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Old 03-08-2010, 10:26 PM
Doug Ledford
 
Default Update question: some user data

On 03/08/2010 03:31 PM, Adam Williamson wrote:
> On Mon, 2010-03-08 at 12:14 -0500, Doug Ledford wrote:
>> On 03/08/2010 11:05 AM, Adam Williamson wrote:
>>> If you think the poll is wrong - provide some data to disprove it.
>>
>> I'm sorry, but that's a scientifically specious argument. Invalid data
>> doesn't become valid because there is no valid counter data. It is
>> valid or invalid all on its own. To date, no one has run a
>> scientifically valid poll, but that doesn't make your poll any better or
>> worse, it just makes it all by itself.
>
> My basic point here is that the poll, while imperfect, is the best
> indication we have available so far.

So? From a scientific process perspective, bad data is bad data. And
if all you have is bad data, then you really have no data at all. There
is no such thing as "the best we have available" translating to "not
bad" or to "usable".

> My second important point is that complaining about a poll being
> problematic and backing up your complaint with nothing but utterly
> unsupported assertions is entirely hypocritical. If my data is invalid,
> their assertions are...well, even *more* invalid (although validity
> isn't an analog concept, I accept).

You have your roles backwards here. In the realm of scientific
scrutiny, it is up to the researcher to be able to establish beyond a
reasonable doubt to their critics that their methods do in fact meet the
necessary standards for scientific integrity and that the
research/experiment does indeed prove what they try to establish it
proves. In other words, it's up to you to defend your poll if you want
it to be taken as though it is in any way authoritative or accurate. It
is not up to the people criticizing your poll to prove their assertions.
The burden of proof is all on you.

>>> Counteracting it with yet more assertions built on precisely no evidence
>>> is not convincing.
>>
>> Well, one of the questions to be asked before going any further on this
>> is what audience do we care about? I've heard it over and over again
>> that Fedora is supposed to be a developer's platform, and not a user's
>> platform. If that's true, then the people that should be voting on this
>> is the people that make Fedora, not the people that consume it. If the
>> reverse is true, then it really doesn't matter what the users vote
>> anyway because then it's up to us to decide *which* user segment we wish
>> to target and build the OS to satisfy them.
>
> I agree, and I'm one of the people who's been saying this for months. On
> a practical level, though, it doesn't look like it's going to happen any
> time soon, whereas by some of the comments in this thread, some people
> seem happy to claim that FESco has sufficient authority to decide an
> updates policy on its own, and also seem as if they have some
> inclination towards doing so.
>
> So it seems like there may be efforts to make changes in the update
> policy situation _before_ the target audience issue is settled (which,
> like you, I do not think is a good idea).

Good, I'm glad we agree on something ;-) Pick your target audience,
then make things work for that audience.

> As I said right back at the start, I primarily did the poll because more
> than one person in the thread happily asserted that 'users don't want
> adventurous updates', without bothering to provide any kind of support
> for that claim. It's a lot harder to make that claim now, I think. Even
> if you want to argue that the poll isn't sufficiently rigorous to
> 'prove' that users want adventurous updates, I think it's sufficient
> data to make it clear that barely asserting that users don't want such
> updates isn't admissible.
>
>> Now, as for the wording. It was both subjective and vague. Neither of
>> those leads to a good poll without at a minimum putting in additional
>> questions to narrow down responses. As an example of why I call it
>> subjective and vague, I could have worded the same "adventurous" and
>> "conservative" options as "gratuitous" and "reasonable",
>
> That's not a very good example, because you're taking the wording that I
> claim is good and replacing it with bad wording and saying 'this proves
> the wording is bad'. Huh?

No, I'm taking wording that I claim was bad and replacing it with
wording that was equally bad in order to demonstrate the point. Just
because "adventurous" and "conservative" are not loaded and subjective
terms in your mind does not mean that they aren't in other people's
minds. The point of wording in a poll like this is that the choice of
wording needs to be neutral in as many people's minds as possible.

Moreover, adventurous and conservative are too vague to be useful. Does
adventurous mean that you take the latest version from upstream
immediately on release every time and dump it straight into updates?
Does it mean you go a step further and pull direct from the upstream
repo and don't even wait for a release? Maybe you go even further and
instead of pulling from the official upstream repo you pull from the
equivalent of the for-next kernel repo? Likewise, conservative could
mean nothing bug security/serious bug fixes, it could mean minor point
updates, in contrast to pulling from for-next it could even include
major point updates as long as they are officially released by upstream.

So I stand by my claim that adventurous and conservative are both loaded
terms (maybe not to you, but certainly to some people, myself included),
and I stand by that they are too vague to be used in a single question
poll and have them produce any meaningful results.

