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-   -   Update question: some user data (http://www.linux-archive.org/fedora-development/337139-update-question-some-user-data.html)

Adam Williamson 03-06-2010 06:04 PM

Update question: some user data
 
I thought to myself yesterday, 'what this long and fractious thread
about update policy *really* needs is some unscientific and
controversial numbers'. =) So, I ran a forum poll! Everyone loves those,
right?

Here it is: http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showthread.php?t=241710

I tried to present the poll in a very neutral way, and as far as I know,
it hasn't been linked to from anywhere else; only regular forum members
are likely to come across it. So it shouldn't be massively inherently
biased, and has a reasonable shot of giving us a vague idea of what some
Real Fedora Users think.

The numbers do surprise me, to be honest. As I write this, it's 34-8 -
that's over 80% - in favour of 'adventurous' updates. A lot of the
replies make it clear that people really do see being 'bleeding edge' as
being a part of Fedora's nature, and a part of the reason why they run
it. I wouldn't honestly have expected that; I'd have expected much
closer to a 50/50 split if anything. A lot of people explicitly say
things like 'I run Fedora so I can have the latest stuff on my desktop,
if I want a more conservative system I'll run CentOS'.

No, the voting numbers aren't huge, but it's still some kind of data. I
can promote the poll to the forum front page to try and get more input,
if desired.

What do people make of this?
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shmuel siegel 03-06-2010 06:12 PM

Update question: some user data
 
On 3/6/2010 9:04 PM, Adam Williamson wrote:
> I thought to myself yesterday, 'what this long and fractious thread
> about update policy *really* needs is some unscientific and
> controversial numbers'. =) So, I ran a forum poll! Everyone loves those,
> right?
>
>
> What do people make of this?
>
I think that the poll misses an important distinction. People running
f11 are very likely to have a different opinion than people running f12.
The responders should indicate which system they are using.

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Adam Williamson 03-06-2010 07:10 PM

Update question: some user data
 
On Sat, 2010-03-06 at 21:12 +0200, shmuel siegel wrote:
> On 3/6/2010 9:04 PM, Adam Williamson wrote:
> > I thought to myself yesterday, 'what this long and fractious thread
> > about update policy *really* needs is some unscientific and
> > controversial numbers'. =) So, I ran a forum poll! Everyone loves those,
> > right?
> >
> >
> > What do people make of this?
> >
> I think that the poll misses an important distinction. People running
> f11 are very likely to have a different opinion than people running f12.
> The responders should indicate which system they are using.

If that were the case, I'd have expected someone to bring it up in the
comments. No-one has.

I've never actually heard of anyone running FN-1 because they want a
'more stable' system; this thread was the first time I heard that
theory. In my experience, people run FN-1 because FN doesn't work for
some reason, or just because they installed it when it was FN and don't
want to take the time to upgrade...but that doesn't mean they want
'conservative' updates, necessarily.
--
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Josh Stone 03-06-2010 07:11 PM

Update question: some user data
 
On 03/06/2010 11:04 AM, Adam Williamson wrote:
> I tried to present the poll in a very neutral way, and as far as I know,
> it hasn't been linked to from anywhere else; only regular forum members
> are likely to come across it. So it shouldn't be massively inherently
> biased, and has a reasonable shot of giving us a vague idea of what some
> Real Fedora Users think.

I'm not sure that regular forum members really represent our userbase at
large -- but then, they might better represent the active or potential
contributors that we're trying to focus on.

> 'I run Fedora so I can have the latest stuff on my desktop,
> if I want a more conservative system I'll run CentOS'.

Dichotomies are fun. A conservative Fedora is still FAR more
adventurous than RHEL/CentOS.

At any rate, thanks for trying to gather some actual data.


