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Re: [Maria-discuss] Enabling feedback pluging for MariaDB 10.1.4


Hi, Kristian!

On Mar 09, Kristian Nielsen wrote:
> > As most MariaDB users should know, the feedback is totally anonymous
> > and no private or sensitive information is being sent.
> >
> > Any comments, suggestions or recommendations?
> I think it is a bad idea. Please do not do it.
> "Phone-home" is a misfeature in any product, and even more so in system
> software like a database.

Agree. I don't like it myself. Still between that and random development
decisions driven by the marketing department, I just might prefer

> And besides, the information is much less useful than you think,
> because of unknown, but probably extreme, data skew. In fact, it will
> probably be more harmful than useful because people will use bad data
> to justify bad decisions.

Right, but there are three approaches to this. First, try to get more
reports, in the hope that it'll be a representative sample. That's what
we're discussing this email thread. Second, take the known skew into
account when analyzing the data. For example, see the OS stats chart
(http://mariadb.org/feedback_plugin/stats/os/) - it doesn't mean that
96.3% of MariaDB installations are on Windows, it means that we have
disproportionally more reports from Windows. And third, use numbers
where the skew doesn't matter. For example, total number of

> Experience supports this point of view with our download numbers. They
> do not include apt-get / yum / etc. installations, which judging from
> IRC conversations are the majority. Yet people continuely refer to
> them as though they mean anything, just because they are there.

Of course they mean something. They show, literally, how many times
mariadb was downloaded from downloads.mariadb.org. As such, they show
that mariadb was downloaded (from all sources) *at least* that many

Also, one can *reasonably assume* that the number of downloads from all
other sources follows the grows of downloads from mariadb.org (unless
the number of "other sources" changes).

These numbers mean a lot. They just don't mean the total number of all
mariadb installation (from all sources). Which is pretty obvious :)