics on every
major stable release, noting the number of packages in each release
and comparing it to the previous version.