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Re: How to poll the users

From: Dmitry Gutov
Subject: Re: How to poll the users
Date: Sat, 25 Apr 2020 07:09:09 +0300
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:68.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/68.4.1

On 25.04.2020 06:37, Richard Stallman wrote:

   > > * Mail to info-gnu-emacs and help-gnu-emacs, and any other suitable
   > > place, presenting the proposed change in sufficient detail that people
   > > can judge it, and where to email the response, as well as what kind of
   > > information we seek.

   > How many subscribers do these mailing lists have?

I don't know.  Do you?

I can only guess. I was wondering if my rough intuition was true, though. And I think comparing the numbers might give us insight into which fraction of our users is really comfortable with email as a discussion medium.

We could ask the FSF sysadmins.

If it's not too much trouble, please do.

                    the StackOverflow surveys we've seen mentioned in this
   > thread count about 4000 dedicated Emacs users (that filled out the
   > survey). The Emacs StackExchange site has around 20'000 registered
   > users. The Emacs subreddit has almost 40'000 subscribers.

I have never used StackExchange or Reddit, and I don't know how they
are structured.  Are you suggesting them as additional places to send
our polls to?

Pretty much. Reddit also has a "polls" feature, where it could aggregate the answers for us. They also have comments for when someone wants to leave an additional explanation.

Because handling thousands of response emails (which is what might happen if people are interested enough) by hand is too much, I think. Even just a few hundreds.

Have you got any other suggestions of places?

The ones I mentioned are the biggest ones I know.

Speaking of the default values, what do you think about using your scenario to ask the users about their preferred value of indent-tabs-mode? I can create a poll with four options: "strong tabs preference", "strong spaces preference", "mild tabs preference", "mild spaces preference". People can add extra explanations in comments.

This particular subject has endured some heated discussion in the past, and we never managed to agree enough to change it. But we never asked the users at large either. According to my data, most of them should prefer spaces.

If I do create a poll, and the outcome would strongly indicate a change of the default, we'd pretty much have to change it then, though.

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