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Re: Emacs User Survey 2020 Results

From: Jean Louis
Subject: Re: Emacs User Survey 2020 Results
Date: Wed, 9 Dec 2020 20:22:44 +0300
User-agent: Mutt/2.0 (3d08634) (2020-11-07)

Hello Adrien,

I find efforts nice and friendly. Don't think it is badmind that I may
be picky on some specifics on your presentation.

* Adrien Brochard <abrochard@gmx.com> [2020-12-09 19:43]:
> Hi everyone,
> After a week of reading every submission, cleaning up the data, and
> leaning matplotlib, I finally have enough confidence to publish the
> results of the Emacs User Survey 2020.

That is definitely hard work as you allowed non-strict data to enter
the survey as both answering by email and by web is not easy to

> https://emacssurvey.org/2020/
> I want to thank everyone who responded, commented, and shared it!
> There's over 7300 responses and it's really thanks to this amazing
> community.

That is surprising result, maybe you remember I was expecting much
less people to respond. To me that speaks that there may be 7.3
millions Emacs users minimum, as I consider 1 survey submitted for
1000 people who did not submit. This is a vague fact known in media
such as newspapers. It may not be.

> There is still a lot to do, the data could always be analyzed
> differently, the website could be nicer, etc, but the responses have
> been so overwhelmingly positive that I just have to publish without
> more delay. If you have feedback or feel like contributing, all
> source and data are public.

Thank you.

Now here are my comments:

Number one critic to you is that you drive people who use free
software to non-free software. You maybe have to research why Emacs
came to be Emacs and why is it named GNU Emacs. There are reasons for
that. I cannot be soft-hearted on that. When you call it "Emacs
Survey" why not make it in the spirit of Emacs as free software and
stop promoting non-free proprietary program such as Matlab. GNU Emacs

GNU Octave, as Scientific Programming Language, is pPowerful
mathematics-oriented syntax with built-in 2D/3D plotting and
visualization tools Free software, runs on GNU/Linux, macOS, BSD, and
Microsoft Windows Drop-in compatible with many Matlab scripts.

See: https://www.gnu.org/software/octave/

Same critics remain that you have driven people to non-free
proprietary Javascript. In the second attempt to make the survey is
that going to happen again? I hope not.

Now comes the technical part of my critics which is meant that you
maybe, hopefull, kindly, try to improve next time.

- personally I do not find submission medium important, email or
  website, alright and fine, but it does not contribute back to Emacs
  any useful information, so it is with submissions over time

- your graphs are confusing and not common to me. It is not conclusive
  what you wish to present with the graphs such as "How do you use
  Emacs" where you are showing about 6000+ people using it for work
  and 2000+ people using it for studies. Your visual comparison is
  conflicting itself in my opinion as it does not make it conclusive
  if 2000 people among 6000 people use it for studies and for the work
  or only 2000 among 7300 use it for studies. As it is not definitely
  conclusive what you wanted to present I cannot be sure.

- it is good for me to know that people use it for work. But compared
  to the statistics if they use it for programming it looks like
  majority of programmers use Emacs for work. And that is not quite
  clear what "work" means. If it means programming or means something

- writing? Does it mean writing books, articles, reports, research
  writing is not writing? Programming is not writing? Hard to say what
  is meant with it and what is subset or intersection or union of
  what. I do not mind, as it looks like hobby project. But you may
  maybe draw conclusiong from here.

- the OS type of a question tells me there is much more work to do to
  replace those proprietary OSes with free software, that is useful
  information, thank you

- it is informative how people turn off tool bars and similar.

- question about editors is unfair somehow as it gives impression that
  people would use exclusively one editor. I am using mostly Emacs,
  and will use vi such as nvi version often to edit some files, but
  not to dwell in there, and I am frequently using ed when editing
  configuration files especially when I edit some configuration files
  on remote servers by using eshell or M-x shell trough Emacs. And
  when Emacs is getting crazy, I am using zille and will not hesitate
  using any text editor for notes or even editing Emacs configuration
  file by any editor. Maybe majority uses one true editor and never
  switch, I don't mind. For me is Emacs good as programming
  environment and I could use its features as programming language
  also from outside or within other editor by invoking a command that
  runs Emacs in background. For now I program in Emacs Lisp as many
  things get easier that way. Maybe I switch to something later who

- that ivy is mostly used completion package is interesting which
  should make incentive to include it in the Emacs core. But it is not
  as polished.

- now the statistics "Can you list some of your favorite packages"
  where you have placed "other" as the longest item becomes less
  meaningfull because "Other" could be represented in words, such as
  that majority answered "Other" and then the rest you could display
  visually. That way the rest gets it visual meaning. This way, the
  longest item is so long that those named packages are visually not
  easily comparable to each other.

- same comment is valid for themes

- flycheck is not specifically error checking it is spell checking.

- html/css is not a programming language, SQL is a structured query
  language with some functions but it is not a programming
  language. If you wish to mix programming languages and other stuff,
  then why not include all other markup languages as well.

- your Jypiter notebook can most probably be done also in Org
  mode. All the graphs could be also generated in Emacs as well and
  without proprietary external software. Graphviz and dot systems
  could be efficient.

- from all the graphs that deserve to be the pie graph you have placed
  only one "how have you heard about survey" on the end.


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