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Re: Distribution statistics for ELPA and EMMS

From: Yoni Rabkin
Subject: Re: Distribution statistics for ELPA and EMMS
Date: Tue, 19 Sep 2023 15:42:38 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13)

Akib Azmain Turja <akib@disroot.org> writes:

> Philip Kaludercic <philipk@posteo.net> writes:
>> Adam Porter <adam@alphapapa.net> writes:
>>> [I just noticed this message from a few months ago.]
>>> On 7/16/23 21:25, 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. ]]]
>>>> We could have two options for downloading, one which is "for a real
>>>> user" and one which is "for periodic testing".
>>>> The only difference would be that the former increments the user
>>>> download count and the latter does not.
>>> I like this idea, but it seems like it would be hard to enforce.  It
>>> could even go the other way, i.e. have Emacs send a query string or
>>> header when installing a package manually, which could be logged and
>>> used to filter the download logs later.  But even that might be harder
>>> than it seems, e.g. if I call a command like:
>>>   emacs --eval "(package-install FOO)"
>>> ...to non-interactively install a package into a local directory for
>>> testing, how far, and in how many places, would some kind of flag need
>>> to be propagated to end up in the server's logs?
>> There is an inherent unreliability in these kinds of statistics that has
>> to be accepted.  The question is therefore are issues like these
>> significant or would they skew the results.  This has to be considered
>> under a false-positive and a false-negative approach, depending on what
>> we want to measure.
> How are these numbers going to be useful?  This can't be a measure of
> "popularity."

Agreed. We haven't defined popularity (nor should we), so we can't
measure it.

But we can most certainly measure the number of downloads. I would be
interested in this number for Emms (and to a lesser degree for

Moreover, the data will change over time, and I'll find observing those
changes interesting as well.

   "Cut your own wood and it will warm you twice"

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