[development] Survey for a Master Thesis about Open Source CMS

Michael Haggerty mhaggerty-lists at trellon.com
Tue Mar 2 02:46:13 UTC 2010

Gerhard -

If you are going to tell someone their survey displays a lack of  
proper grammar, please proofread your polemics before sending. The  
egregious errors in your spelling make my eyes hurt each time they  
fall upon them, and I really wish you would just buy a dictionary  
instead of trying to hack it all the time.

That kid is a business major from Belgium. There's about a 95% chance  
he will be working at a bank in a year in a role where his English  
language skills will prove completely useless. There is a good chance  
his major job function for the next decade will be standing outside  
sporting events in Eastern Europe trying to get people to sign up for  
credit cards. I am sure he does not care about how poorly he grasps  
the English language even after reading your letter.

While I don't know what he plans on doing with the data he collects,  
the chances of him getting real opinions from an actual representative  
sample of open source developers with this strategy is very low,  
probably less than 5%. It's clear he has not taken the time to  
research the people he wants to connect with or found a way to ask for  
information in a compelling manner that makes people want to help him.  
I mean, there's not even a $10 Amazon.com gift certificate up for  
grabs - even part time business majors from community colleges  
recognize the importance of incentivizing respondents.

This lack of situational awareness does indicate more serious  
intellectual flaws which professors are exceptional at identifying.  
These deficits will probably be recognized before any academic  
institution grants a degree over this 'thesis'.

Given these factors, the joint probability of this survey actually  
uncovering something interesting is terribly low (far less than 1%).  
Do as you wish, but I don't see where getting all uppity about a  
bumbling, misguided attempt at academic accomplishment is worth all  
the effort of critiquing it. It is a far better thing to give him  
completely false data in the survey or repost his request to 4chan /  
Something Awful so it can be dealt with in an entertaining manner by a  
more appropriate agent.

All the best,

On Mar 1, 2010, at 5:35 PM, Gerhard Killesreiter wrote:

> Hash: SHA1
> Lionel Heinz schrieb:
>> P.S. Please forgive me if this request does'nt match exactly the
>> goals of this mailing list, but contacting developers through such
>> lists is the best way to get data of good quality...
> Please forgive me if this answer isn't exactly the answer you were
> looking for. I feel entitled to answer as I please since you've
> essentially spammed me.
> I wanted to write a lengthy, witty rant here, however it is late and I
> am tired.
> Only three remarks:
> - - Did it occur to you to have somebody proofread the English text  
> you
> created? Your questions (which are actually no questions, yet they
> have question marks) are sometimes barely intelligible ("I make
> efforts in terms of support to users in difficulty ?").
> - - Nearly all of your questions could have benefited from some  
> explanation.
> - - Aren't there any supervisors/instructors at universities anymore?
> You shouldn't have heard the above from me on a public mailinglist.
> Cheers,
> 	Gerhard
> Version: GnuPG v1.4.9 (GNU/Linux)
> iEYEARECAAYFAkuMQRsACgkQfg6TFvELooToAQCgs+BZGkWdOW0wy7Iw5u79tdk7
> NYgAmwf/eveOrc2Lf4gNvx5Rk6cUYROG
> =nxTV

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