Josh
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Rahul Sundaram 03-06-2010 07:14 PM

Update question: some user data
 
On 03/07/2010 01:40 AM, Adam Williamson wrote:
>
> If that were the case, I'd have expected someone to bring it up in the
> comments. No-one has.
>
> I've never actually heard of anyone running FN-1 because they want a
> 'more stable' system; this thread was the first time I heard that
> theory. In my experience, people run FN-1 because FN doesn't work for
> some reason, or just because they installed it when it was FN and don't
> want to take the time to upgrade...but that doesn't mean they want
> 'conservative' updates, necessarily.
>
A lot of users in our users list recommend and use a previous release
because they want more a more robust system with conservative updates
and do believe that using a older Fedora provides them with that since
the important bugs would have been found and fixed already and that's
one of the reasons I recommended that you subscribe to that list even if
you aren't actively participating so that you get a better idea of our
user base :-)

Rahul

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Kevin Fenzi 03-06-2010 07:15 PM

Update question: some user data
 
On Sat, 06 Mar 2010 11:04:31 -0800
Adam Williamson <awilliam@redhat.com> wrote:

...snip...

> What do people make of this?

I'm no expert on polls/polling, but I suspect that many of the people
who are more interested in a 'stable/less updates' Fedora don't
frequent things like the forums or users list. Sure, they might search
it or post a question when they run into an issue, but they are more
likely to spend their time... well, using their machine.

kevin
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Thomas Janssen 03-06-2010 07:31 PM

Update question: some user data
 
On Sat, Mar 6, 2010 at 8:04 PM, Adam Williamson <awilliam@redhat.com> wrote:
> I thought to myself yesterday, 'what this long and fractious thread
> about update policy *really* needs is some unscientific and
> controversial numbers'. =) So, I ran a forum poll! Everyone loves those,
> right?
>
> Here it is: http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showthread.php?t=241710
>
> I tried to present the poll in a very neutral way, and as far as I know,
> it hasn't been linked to from anywhere else; only regular forum members
> are likely to come across it. So it shouldn't be massively inherently
> biased, and has a reasonable shot of giving us a vague idea of what some
> Real Fedora Users think.
>
> The numbers do surprise me, to be honest. As I write this, it's 34-8 -
> that's over 80% - in favour of 'adventurous' updates. A lot of the
> replies make it clear that people really do see being 'bleeding edge' as
> being a part of Fedora's nature, and a part of the reason why they run
> it. I wouldn't honestly have expected that; I'd have expected much
> closer to a 50/50 split if anything. A lot of people explicitly say
> things like 'I run Fedora so I can have the latest stuff on my desktop,
> if I want a more conservative system I'll run CentOS'.
>
> No, the voting numbers aren't huge, but it's still some kind of data. I
> can promote the poll to the forum front page to try and get more input,
> if desired.
>
> What do people make of this?

I think that was a very good idea. And it shows what i meant with the
face and character of Fedora, in one of the other threads.

--
LG Thomas

Dubium sapientiae initium
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Mike McGrath 03-06-2010 08:00 PM

Update question: some user data
 
On Sat, 6 Mar 2010, Adam Williamson wrote:

> I thought to myself yesterday, 'what this long and fractious thread
> about update policy *really* needs is some unscientific and
> controversial numbers'. =) So, I ran a forum poll! Everyone loves those,
> right?
>
> Here it is: http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showthread.php?t=241710
>
> I tried to present the poll in a very neutral way, and as far as I know,
> it hasn't been linked to from anywhere else; only regular forum members
> are likely to come across it. So it shouldn't be massively inherently
> biased, and has a reasonable shot of giving us a vague idea of what some
> Real Fedora Users think.
>
> The numbers do surprise me, to be honest. As I write this, it's 34-8 -
> that's over 80% - in favour of 'adventurous' updates. A lot of the
> replies make it clear that people really do see being 'bleeding edge' as
> being a part of Fedora's nature, and a part of the reason why they run
> it. I wouldn't honestly have expected that; I'd have expected much
> closer to a 50/50 split if anything. A lot of people explicitly say
> things like 'I run Fedora so I can have the latest stuff on my desktop,
> if I want a more conservative system I'll run CentOS'.
>
> No, the voting numbers aren't huge, but it's still some kind of data. I
> can promote the poll to the forum front page to try and get more input,
> if desired.
>
> What do people make of this?
>

I don't think people realize what they're asking for. I'll just defer to
my favorite Ford quote:

"If I had asked my customers what they wanted," Ford said, "they would
have said a faster horse."

