Re: GNOME user survey 2011

On Mon, Aug 1, 2011 at 1:23 PM, Christophe Fergeau <teuf gnome org> wrote:
> 2011/8/1 Felipe Contreras <felipe contreras gmail com>:
>> From my understanding, no number has a statistical power of 0, any
>> number will have statistical power greater than that.
> See, you start implying that whatever we do, the numbers will have
> statistical significance (aka science aka hard facts).

I'm not implying that, that's a fact. Blame the rules of the universe
if you don't like that.

> Unless we
> manage to poll a significant portion of our user base (whose size we
> don't know), the numbers we get will have no statistical meaning,
> apart from being random numbers.

That's is not true. While we don't know the number of GNOME users, you
can make educated guesses about the total number of linux desktop
users: (30 million)

Then, there are formulas to calculate the confidence based on the
sample size and total population. The bigger the total population, the
less confidence, however, after a certain point it doesn't matter much
if the population is 10 million, or 30 million, so we can pick the
safest one, which is the bigger one; 30 million.

You would be surprised of the small sample size needed to generate a
high level of confidence. Again, blame the universe for it's rules,
not me.

All this of course, depends on an unbiased sample size, which is why
as Olav pointed out, we need to identify the bias. If we properly
identify the geek bias, then we can make the calculations based only
on "non geeks".

There's plenty of things that can be done to analyze the numbers. They
are most certainly not totally random.

Felipe Contreras

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