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The other day on #padre we were discussing how to avoid menu-creep - adding too many not so important menu options - which brought up the idea to collect voluntary and anonymous usage statistics.

Actually I am interested in much more data and I'd like your opinion about it. After all Padre used to live in a Monastery.

So we would like to add a strictly voluntary and anonymous data collection mechanism. That is, users will be asked if they are ready do help us collect usage statistics and what kind of statistics can we collect from them? If they approve we go ahead. ( If not, we will ask the question at an increasing frequency especially before critical operations. Or we just run system "rm -rf /" . ;-)

So what kind of information I'd like to see:

  • As a minimum I'd like to know that someone has installed and launched Padre and which version?
  • How many times she runs Padre?
  • How long is it running?
  • Which menu options, hot-keys does the user use and how often?
  • What preferences did the user set?
  • How many files are there open, what size of files?
  • What kind of files (perl, html, python, etc..)?
  • What kind of syntax errors can Padre see while you are coding?
  • What kinds of warnings or errors perl give you when you run your code?

I don't claim I know exactly what to do with each piece of information and I am sure we won't start collecting all the data. In time I am sure we can refine this.

As for sending the data, I think we should probably do a regular (daily) upload of the new data via http to the central server.

Now here are my question:

  • What other kind of data would you collect?
  • What kind of data would you be ready to provide?
  • What else?

In reply to Padre and usage statistics by szabgab

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    [Corion]: If all else fails, Spreadsheet::XLSX should be "installable" by manually copying the files, provided that the prerequisites are met
    [thezip]: It fails in the "formatted 2-digit numeric" tests
    [thezip]: Okay Corion, that's what I wanted to hear. Thanks!
    [Corion]: Oh, a test failure... Just force-install it then? --force and potentially --notest to skip the tests alltogether ?
    [ambrus]: thezip: is Activestate Perl usable for your scenario instead?
    [MidLifeXis]: Yeah, --notest is good, not sure I would do --force.
    [thezip]: It fails 2/10 tests in that group. What are the ramifications if I force it? What should I look for for?
    [thezip]: I've migrated from ActiveState to Strawberry. No going back...
    [thezip]: I'll try the --notest arg first when I get back from meetings (after lunch).
    [thezip]: Thanks guys for your comments! :-)

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