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Re: Proposal for an Emacs User Survey

From: Philip K.
Subject: Re: Proposal for an Emacs User Survey
Date: Thu, 08 Oct 2020 19:27:26 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/27.1 (gnu/linux)

Adrien Brochard <abrochard@gmx.com> writes:

> Hi everyone,
> I posted on reddit.com/r/emacs yesterday a proposal to craft and
> distribute a survey for Emacs users to better grasp the diversity and
> various usages out there. I got some very good feedback but there could
> always be more.
> The main points that need to be worked out are:
> 1. the actual questions to be asked
> 2. the platform to collect responses

I think a major problem is how to get as many emacs users -- and not
only reddit -- to participate. There are plenty of Emacs users who
neither follow the mailing lists, nor use sites like Reddit. Many of
them have had similar setups for years, and don't need to think about
it. Of course I can inform those I am antiquated with, but that approach
has it's limits.

There is a disconnect between these two groups. Of course, neither is
"right". I've seen "traditional users" who didn't know that M-x could be
invoked using the alt key (instead pressing escape and then "x"), and
newer users who use try to get as much of emacs out of the way, to use
things like org or magit. My fear is that those in the latter group are
more likely to hear about a poll like this, and be overrepresented at
the expense of the former. And without a way to prove anything, either
way, no real progress could be achieved -- one group will keep on saying
that "it's time to become vs code" and the others will invoke a virtual
"silent minority".

> Regarding the questions, I have a decent skeleton and a lot of suggestions.
> But the for the platform to collect responses, this is where it gets
> difficult. Something like a Google survey might the easiest/cheapest to
> make and distribute and will work on most devices, but it obviously has
> privacy concerns. On the other hand, doing something like self-hosting a
> no-JS form is very time consuming. I was also thinking of allowing
> responses via email for people who do not want to bother with a survey
> link and then manually reconcile responses.

Why not just create a simple HTML form with a captcha (not Google's
thing, but a simple library that generates an image)?

> Links to the posts with the tentative questions:
> -
> https://www.reddit.com/r/emacs/comments/j6x7ad/proposal_for_an_emacs_user_survey/
> -
> https://www.reddit.com/r/emacs/comments/b2fh4y/help_reviewprovide_feedback_on_state_of_emacs/
> Thank you for reading!
> Best,
> Adrien

        Philip K.

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