June 28, 2013
On Friday, June 28, 2013 10:44:36 Peter Williams wrote:
> On 28/06/13 05:52, Jonathan M Davis wrote:
> > On Thursday, June 27, 2013 13:47:53 Adam D. Ruppe wrote:
> >> On Thursday, 27 June 2013 at 06:59:49 UTC, Jonathan M Davis wrote:
> >>> But if we make a design decision that favors 1% of our userbase
> >> 
> >> I really think we all need to be more careful about these kinds of statements. I often see posts on the newsgroup where someone says "feature/function X is totally useless".... and it is something I actually use.
> >> 
> >> In this thread, there's I think three people who said the extra arguments are a good thing (myself, Andrei, and Peter). And there's what, maybe a dozen participants in the thread (I didn't count, I think it is less though)?
> >> 
> >> That's not a big enough sample to be statistically significant, but what are the odds that this thread is so skewed that only 1% of D's userbase feels this way, when 25% of the thread disagrees?
> > 
> > I wasn't arguing that only 1% of the users care about this particular feature. What I was objecting to was that Andrei seemed to think that argumentum ad populum was an invalid argument,
> 
> Plato would agree with Andrei.

It's definitely true that just because a lot of people think something does not make it true (e.g. having the majority of people think that the sun goes around the earth does not make it so). But when you're debating an API, your debating what a lot of people are going to be using, and if the majority of them don't think that it's user-friendly or otherwise well-designed, then I really don't think that it makes sense to say that the fact that most of the users think that doesn't mean anything or that it's not relevant. I think that majority opinion is _very_ relevant when discussing APIs or any type of user interface. It may be the case that they're wrong and that after using a new API or user interface, they'll eventually come to the conclusion that they're wrong, but their opinion is _very_ relevant IMHO.

- Jonathan M Davis
June 28, 2013
On 28/06/13 11:47, Jonathan M Davis wrote:
> On Friday, June 28, 2013 10:44:36 Peter Williams wrote:
>> On 28/06/13 05:52, Jonathan M Davis wrote:
>>> On Thursday, June 27, 2013 13:47:53 Adam D. Ruppe wrote:
>>>> On Thursday, 27 June 2013 at 06:59:49 UTC, Jonathan M Davis wrote:
>>>>> But if we make a design decision that favors 1% of our userbase
>>>>
>>>> I really think we all need to be more careful about these kinds
>>>> of statements. I often see posts on the newsgroup where someone
>>>> says "feature/function X is totally useless".... and it is
>>>> something I actually use.
>>>>
>>>> In this thread, there's I think three people who said the extra
>>>> arguments are a good thing (myself, Andrei, and Peter). And
>>>> there's what, maybe a dozen participants in the thread (I didn't
>>>> count, I think it is less though)?
>>>>
>>>> That's not a big enough sample to be statistically significant,
>>>> but what are the odds that this thread is so skewed that only 1%
>>>> of D's userbase feels this way, when 25% of the thread disagrees?
>>>
>>> I wasn't arguing that only 1% of the users care about this particular
>>> feature. What I was objecting to was that Andrei seemed to think that
>>> argumentum ad populum was an invalid argument,
>>
>> Plato would agree with Andrei.
>
> It's definitely true that just because a lot of people think something does not
> make it true (e.g. having the majority of people think that the sun goes
> around the earth does not make it so). But when you're debating an API, your
> debating what a lot of people are going to be using, and if the majority of
> them don't think that it's user-friendly or otherwise well-designed, then I
> really don't think that it makes sense to say that the fact that most of the
> users think that doesn't mean anything or that it's not relevant. I think that
> majority opinion is _very_ relevant when discussing APIs or any type of user
> interface. It may be the case that they're wrong and that after using a new
> API or user interface, they'll eventually come to the conclusion that they're
> wrong, but their opinion is _very_ relevant IMHO.

Yes, but voting is very seldom the best way so decide a technical issue.  You want the best technical solution not the one supported by the best lobbyists.

Peter

June 28, 2013
On 6/27/2013 8:22 PM, Peter Williams wrote:
> Yes, but voting is very seldom the best way so decide a technical issue.  You
> want the best technical solution not the one supported by the best lobbyists.

A sound technical argument can trump votes. There are enough cases of votes overriding technical arguments to everyone's later regret, like exported templates in C++ :-)

June 28, 2013
On Friday, June 28, 2013 00:48:20 Walter Bright wrote:
> On 6/27/2013 8:22 PM, Peter Williams wrote:
> > Yes, but voting is very seldom the best way so decide a technical issue. You want the best technical solution not the one supported by the best lobbyists.
> A sound technical argument can trump votes. There are enough cases of votes overriding technical arguments to everyone's later regret, like exported templates in C++ :-)

Agreed. I just disagree with the idea that what the majority thinks is irrelevant. It _is_ relevant, but it's just one of the things to consider. The place where it's likely to matter most is when you have multiple choices which are all more or less equal. Where it's likely to matter the least is when you have strong technical arguments against the majority opinion, and the majority opinion does not have similarly strong arguments in its favor.

- Jonathan M Davis
Next ›   Last »
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8