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Re: KDE Usability survey

On Thursday 13 March 2003 19:58, Svenn Are Bjerkem wrote:

> > You're a bit paranoid I think :-)
> That's the only way to avoid unwanted use of data: Don't give them.

Yeah... but I consider the fact that kde folks know my opinion about the 
layout of the preferences window in Konqueror harmless. Goin to the 
supermarket might cause you more annoyances.

> > >    * The optimization effort currently going on in kde.
> >
> > I wasn't really aware of this :-)
> It would be interesting to know why the bleeding edge people insist on
> using old hardware. If you think that you want to draw people from win95 on
> a P100 to to linux offering KDE3.1 you miss your audience. I wonder why not
> more effort is being put into keeping old releases up to date. I was more
> than happy with KDE1 and KDE2 vs win95. Problem was konqueror didn't
> support proxies that well at the beginning and some problem with java etc.
> but at home it was way more fun working with konqueror than that buggy IE.

The purpose of new releases of software, beneath new features, is to replace 
the bad parts with pieces that function better (think about the slugishness 
of kde while dragging windows in kde1). Running kde1 these days would 
probably cause overhead (libraries to be kept compatible etc) just for the 
sake of running what is basically buggy old software. There could be 
something like a  "stable branch" to which only bugfixes got appended, but is 
that worth it? 

> I really hope I am wrong and that somebody is still developing the KDE1 and
> KDE2 branches in the cvs and that somebody still write software for those
> platforms. The day the last machine die that use them, just leave them
> there for people to learn how to heed and breed software. I don't expect a
> 19 year old hacker to understand why a 30 year old ass want to keep old
> things alive and kicking. "No, wait", you might say. We are keeping ports
> for many architectures, why should we keep ports between releases of the
> desktop? It is simply in order to make the best desktop or operating system
> or compiler available and the most stable one.
> > Still I think it doesn't hurt if the developpers understand the need for
> > it. That's why they take surveys after all ;-)
> You take surveys when you're too lazy to listen to what people say over
> time, or when people say things that you don't agree with. If you want
> developers to understand, you have to present your idea and defend it.
> That's why developers meet in person at seminars. Only believe statistics
> that you have forged yourself...

As a social scientist in spe I must at least partially contradict this. 
Listening to people is good, but it is measuring something that is called the 
Public Opinion. You can litteraly fill books about that, but it basically 
boils down to a projection of the mind. The PO is by definition something you 
can't measure. You're allways going to listen to those people who take the 
pain to come to a seminar in the first place. Seminars and listening to 
people and spending time on mailing lists is good to get a general idea of 
what "lives" in a population, to get in-depth view in certain phenomena. 
Surveys have a different purpose: they give you more reliable numeric data of 
exactly (approximately) how many people are in favour of X or Y (and how it 
relates to other data). 

That said, a survey taken only on Debian-kde is bogus. Your data won't be 
representational. I also think the concept of "useability" is taken in the 
Apple sense, focusing on user interface. That may have been the objective of 
the one who wrote the survey, but why were there questions about stability 

Frank Van Damme

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