Open Letter: Why I, Kevin Kofler, am not rerunning for FESCo

Jesse Keating jkeating at
Tue May 4 02:01:43 UTC 2010

On Tue, 2010-05-04 at 01:58 +0200, Kevin Kofler wrote:
> Jesse Keating wrote:
> > Please stop banding about the forum poll as if it were some sort of
> > scientific measure with meaningful results one could use as a basis for
> > decision making.
> It's the best data we have.

Bad data is worse than no data.

> > It was none of that.  All it gave us was info we already had.  Some users
> > would like more adventurous stuff, while some users would not.  We already
> > had that information, the poll told us nothing new.
> The poll told us an approximate proportion, which is so far from 50-50 
> (72.13%) that we clearly have a statistically significant majority, also 
> considering the sample size N=183. If you want me to actually compute some 
> p-values and do statistical tests, I can do that, but to me the numbers look 
> obvious.
> Now you may try to argue that the sample is biased, but you have no actual 
> evidence towards that.

Of course the sample is biased.  It's a sample of people who frequent
the forums, that's a self selecting group of people, by no means a
worthwhile representation of the Fedora user base as a whole.

> In the absence of better data, the data we have is what we should use as the 
> basis for our decision, not your personal opinion nor some imaginary "silent 
> majority" which never has been proven to exist.
> If you aren't happy with the data, start collecting some better one!
>         Kevin Kofler

Proper scientific data collection is hard, really hard.  To do it right
would take a lot of time and engineering and even argument.  I don't
want to put in that time, nor do I think we could ever be able to truly
have a good representation as we have no hard data on who all uses
Fedora, and in which ways.

Jesse Keating
Fedora -- Freedom² is a feature!
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