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

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

(dropping -devel, as this is about the general idea of polling)

On Wed, Dec 21, 2005 at 03:49:44PM -0500, Glenn Maynard wrote:
> On Wed, Dec 21, 2005 at 09:14:16PM +0100, Jeroen van Wolffelaar wrote:
> > 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".

That's very well possible, but by the nature of the beast, no-one knows.
Maybe I should have phrased it better:

When there is a big discussion, I have sometimes a hard time knowing how
representative given opinions are. Arguments are more important, but it
*does* make a difference to me to know a bit better what side of the
argument has the most people in favour. By no means to have that
majority make up my mind, but it is one factor to consider.

> 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.

Yes, I think it's harmful to make decisions by popular vote. But just as
that popcon exists to survey package usage, some different questions,
technical, social or otherwise, lack any adequate form of survey on more
people than just those who speak up on mailinglists -- after all, most
people still only contribute to discussions if they have a new argument
to make, at least, speaking for myself, I'll very rarely add a "Me
too!", if I don't have anything new to say. Having a poll that doesn't
spam the lists provides a way to "Me too!".

> 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. [...] 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.

The ideal situation would be to have a balanced number of top arguments
in the ballot itself, IMHO. So that people don't need to read a full
thread, but just can see, for example, the top 3 arguments of each side.

Of course, it's very hard to make this balanced, and not skew the poll
by providing opinionated summaries.

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

He. Thanks for your feedback.


Jeroen van Wolffelaar
Jeroen@wolffelaar.nl (also for Jabber & MSN; ICQ: 33944357)

Reply to: