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Re: How to poll the users

From: Dmitry Gutov
Subject: Re: How to poll the users
Date: Mon, 27 Apr 2020 05:42:49 +0300
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:68.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/68.7.0

On 27.04.2020 05:22, Richard Stallman wrote:
[[[ To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider    ]]]
[[[ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies,     ]]]
[[[ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example. ]]]

   > I don't see how all of those downsides couldn't be
   > mitigated, providing a GNU site or other means to
   > serve as single collection point, echoing point
   > (echoing current counts, text suggestions, etc.),
   > and even providing a discussion venue.

I think we should make sure polls do NOT turn into discussions.
Discussions would multiply the bulk of messages and we would not be
able to digest them.

Only if we use the mailbox approach. And the downside of disallowing a discussion is missing out on valuable insights.

Most of you are brainstorming about what we could do.
I have actually done polls several times.

With the tools contemporary websites provide, polling is trivial. Many people have done it, myself included.

Having each poll dump messages into its own file was reliable and easy
to set up.  It takes a few minutes to set that up.  It may take an hour
or two to write the posting.  It may take a few hours to study the
responses.  So let's not worry about the few minutes.

Can you digest, say, 2000 free-form emails in a few hours? And then summarize all expressed opinions accurately for the other developers to understand the results?

Or if you receive only 20 emails, can you have any confidence that the received feedback describes the community with any sort of accuracy?

And in this particular case, numbers are important as well. The arguments for and against indent-tabs-mode have been made numerous times (including the TabsAreEvil wiki page Drew has linked to). What we don't know well, on the other hand, is how many of our users actually use tabs for indentation in practice. If the fraction is minuscule, then changing the default value really shouldn't hurt.

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