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Re: Free / Open Source Software Survey

I've gotten a bunch of these e-surveys.  Most of them seem to go on
and on interminably with rather stupid, and often unanswerable,
questions.  "Would you be more or less likely to write free software
if Deng Xiaoping had been 137cm tall?  (YES/NO)."  I take offence at
the idea that just because my name is up on the web as a person who
does free software I'd be happy to devote my time to filling out every
ill-conceived crappy survey that someone cobbles together.  If they
want some of my time, they'd better do their homework and put in their
own time first.  Eg, if there are any questions on their survey that
can be answered by examination of publicly available materials, I'd
expect them to fill that stuff out themselves.  Oh, but that would
take time?  Right: valuable time.  Maybe they should clear their
survey with Debian, so we can control the number of surveys and
approve only ones that are well thought out, pretested, and actual
surveys rather than push-surveys or camouflaged advertising?  This is
a courtesy that would certainly be given to eg Microsoft before going
into the Microsoft mail rooms and putting questionnaires in the boxes.
But these kinds of reasonableness criteria don't occur to these survey
takers.  Each seems to think that they are the first person to ever
have had the idea of taking a survey of this particular population,
that Debian makes developer contact info easily available mainly for
their surveying convenience, and that it would be fine to bulk email
us for their noble surveying purpose.  So we continue to enjoy the
current proliferation of silly survey spam.
Barak A. Pearlmutter <bap@debian.org>

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