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Re: Proposal for an Emacs User Survey

From: Philip K.
Subject: Re: Proposal for an Emacs User Survey
Date: Sun, 11 Oct 2020 20:42:14 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/27.1 (gnu/linux)

Jean Louis <bugs@gnu.support> writes:

> * Philip K. <philipk@posteo.net> [2020-10-10 12:37]:
>> Richard Stallman <rms@gnu.org> writes:
>> > [[[ 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. ]]]
>> >
>> >   > The most obvious reason to me is that user error handling is pretty
>> >   > poor. Because there is no JS, we cannot offer front-end validation, 
>> > that
>> >   > means that the backend server is responsible for validating fields
>> >   > submitted.
>> >
>> > If we want to learn what users think, we should not limit their
>> > responses to a small set of 'valid" possible answers.  The plan
>> > I designed for inquiries asks users to answer in their own words.
>> But wouldn't that make it needlessly hard to analyse the results,
>> especially if the question should be numerically quantified?
> As I have done larger surveys for public relations and I know methods,
> I know how tedious it is to evaluate such survey, we have been
> employing many people, like 20 people, to just analyze what exactly
> did people check or did not check, what did they write, to read their
> handwriting, and then to properly analyze it.
> However, Emacs feature requests or survey about using Emacs need live
> user, not user as a number.

Of course, but there are still numbers that describe aggregate
phenomenons that individual users don't actively notice. A question I
would be interested in is what the correlation is between people who use
specific configuration-templates (Doom, Spacemacs, etc.) and how long
they have been using Emacs/Age. Depending on what the results are, we
would have a batter guess as to whether the popularity of these
templates is just because newer users aren't secure in configuring their
own Emacs, or if people just like these templates in general (what they
like is individual, that's where plain text responses are interesting).

Other than that, I don't see why both approaches should be possible.
Mixed, or separated, you can ask multiple/single choice questions for
"hard data", and plain text for individual opinions.

        Philip K.

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