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Re: Anonymous metrics collection from Firefox

From:  Justin Lebar <>
Subject:  Re: Anonymous metrics collection from Firefox
Date:  Mon, 6 Feb 2012 15:58:03 -0500
Message-ID:  <>
Archive-link:  Article

Daniel Einspanjer wrote in comment 26

> I just need to make one small clarification. I am happy to have more people looking
> at the problem and challenge, and I would love to see a mechanism that provides a
> feasible alternative to the current ID-centric solution.  The only thing I can honestly
> promise is to collaborate on the thinking of, and consider such a solution if
> presented, and if it meets the stated needs of the project

I think this is the wrong way of looking at this discussion.

The question must be not "is there a better way", but rather "is this
way acceptable"?  We need to be careful not to take this project as a
fait accompli.

Yeah, it sucks that we can't tell why people stop using Firefox.  But
our principals are more important than that.

To that end, the discussion shouldn't center on why these metrics are
important or difficult to obtain another way.  The discussion is about
whether we can at once collect the proposed metrics and stay true to
our values.  If we can't, then we can't collect the data, no matter
how important it may be.

If the current proposal is in violation of our values, it's up to the
metrics team (and whoever wants to help) to come up with an
alternative.  It is explicitly *not* up to those of us opposing the
current proposal to propose an alternative.

I think bsmedberg laid out a good case for why the proposal is
troubling.  I'm curious to hear the metrics team respond to his
points, again *without* referencing the critical need for the data.


On Mon, Feb 6, 2012 at 3:30 PM, Ben Bucksch <> wrote:
> Blake Cutler wrote on
> :
>> The short answer is that correlation is not causation.
> How do you want to get causation, and *not* by correlation, from the data
> delivered by your proposal? I think that's impossible, but maybe I'm missing
> something. (If so, maybe I can improve my proposal.)
> E.g. you may see that all users of a certain addon stop using Firefox. But
> maybe that's just a custom internal addon that a company created, and the
> CEO decided to switch to MSIE, because he played golf with somebody. The
> cause is bribe, not technical.
> Also see the case of a government agency recommending Google Chrome that you
> mentioned yourself. The agency *told* in the announcement what the reason
> is, it was only one: Chrome's sandbox, which is better than that of
> competitors and leads to an inherently more security browser. So, users
> switch to Chrome as a result of that recommendation (or as one of the
> reasons). You will never get that cause by metrics.
> ---
> I think: If you want the cause, just 1) listen to people when they scream at
> you, and 2) ask them with surveys (small random set, free-form answers, not
> multiple choice), that's the only way. Mozilla has been a bit too stubborn
> recently, and more metrics data is not going to turn the ship around.
> Listening to users is.
> _______________________________________________
> dev-planning mailing list

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