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Re: The number of etch installations is rocketing...

On Thu, Apr 12, 2007 at 05:29:13AM -0400, Joey Hess wrote:
> Petter Reinholdtsen wrote:
> > Looking at the submission numbers from
> > <URL:http://popcon.debian.org/>, I am happy to report that the number
> > of Etch installations is increasing fast.  Here are the number of
> > submissions collected by popularity-contest, with the increment.  It
> > is easy to see when Etch was released.
> Now if we only knew what percentage of users take the manual action
> needed to answer Yes to the "enable popcon" question...

IMHO there are some ways we could track get some better numbers for that. 

Given the fact that "many" users are using security.debian.org as the default
security mirror, that etch enables it by default (there were some previous
releases that didn't IIRC) and that *we* have control over those servers'
logs we could count the number of downloads of the Packages files from the
official security mirrors [1]. 

That would give us an estimate of new installations (or upgrades to etch), 
since apt will not download the Package file after installation (it will go
for the pdiffs as the security archive should not change that much, at least
not for a few months) [2]. 

This could be useful to have better estimates on how many installations have
been "recently" made. Track this after the release, correlate with popcon
submissions and you have better data to get an approximate percentage 
of users not registering for popcon. You can even get approximate results of
*real* systems and number of systems behind NATed addresses.

The only caveat I can think of (but there might be others) is that it would
not be possible to properly count installations that are using
corporate (or ISP's) caching proxies (in somecases those are transparent to
the end users)

You would still will not be able to count installations that are not Internet
connected. But you are not going to be able to count them through any other
mechanisms (not even through the "report once" mechanism that Lars suggested)



[1] Official mirrors could also be used, but getting the logs from the
different admins would be rather difficult.

[2] Unless he removes the Packages file manually from his system, however, in
which case it would be downloaded again.

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