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Re: percentage of popcon submitters

On Fri, 16 Jan 2009 13:24:58 +0100
Simon Josefsson <simon@josefsson.org> wrote:

> Neil Williams <codehelp@debian.org> writes:
> >> Surely, it must be possible to get an estimate of the number of  
> >> downloads of important packages and security updates? I know these  
> >> downloads also are requested from mirror sites, but at least for the  
> >> official mirror sites their relative activity must be known?
> >
> > How do you map the number of downloads to the number of users or
> > machines?
> It would establish an upper bound of well-administrated debian machines,
> I think.

No, merely the number of installations which is not the same, clearly.

Chroots can be entirely temporary. I regularly hammer the mirrors to
create test chroots last a matter of minutes. (Usually in a different
architecture each time, hence a proxy isn't much help.)

It's not just chroots either - don't forget issues of local mirrors.
Download measurements cannot take account of whether the downloaded
file is actually installed or merely copied into another repository.

> > I have dozens of chroots that I use for multiple reasons.
> Good point.  I wonder how much these contribute to the overall
> statistics though. 

Currently, these are all ignored for popcon but would register in any
download measurements - repeatedly.

> Alternatively, one could argue relatively convincing
> that a chroot with a complete debian system should be counted as another
> debian installation.  Compare with virtual machines, which is rather
> similar to a chroot installation on a normal PC.

In that case, I'm probably responsible to thousands of 'installations'
and those DD's involved in D-I must have an inconceivable number of
installs. Frans? any idea how many "installs" you've clocked up by
that measure?

Out of all those thousands of chroots and dozens of local mirrors that
I've created (and subsequently removed) just since Etch, I've only
actually got 6 real machines that use Debian. Six machines that
actually boot, six that have real users and need maintenance - only
four that are regularly powered on.

IMHO, a chroot is not an installation - even if the chroot contains the
whole of GPE or the whole of GNOME, it's a chroot. It doesn't have real
users, it doesn't boot, it is a test environment only. If you want to
count "well maintained Debian machines" you have to exclude all chroots
and all local mirrors.

How is it worth recording data from a debug install that lasts only a
few seconds after completing the install and which is instantly
replaced by yet another test?

How is it worth recording any data from downloads that merely result in
yet another copy of the original mirror.


Neil Williams

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