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RE: How to poll the users

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: How to poll the users
Date: Sat, 25 Apr 2020 09:20:19 -0700 (PDT)

> >> 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.
> >
> > FWIW, I don't agree with that conclusion, in the abstract.
> If the poll doesn't contain an implicit promise (e.g. "we considering a
> change of default"), the turnout is likely to be much lower. Which is
> not what we want, I think.

tl;dr: Poll results are one, and only one consideration.


An implicit promise to consider is not the same thing
as a position that a poll outcome strongly indicates
that the default should be changed.

It may or may not strongly indicate an opinion by the
people who responded, and that may or may not be
strongly relevant to the question.

And just having a poll suggests that there will be
consideration of the poll results, and that such
consideration could include the question of changing
the default.

And if the question of default change is really part
of the question at hand then it should be explicitly
part of the poll.  E.g. not just "What's your use or
preference, personally?" but also "Do you think your
preferred behavior should be the default behavior?

The point is that default-changing is (should be) a
case-by-case decision.  And it can be (and usually
is) based on multiple considerations - not just a
user poll.  One question about polls is their
representation, who the responders are, what their
relation to the question (e.g. their use of Emacs)
is, etc.

I said I didn't agree with your conclusion _in the
abstract_.  That's the problem with it.  It might
be a reasonable conclusion in some particular case
(some particular poll question).  But it's not
reasonable as an abstract proposition.

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