Informal polls amongst ubuntu members/developers ?

t u towsonu2003 at
Mon Nov 27 09:51:30 GMT 2006

Hash: SHA1

Oliver Grawert wrote:
> well, preferably people would participate in the sessions at the
> conferences, there are VOIP options, the specs get edited publicly in
> gobby etc, so its very easy to take part (and thanks to gobby to even
> write your own parts in specs from home).


This is now mentioned a number of times as an argument, and I have to
disagree with this point of view. It isn't that easy to be part of the
decision making for regular users:

The specs are not well announced and they usually end up being pretty
complex creatures nearing towards being approved. You have to either
have to catch it before getting more or less reviewed, or to read a
whole wiki page and no one likes reading too much :)

VOIP and gobby aren't good options for participation as the user will
need to tweak around, learn new stuff, spend time etc. I, for one, just
couldn't figure out how to monitor UDS straight forward, so I didn't
pursue -this is what a regular joe/jane would do as well :) And believe
me, I'm one dedicated regular user ;)

The process of letting the end-user involved in decision-making needs to
be simple -as simple as possible. That is why I have to disagree with
this common argument that "there already are ways for people to join our
decision-making process".

I think the forum-ambassador spec and the poll idea are very
constructive. The end-user shouldn't need to do much stuff, nor should
s/he need to learn new software or spend more time than absolutely
needed of her/him.

Here's an example: the winmodem spec that I have been trying to promote
obsessive-compulsively :) It has two components:

1. launchpad spec, mainly for developers and more experienced users
2. ubuntuforums poll, implemented before the spec, for anyone else to
vote and to voice their concerns

- From the end-user's perspective, it is very easy to provide feedback:
read a few lines of description and then vote if you're interested.
You'll be done within minutes.

- From the developers' point of view, when you look at that spec, you will
know instantly and almost for sure[*] whether the community wants it or
not: in this example, 69.28% of 778 users *absolutely* want this while
only 5.14% of the users *absolutely* don't want this. So deciding on
whether to review or to just reject it is pretty easy (as far as
userbase / PR is concerned).



[*] Not for sure = Statistically not feasible
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