results of ports re-engineering survey

Stephen Montgomery-Smith stephen at
Wed Dec 12 11:51:11 PST 2007

On Wed, 12 Dec 2007, Paul Schmehl wrote:

> --On Wednesday, December 12, 2007 04:38:39 -0500 "Aryeh M. Friedman" 
> <aryeh.friedman at> wrote:
>> ......while I still want to gather more data to pin down the exact 
> requirements
> Don't you get it?  You're not GATHERING DATA.  You're eliciting responses 
> from a TINY percentage of the people who use FreeBSD and ports and 
> *extrapolating* from that tiny sample that 1) something is wrong with ports 
> and 2) something actually needs to be done about it.
> You haven't even BEGUN to gather data.  Yet you're already moving on to your 
> "second phase"!
> Furthermore, you take it upon yourself to insult the very people who actually 
> *do* write the code and make this thing work while polluting this list (and 
> several others as well) with stuff that *very few* (very few is defined as 
> less than 1% of the readership which represents perhaps 1% of the total users 
> of FreeBSD) people care about.
> And you wonder why others' patience grows short?  Have you even noticed that 
> the sharpest criticism of your "ideas" has all come from people with 
> "" in their email address?  Do you know what it takes to get one 
> of those?
> Please, please, spare us all the pain.  Go write some code.  Submit a PR. 
> Then argue the validity of your code on the developer's list.

Although I was one who was initially critical of Aryeh, I must admit that 
I am becoming puzzled as to why his initiative is attracting such 
hostility.  I can understand people being dismissive of his efforts, but 
not the hostility.

Aryeh has made it extremely clear what his goals are, and at worst all it 
will be is a failed project, and at best it might really contribute. 
People are saying again and again that they want to see the code, but he 
has said that he plans to do the heavy lifting by himself, and it should 
be obvious that he has taken on a very ambitious plan and code won't be 
seen for quite a while.

Next, I don't get all this talk about the need for his data to satisfy 
some kind of significance test.  Even professional polsters find this task 
extremely difficult and expensive.  Obviously all Aryeh is trying to do is 
to get some anecdotal evidence.  And in his situation I would say 
that (a) it is by far the best he can hope for, and (b) certainly has 
potential to be extremely useful.

Come on guys, get off his back.  You might disagree with him, but his 
comments are most certainly relevant to this mailing list.  Kill the 
message, but don't kill the messenger.

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