[Ardour-Users] ardour & "phoning home"

Ross Johnson Ross.Johnson at homemail.com.au
Sun Aug 8 19:26:11 PDT 2010

Arnold Krille wrote:
> On Saturday 07 August 2010 02:16:58 Ross Johnson wrote:
>> Paul Davis wrote:
>>> Why am I adding this to Ardour?
>>> --------------------------------------
>>> * better data on how much Ardour is actually used
>>> * better idea of the balance between OS X and Linux platforms
>>> * a way to alert users that new versions are available
>> Why do you want to know (1) and what consequences could the results have?
> Because when you talk to business and/or vendors, it is _far_ better to have 
> actual numbers proving them wrong on their estimation of the linux-using-
> userbase. It certainly helps with ffado to see how many people actually use the 
> app on which version (and on which devices).

I think you've responded generally but have quoted only my first 
question, which  related specifically to the first point under (Why am I 
adding this...).

Certainly complete data is ideal, but as Paul noted he will not get 
that, i.e. when users run the debug version or when users or 
distributions choose to block it in any of several ways. Then, because 
the statistics are already distorted, making it mandatory for the rest 
is pointless. The objective should be to obtain a valid sample size, and 
when the sample is less than the population anyway usually "more" does 
not mean "better".

But back to my question (the specific one that you quoted above 
referring to "Why" point 1). How will knowing how often someone starts 
Ardour or how long their sessions are (another possible metric that can 
be delivered) help development or when talking to vendors?

If it's important then why don't the hardware vendors institute 
phone-home in their drivers? (Although some are doing just that, e.g. 
PCs and laptop vendors, although usually under the guise of providing a 
service - e.g. security fixes and updates - and it is still voluntary).

> And no, counting downloads is not giving the correct numbers as most linux 
> users use their distributions packages from the distributions servers.
Correct numbers will not result this way either.
> I would advice to go a similar route to what ffado does: ask the user, tell him 
> why we want to know, tell him what we want to know, allow for anonymous 
> sending and not sending at all (as well as identified sending). And redo that 
> procedure on every new version so you get more accurate numbers.
This is ok with me provided it's not hidden away or obfuscated so the 
user has a clear choice. That why distributions are less likely to turn 
it off as well.

> Have fun,
> Arnold
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