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Re: Poll results: User views on the FDL issue

On Mon, Apr 18, 2005 at 10:13:33PM -0700, Brian Nelson wrote:
> I recently conducted a poll on debian-user to get some input from users
> about the FDL issue.  The results are available here:
>   http://people.debian.org/~pyro/fdl_poll_results.txt
> And the full mail log is available here:
>   http://people.debian.org/~pyro/fdl_poll.mail

I wonder how many of these people have actually read the arguments, and
actually thought about their answers; how many could defend their position.
My experience is that "polls" and "petitions" encourage people to give
their knee-jerk opinion, and rarely give an accurate indication of *informed*
opinion--they give people an opportunity to voice one's opinion without
any obligation of defending it; an undefended opinion has no value.  (Many
people's initial reactions to this issue were "that's not so bad, let's
just make an exception", who realized how big of a mistake that is after
debating the issue for a while.)

> I strongly suggest reading the mail log, since many of the full
> responses are more interesting than the overall results.

I read it, and didn't find anything of interest; only a tiny handful of
them had anything beyond single-word answers, and most of those are
weak arguments that have been made and debunked many times already.

Of course, I'm not making light of user opinions--I'm a user, too!
Anyone with an informed opinion who wants to bring it to discussion
can do so, on d-project.  I just don't believe there's any value in
polls like this.  If you have a defensible position, replying to a
poll won't do it justice.

Glenn Maynard

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