Re: GNOME user survey 2011

On Mon, Aug 1, 2011 at 12:27 PM, Christophe Fergeau <teuf gnome org> wrote:
> 2011/8/1 Felipe Contreras <felipe contreras gmail com>:
>> Would you like to rephrase the survey to don't assume the respondent
>> is using GNOME, and then ask this question?
>> == Which desktop environment are you currently using? ==
>> This should spot the people that are more likely to be unhappy.
> Ah? How so? Is it an initial assumption that people using G3 are more
> unhappy with their DE than people using something else?

What?. The survey might return that 50% of people are unhappy with
GNOME, but if you add that question, it might turn out that 70% of the
unhappy people are not actually using GNOME. Then you can concentrate
on the answers of 30%, if that makes you happier.

Anyway, if you don't like my question, suggest another one.

>>> Given the kind of questions, it's bound to
>>> attract answers from people who want more options, and I don't think
>>> how we can go from "N% of the people who took the survey said they
>>> wanted more options" to "M% of *all* G3 users want more options". To
>>> me, these figures will be totally unrelated, unless I missed something
>>> in the way you want to run the poll.
>> They are certainly not the same, but if N = 100, you can say with
>> certain degree of certainty that M is certainly not 0.
> Of course, but since we don't know how many people in total are using
> G3, N=100 will only tell us that there are 100 people out of an
> unknown number of users that want more options, and nothing more.

Read your own text:
"N% of the people who took the survey said they wanted more options"
"100% of the people who took the survey said they wanted more options"

> In
> particular, if this 100 people end up as 60% of the poll respondant,
> we'll have absolutely no way to go from the poll results to a
> percentage which means anything for G3 users as a whole. Ie without a
> careful selection of who answers the poll, even if 60% of the poll
> respondant said they would like more options, we don't know if this
> maps to 1% of all the users, or to 90% or to something in between.
> And I'm ready to bet that this "60% of the people who answered the
> poll want more options" will quickly become "60% of gnome users want
> more options, and developers don't listen!". That's why I'm
> questioning the gathering of these numbers. They are only very
> marginally useful, and in spite of that, they will be misused.

If you think it's likely that N=100 maps to M=1 regardless of the
number of responders, then I think I'll be wasting my time providing
you with logical arguments.

>> So you prefer, the status quo, which is "we have no idea about what
>> anybody thinks".
> Not necessarily, but if we gather these numbers, we have to agree from
> the start that they unfortunately won't mean a lot,

You can't decide that beforehand. Suppose the number of responses is 1 million.

First you get the numbers, then you try to make sense of them, and
_then_ you can decide if anything needs to be done.

Felipe Contreras

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