A survey on kernel quality
Posted Jul 10, 2006 15:53 UTC (Mon) by jimmybgood
In reply to: A survey on kernel quality
Parent article: A survey on kernel quality
As arcticwolf mentions the suggestion that being a paid subscriber makes one more knowledgeable is nonsense. I do have the money to subscribe and would gladly pay it, were that to be true.
The difference between subscribers and nonsubscribers is largely that subscribers identify professionally with Linux as a career and are doing well enough at it to afford the subscription. I would think this makes them _more_ biased not less. Imagine if you were to ask a group of automotive engineers if automobiles were becoming less fuel efficient or less safe. Of course, they would be concerned about the image of the industry that supports their livelihood and would have a bias to protect it by minimizing problems in their responses.
While the above claim is mere conjecture, the well-recognized psychological phenomena of cognitive consonance would, if such a bias were present, lead the subjects to convince themselves that they were not biased.
So long as Andrew Morton is aware of this bias, though, the bias should be fairly predictable and can be corrected for in a rough manner. In other words, if LWN subscribers claim that the kernel quality is staying stable, it's probably really declining.
Designing surveys that produce meaningful responses is not easy. One poster has already reported that he can't fit his observations into the survey's structure. Are the survey questions going to be released for public perusal or will they remain permanently restricted?
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