> By that token you could take any well-worded poll, replace it with bad
> wording, and say 'the fact that I can plug bad wording into this poll
> question means the original wording must also be bad!' It's a
> non-sequitur.

Sorry, it wasn't well worded. That you think it was is part of the
problem and why I gave you the demonstration I did.

> The whole reason I chose the words 'adventurous' and 'conservative' is
> that I don't believe either of them have especially positive or negative
> connotations. Which is clearly not true of 'gratuitous' and
> 'reasonable'.

They most absolutely have connotation.

>> To be a valid poll, we have to be precise
>> enough that people know what they are voting on without the wording
>> leading their thoughts.
>
> In theory I agree. In practice, it's impossible to ensure this (_any_
> poll question can be deconstructed), and I don't think the wording I
> chose was significantly leading.

I disagree.

--
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Old 03-08-2010, 11:21 PM
Kevin Kofler
 
Default Update question: some user data

Mail Lists wrote:
> Yes we've had bad decisions (kde 4.0 in my view)

It shall be noted that KDE 4.0 was NOT an update (we did NOT push it to F8
for obvious reasons) and that the updates actually brought it up to 4.1 and
later 4.2.

Now I'm not convinced shipping 4.0 was a mistake in the first place, but
even if it was, that doesn't say anything about our update policy. Well,
actually it even says that it was good that version updates were allowed
because 4.1 and 4.2 were big improvements.

Kevin Kofler

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Old 03-08-2010, 11:27 PM
Kevin Kofler
 
Default Update question: some user data

Will Woods wrote:
> So the only unknown is: exactly what percentage of our *current* users
> are willing to accept a loss of stability in favor of New Hotness? But
> I'm fairly certain this question is *irrelevant*. Our current users'
> expectations are already set by their past experience with Fedora. If
> they're still Fedora users, they're willing to accept - and *have*
> accepted - whatever we're currently doing.
>
> In short: I fully support gathering actual data, but I think it would be
> more useful to gather data to help shape overall *goals*, and work
> toward those goals. It might also be useful to poll people *outside* our
> current user/developer base and find out what we'd need to do to attract
> *new* users and contributors.

But why would we want to ignore the expectations of our current userbase
just to attract some potential new users who are unlikely to switch anyway?
If they're happy with Ubuntu, Winblow$ or whatever, let them use what
they're happy with. Just blindly copying the competition helps no one.

Kevin Kofler

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Old 03-09-2010, 12:28 AM
Chris Jones
 
Default Update question: some user data

>>then i seriously think we are following different lists :/
>>as adam's poll is starting to show the majority of fedora users choose fedora for the fact that it is >>leading the way with the newer software and that it has constant updates. (ie >>freedom,friends,features,first!) this argument that most fedora users want a more stable system is not >>what the fedora users i came across are after. tbh i think this whole identity crisis is blown of of all >>proportion, you'd think that something like this would have come with the fedora10 dbus probs or the >>'stabilisation cannot be detected' not now with a little kde popup window :0

*
*
*
+1 for these comments. I run both Fedora, Ubuntu and Sidux distros and find that Fedora is the most cutting edge of them all. It's always the first to introduce new technology whether stable or experimental. And that's one of the reasons I run different distros, for different reasons. And the aforementioned being the main reason I ran Fedora. Traditionally, Ubuntu's (and Debian's) focus has always been more on stability rather than cutting/bleeding edge. It's good because it gives us, the user, choice. Which is what Linux is all about after all.

*
Cheers.
--
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Photographic Imaging Professional
ABN: 98 317 740 240

Photo Resolutions
http://photoresolutions.freehostia.com


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Old 03-09-2010, 01:00 AM
Peter Boy
 
Default Update question: some user data

> > My basic point here is that the poll, while imperfect, is the best
> > indication we have available so far.
>
> So? From a scientific process perspective, bad data is bad data. And
> if all you have is bad data, then you really have no data at all.

>From a social science point of view (and the poll is some sort of social
science methods) this dichotomous approach is imperfect.

Any data, even conducted with perfect sociological methods, is biased
and an unaccurate representation of the "real world".

Said that one can legitimately view the poll as a first approximation
and it is feasible to discuss in which direction it is biased.


> So I stand by my claim that adventurous and conservative are both loaded
> terms (maybe not to you, but certainly to some people, myself included),
> and I stand by that they are too vague to be used in a single question
> poll and have them produce any meaningful results.
>
> > By that token you could take any well-worded poll, replace it with bad
> > wording, and say 'the fact that I can plug bad wording into this poll
> > question means the original wording must also be bad!' It's a
> > non-sequitur.
>
> Sorry, it wasn't well worded. That you think it was is part of the
> problem and why I gave you the demonstration I did.

The problem is not the wording. Sociological experience shows that
differences of the kind mentioned above affects the distribution of
answers, but in a limited extend. The current distribution is quite
unambiguous.

A more important point might be that the alternative used in the poll is
rather an indirect measure of the target we are interested in: what are
Fedora users doing with Fedora and what are they expecting.

Would be interesting to have another poll asking for those items.

Peter




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Old 03-09-2010, 01:01 AM
Mail Lists
 
Default Update question: some user data

On 03/08/2010 04:32 PM, Adam Williamson wrote:


I'd like to add a thought to this that has not been mentioned yet best
I can see.

First let me state that I use Fedora every day for business - real
world business and I'm not using it as an IT or computer person but as a
businessman. I am, in my view, a competent administrator as well.

I believe, as a competent admin, I am capable of choosing how to
manage my computers and which ones I need to be more cautious with etc.

That said, I believe I these 'fedora' tinkerers - thos who read the
mail lists etc are not only admin'ing their own systems but for all
those Aunt Tilly's out there using fedora, there is a tinkerer behind
them admin'ing as they deem appropriate, good old Aunt Tilly's system.

So, I suggest, that while the tinkerers et al may dominate these lists
and Aunt Tilly does not - we care more about Aunt Tilly's admin staff
than Aunt Tilly herself.

For the Uncle Ted, who actually bought a system pre-configed with Linux
- it aint Fedora, and he has an alternate channel for support.

So Adam's poll is more significant, even for Aunt Tilly than some are
suggesting.

gene/
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Old 03-09-2010, 01:10 AM
Peter Boy
 
Default Update question: some user data

Am Montag, den 08.03.2010, 12:34 -0500 schrieb Will Woods:
> Our current users'
> expectations are already set by their past experience with Fedora. If
> they're still Fedora users, they're willing to accept - and *have*
> accepted - whatever we're currently doing.

+1 Amen.

Therefore we should be careful (and cautious) to change basic
principles.




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Old 03-09-2010, 02:49 AM
Orcan Ogetbil
 
Default Update question: some user data

On Mon, Mar 8, 2010 at 4:43 PM, Till Maas wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 08, 2010 at 12:34:03PM -0500, Will Woods wrote:
>
>> Adam's poll results are valid *only* for Fedora users who:
>>
>> a) Are members of the Fedora forum,
>> b) Enthusiasts/power-users to the degree that they would notice a new
>> threads/poll within a day of its posting, and
>> c) Hold a strong enough opinion to feel the need to answer the poll.
>>
>> It seems obvious that this group would lean more towards the
>> adventurous, power-user side of things.
>
> I would never associated forums with power users, because advanced users
> typically use mailing lists or newsgroups instead of a forum, if there
> are multiple options.
>

I would. Actually I do. Not only as a power user, also as a developer.
For instance, there is a developers subforum at fedoraforum.

These are the only numbers we got. It is 72% vs 28% so far.

Some folks here say that the forum consists mostly from people who are
enthusiasts, who are already experimenting with their Fedora, and they
don't represent the larger population. They claim that there is a huge
mass of folks out there who would vote for "conservative" updates but
they are not subscribed to fedoraforum. The size of these huge mass is
so enormous that the number of people subscribed to the forum is not
significant in comparison.

Guys, this sounds like the dark matter physicists claim to exist. It
is there but you don't know what it is.

It is mostly these type of users (people from forums such as
fedoraforum) who get in touch with us, filing bugs, etc. These people
are the ones who can be considered to be the closest thing we have to
testers. And they help a lot, with or without knowing.

It matters to me what these type of users say what type of policy of
updates they want. It does not matter to me much what the imaginary
huge mass dark matter people think who don't even interact with me. If
we totally change the policy to (semi)-rolling, they won't interact
again, so what do you care?

Seriously, what do you care?

Orcan
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Old 03-09-2010, 06:54 AM
Thomas Janssen
 
Default Update question: some user data

On Mon, Mar 8, 2010 at 10:43 PM, Till Maas <opensource@till.name> wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 08, 2010 at 12:34:03PM -0500, Will Woods wrote:
>
>> Adam's poll results are valid *only* for Fedora users who:
>>
>> a) Are members of the Fedora forum,
>> b) Enthusiasts/power-users to the degree that they would notice a new
>> threads/poll within a day of its posting, and
>> c) Hold a strong enough opinion to feel the need to answer the poll.
>>
>> It seems obvious that this group would lean more towards the
>> adventurous, power-user side of things.
>
> I would never associated forums with power users, because advanced users
> typically use mailing lists or newsgroups instead of a forum, if there
> are multiple options.

Indeed. Even IRC is used by powerusers. I run Linux since around 1998
and as a novice i used the homepage of my distro and a forum. Started
later with Mailinglists and then IRC.

--
LG Thomas

Dubium sapientiae initium
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