Recent Doc Team meeting - Poll idea (Do people really use computer-based help?)

Martin Dixon mh.dixon at
Sat May 10 06:37:26 UTC 2014

My penny worth (as one who does not always think clearly) - I have used the in-computer help occasionally from day one and those I have "helped" have also - it has the advantage of being easily accessible, clearly organised and relatively universally applicable.  But that may only be another way of saying if alternatives were equally accessible and clearly organised and provided more information they might be more applicable.

 From: Peter Matulis <peter.matulis at>
To: Penelope Stowe <pstowe at> 
Cc: ubuntu-users at; Ubuntu <ubuntu-translators at>; Ubuntu Doc <ubuntu-doc at> 
Sent: Friday, 9 May 2014, 21:14
Subject: Re: Recent Doc Team meeting - Poll idea (Do people really use computer-based help?)

On 05/09/2014 01:51 PM, Penelope Stowe wrote:
> On Fri, May 9, 2014 at 10:12 AM, Peter Matulis
> <peter.matulis at <mailto:peter.matulis at>> wrote:
>     Last Wednesday (May 7) we there was a Doc team meeting [1] and an idea
>     surfaced that an attempt be made to determine the general level of
>     readership/usage of the help/doc facility in Ubuntu (Desktop).
>     Including this facility involves participation in a rigid set of
>     development/packaging rules & schedule that may not be worth the
>     trouble.
>     Preliminary poll:
>     << Do people think conducting such a poll is worthwhile? >>
> Who would targeted as responders to said poll? If you only poll current
> Ubuntu users, you're probably going to get a different answer than if
> you poll current users as well as trying to get answers from current
> Windows and MacOS users who could potentially use Ubuntu down the road.
> I've done informal polling of this exact question among people I know
> and there's definitely a difference between the people I know who use
> Ubuntu (who tend to be slightly more technologically savvy) and those
> who use Windows/MacOS, but are part of the stated target of making
> Ubuntu friendly to/usable by everyone. 
> My opinion on whether a poll would be useful does depend on knowing who
> would be the target of such a poll. There are ways to get non-technical
> and non-Ubuntu users to answer a poll on this question. If there's no
> decided target, then I will give a longer explanation of my thoughts.

Thanks for your thoughts Penelope.

I think polling Ubuntu users is good enough since there are former
Windows/Mac users among them.  But you raise an interesting point:  do
we want to know whether a user will even *look* for in-computer help?
My original idea was to determine to what degree Ubuntu users first
*know* about it and, if so, whether they *use* it.

I would rather avoid a hypothetical question such as: "If you were an
Ubuntu user would you look for in-computer help?".


peter matulis

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