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Re: Emacs User Survey 2020 Results

From: Adrien Brochard
Subject: Re: Emacs User Survey 2020 Results
Date: Wed, 9 Dec 2020 16:31:11 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.15; rv:84.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/84.0

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.

That's interesting. Do you have any literature around that? My quick
thinking on the topic is that Stackoverflow survey consistently reported
4.5% of developers using Emacs over the past years. Latest numbers
indicate 4 million software engineers in the US, so that would be 180000
US software engineer Emacs users. Of course, that's rough given that
there are Emacs users who do not fit that label. Very loose numbers say
21 millions software engineers worldwide, so by the same logic, that's
945000 users. I don't want to go too much into this discussion because
really the data is missing, but it's interesting.

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.

I think you misread. I used matplotlib which is a common Python library
to make graphs.

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.

It depends. I have already expressed my reasons on the topic before
(https://emacssurvey.org/faq.html#js). I am thinking about writing an
entire blog post about lessons learned here.

- 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.

This question allowed multiple choice answers which makes graphing it
always a bit tricky. I absolutely encourage you to look at the data and
answer your question. As I stated at the top of the results page, this
is a simple per-question analysis. I could have spent months looking at
the data under every angle.

- 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

Yes free text analysis on "long-tail" data is particularly difficult. I
have mentioned it at the top of the results page.

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

It is. https://www.flycheck.org/en/latest/
You might confuse it for flyspell.

- 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.

It probably can but data analyst are more comfortable with Jypiter.

- 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.

That's actually not true. Pie graphs are good when the question is
single choice answer. Most of the questions were multiple choice, which
means that a pie graph would be confusing and the trick viewers into
thinking that a user can only belong to one of the slices of the pie.
Bar charts are not perfect, but they seem to reduce that risk. Maybe I
could have also tried a bubble chart

Thank you for the feedback. If there is another iteration, I will use it
to improve.
Adrien Brochard

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