[wp-hackers] Automatic feedback from users

Omry Yadan omry at yadan.net
Sat Sep 15 08:35:53 GMT 2007

Hi all.

when developing software, in many cases we are guessing things and
continuing assuming this guess is true.

that's the nature of the work, and this will not change.

recent examples:

* sticking with PHP4 for now: based on the guess that PHP4 is still
dominant and will stay dominant in the near future.

* holding on to PHPMailer: based on the guess that it's good enough for
90% of the users.

and so on.

wouldn't it be nice if at least for some of those things, you would be
able to base your actions on facts instead of on guesses?

In FireStats 1.3, I added an option for users to send me system information.

on the first run, I ask them if they agree, and if they do I send the
information to my server when ever something changes.

this allow me to get a good idea about the popularity of various php
versions and mysql versions among my users, as well as to know about
some usage patterns (in my case - how many sites each instance of
FireStats is monitoring on average, for example).

I intend to make some of the information I obtain public when I get the
time, for now just take a look at this:


so, my suggestion is to add a similar mechanism to WordPress.

this can also send a list of plugins users are using, provide a lot of
information on what users want from WordPress.

for example, if you find that 15% of the users are using some kind of
email plugin, it's a pretty strong indication that the "90% of the users
are happy with current mail support" is false.

another example: if you see that 10% of the users have some kind of
podcast plugin installed, it's a strong indication that at least 10% of
the users of WordPress are podcasting.

I am willing to help on the technical level with this, I have a pretty
robust solution for this that will work even if the server does not have
http access (data is sent from the client browser).

just to stress the a point here:

I am not suggesting spying on users: we will only get information from
users that agree to help.


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