The best part of all of this is, it doesn't matter anymore. We've let
Fedora go completely directionless for years now. If we listen to the
users, they'll all tell us different things. Especially if you get a
sample size large enough (your poll isn't anywhere near large enough to be
scientific which is why you called it unscientific :)

Ahwell, back to designing by committee because that works so well.

-Mike
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"Dariusz J. Garbowski" 03-06-2010 08:23 PM

Update question: some user data
 
On 06/03/10 01:10 PM, Adam Williamson wrote:
> On Sat, 2010-03-06 at 21:12 +0200, shmuel siegel wrote:
>> On 3/6/2010 9:04 PM, Adam Williamson wrote:
>>> I thought to myself yesterday, 'what this long and fractious thread
>>> about update policy *really* needs is some unscientific and
>>> controversial numbers'. =) So, I ran a forum poll! Everyone loves those,
>>> right?
>>>
>>>
>>> What do people make of this?
>>>
>> I think that the poll misses an important distinction. People running
>> f11 are very likely to have a different opinion than people running f12.
>> The responders should indicate which system they are using.
>
> If that were the case, I'd have expected someone to bring it up in the
> comments. No-one has.
>
> I've never actually heard of anyone running FN-1 because they want a
> 'more stable' system; this thread was the first time I heard that
> theory. In my experience, people run FN-1 because FN doesn't work for
> some reason, or just because they installed it when it was FN and don't
> want to take the time to upgrade...but that doesn't mean they want
> 'conservative' updates, necessarily.

This is my take on this too. I personally don't feel the need to update every half a year and in my
particular case found that F11 was friendlier with my video card than F12 was. Accepting that this
is due to development of drivers (in the right direction!) I helped with testing pre-F12 but stayed
on F11, waiting for F13.

thufor
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Adam Williamson 03-06-2010 08:44 PM

Update question: some user data
 
On Sat, 2010-03-06 at 15:00 -0600, Mike McGrath wrote:

> I don't think people realize what they're asking for. I'll just defer to
> my favorite Ford quote:
>
> "If I had asked my customers what they wanted," Ford said, "they would
> have said a faster horse."

I don't think that's quite apt. The point of Ford's famous quotation is
essentially that asking people what they want is not a good way to
_innovate_, which is certainly true.

That's not what we're doing here, though. We do not have some incredibly
innovative update system under consideration that no-one's ever thought
of before. We're having an argument between two known systems which are
already in use by various other distributions (and ourselves), and
reasonably well-understood by many people. That's really a rather
different situation.

> The best part of all of this is, it doesn't matter anymore. We've let
> Fedora go completely directionless for years now. If we listen to the
> users, they'll all tell us different things.

That's what I find interesting about this poll; they aren't. A large
majority are telling us one specific thing.

> Especially if you get a
> sample size large enough (your poll isn't anywhere near large enough to be
> scientific which is why you called it unscientific :)

I agree, yet so far it's all the numbers we have, and I'm not
particularly comfortable with saying 'well it doesn't agree with what I
think, so I'll declare it unscientific and ignore it'...given that
neither choice has any intrinsic 'correctness', I'm not sure there's a
reasonable basis for making the choice other than the overall desires of
the project. Now, how we weight the desires of development versus the
desires of releng versus the desires of QA versus the desires of FESco
versus the desires of the Board versus the desires of the users...that's
a tricky question. It's at least worth making some kind of effort to
assess the desires of users, though, and I don't think we can entirely
write off the results because they may be inconvenient.

At the very least, several people argued in the thread that users don't
really believe being bleeding-edge is a part of Fedora and don't
actively want adventurous updates, which becomes rather harder to argue
now.
--
Adam Williamson
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IRC: adamw | Fedora Talk: adamwill AT fedoraproject DOT org
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