Posted Feb 12, 2012 16:30 UTC (Sun) by deinspanjer (guest, #82864)
Parent article: Tracking users
One of the pieces of MDP that was a critical requirement during the development of the proposal was the user facing features. We wanted the project to make it easy for the user to see the precise data that was being collected and to be able to gain benefit from that data themselves. The cumulative usage data is stored locally in the installation's profile directory, and that data can be used by interested users through the about:metrics page to learn a number of things about their own usage and the stability and performance of the installation. They can ask questions such as precisely how much the new version they installed last week improved performance or stability for them or whether the add-on that they updated fixed the startup lag they were seeing since they installed it, and they could even discover potentially interesting patterns in how they use the browser throughout the week.
If enough of data to be representative of the majority of our community is submitted to Mozilla, and that data is made publicly available as aggregates, then end-users could also ask questions such as whether the set of add-ons they have installed cause problems for many others or be able to see how much better in terms of stability or performance the next version of Firefox is likely going to be for themselves. Even if no data is sent to Mozilla, I really hope that the local data is still collected and made available through about:metrics because it could really help users understand and fix problems.