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I just had this discussion with AG on the website mailist about this and here is what he suggested, as well as a little insight at what Debian has done for its data gathering:


Le 2010-10-27 17:30, AG a écrit :

> Well, that's why it is all open and above board, the code is open, the
> fields are explicitly defined, clear data specifications, and the system
> mails out to LibO (cc the user) the reports. It isn't data mining: it is
> voluntary, the default option is no, it can be stopped at any time, it
> is participatory to the levels of detail the user is okay with, it
> invites open transparent scrutiny, and posts the user a copy of the
> report being sent.
> Moreover, it wouldn't affect the installation of LibO - it is a
> voluntary participation in research and users can opt in if they want,
> and if not, then fine.

This sounds reasonable to me. I would prefer it if it were just a one time only thing. I don' think that there would be a need for a continuous feed of information from the users. I imagine the marketing team would have to take a hard look at this. I'll leave a copy of this on the marketing mailist.

> I'm not defending the idea, nor am I saying that this is what
> "popularity contest" does. I was asking after how feasible a basic
> approach like that would be for LibO community's purposes.

Hi AG, thanks for the info. Don't worry, I always consider these threads as discussions and I hope I didn't sound like I was criticizing you and I apologize if it sounded this way.

>> Is there anything like that on the debian project?
>> Marc
> Here's the scoop on the popularity contest itself, launched early 2004:
> "The Debian popularity-contest is a concept created by Avery Pennarun a
> few years ago. It set up a program on the hosts installing the
> popularity-contest package, to email the list of packages installed
> and in use to a central collection point. It also collect the host
> architecture and we plan to collect kernel version and modules used as
> well. The summaries are presented on <URL:>
> and used to sort the packages on the Debian CDs.
> The information can be used in other areas as well. It can detect
> which packages in the debian archive which aren't installed on any
> hosts. Such packages should probably be checked out and possibly be
> removed from the archive. It has already been used to check which
> non-free packages are actually in use, while discussing the future for
> non-free."
> AG
Thanks. Always nice to know how some other distros are getting their information.



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