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Re: How to poll the users

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: How to poll the users
Date: Sun, 26 Apr 2020 22:18:16 -0400

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  > > 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.

  > I agree.  I would add I think this could be an important way for
  > emacs-devel to interact with regular users, and make them feel more
  > involved.

A poll of the users is not about counting votes.  The aim is to learn
more about what users find convenient or inconvenient, and especially
how and why it is convenient or inconvenient.

The ideal outcome is NOT that we choose the default that 65% of the
users prefer rather than the one 25% prefer.  Rather, the ideal
outcome is to invent another option that nearly everyone will like.

The only proper "promise" to make is that we will use what we learn
from the poll to make Emacs better.

  > Perhaps we could even consider asking for their input on a number of
  > important questions (not too many, say 4-5) where it would be
  > interesting to get feedback.

Responses of "yes" or "no" are not very helpful, because they give us
little understanding.  We seek responses that tell us more than that.
To encourage users to think about and report why and how certain
behaviors help them or annoy them, we raise one issue at a time.

If there are several issues we want to learn more about, we do
separate polls about them.  We can do as many polls as we like,
subject to the limits on our time to study the results.

Dr Richard Stallman
Chief GNUisance of the GNU Project (https://gnu.org)
Founder, Free Software Foundation (https://fsf.org)
Internet Hall-of-Famer (https://internethalloffame.org)

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