[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Experiment: poll on "switching to vim-tiny for standard vi?"

On Wed, Dec 21, 2005 at 09:14:16PM +0100, Jeroen van Wolffelaar wrote:
> (Please followup to -project if you're replying on the subject of
> Because this is certainly not the first time I was curious on the
> opinion of the so called "Silent majority" (if such beast exists at
> all), I decided to simply try out this idea. Therefore, I've set

I have no sympathy for the notion of a "silent majority".  If you have an
opinion, speak it.  What I believe we we really have, most of the time,
is a vocal minority trying to inflate their ranks with a non-existant
"silent majority".

> up devotee (thanks to Manoj for writing it!) on jeroen-poll@debian.org,
> with results updated near realtime on
> http://master.debian.org/~jeroen/polls/. To participate in the context
> of the nvi vs vim-tiny discussion, please fill in the below ballot, sign
> it, and submit it to jeroen-poll@debian.org. It's currently only
> available to DD's, for practical reasons more than for any fundamental
> reason -- being a poll, I do think that opinions of non-DD's is
> certainly good to have too, possibly simply both tallied for DD only and
> for 'all'.

Voting on decisions is always disturbing to me: it always seems to be
small steps away from the point where decisions are made based on
uninformed popularity rather than technical merit.  Too often, in various
contexts, I've seen people who had an ill-formed opinion and losing an
argument demand a vote, in the hopes that there will be more people who
will vote for that opinion based on what seems "obvious" than those
spending the time to understand the issue.  This remains a problem
regardless of how loudly one asserts that a poll is "not a decision
making instrument".

That's the general case, of course--this issue is simple enough that
it could be summarized neatly within the poll, I think.  I have to
wonder how many people will vote for nvi bacause "nvi is more like
regular vi than vim".  This is important even for an "informal" poll;
a vote is useless if it's heavily skewed, whether it's a poll or a GR.

 - vim-tiny is not much bigger than nvi (numbers?)
 - even vim-tiny is much preferable to vim users over nvi, even without
 - vim can behave just like old vi (as nvi does), and will do so when
   invoked as "vi"

I think a poll might be a lot more useful if it was required that people
had to offer, in a sentence or two, their rationale for their vote.  If
you can't even express in brief terms why you think nvi or vim should
be the default, then your opinion is not interesting; and it would let
people get an idea if a lot of people are voting based on rationale
that has been discussed and disproven (eg. "vim is huge" and "vim
differs too much from vi").

(I wish people had to write a few paragraphs justifying their votes
for government elections.  Votes in essay format.  One can dream ...)

Glenn Maynard

Reply to: