Getting popcon back in shape

Matt Zimmerman mdz at
Fri Jan 6 19:39:50 GMT 2006

On Fri, Jan 06, 2006 at 09:21:19PM +0200, Aigars Mahinovs wrote:
> On 1/6/06, Matt Zimmerman <mdz at> wrote:
> > The problem of determining which packages are important to users is, I
> > think, more complex for us than is allowed for by popcon's approach.  In
> > general, genuine application use is more interesting than package
> > installation and file access, and this is more difficult to measure.
> > Surveys, while they have their own problem, would seem to give us more
> > useful results.
> How about a cron script that keeps daily records of atime of all files
> in /usr/bin or something along those lines included and active by
> default in dapper? Then after 10 Mb (compressed) of this info would be
> accumulated, we could ask the user whether he would like to submit
> that back so that Ubuntu can be improved further.

This is (one part of) what popcon does already.

> A more intrusive approach could also be provided - an applet that
> tracks all mouse clicks and special key combinations in all apps,
> recording sequences of commands done, changes in settings, ... (Of
> course only as an opt-in)

I'm not aware of any tool which is capable of collecting meaningful data
at this level, though it's possible thaht someone is working on it.

 - mdz

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