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Re: application statistics

Bryan Clark wrote:
Hey ~

So we've been collecting some application usage statistics [1] on mugshot for a little while now and it's starting to reveal some interesting (and obvious) stuff. You could look at evolution vs. thunderbird and firefox vs. epiphany or gossip vs. gaim. It's a bit hard to pull enough context into those comparisons to really get down to the reasons why some are used more than others but it's a good start so far.

If you're not aware of the application statistics take a look the statistics page [1] as well as the recent blog entry [2] for some background. In a nutshell we've asked mugshot users anonymously share their application usage statistics in order to determine application popularity. Mugshot is cool and free and open to everyone [3], you can sign up today if any of this interests you.

So now we're moving this application statistics idea on to a new phase and are looking for ideas. During our talk at FUDCon we showed a couple of mockups [4] of things we were possibly looking at doing. While we're still touching on most of the different areas shown there we now have a decent prototype for the statistical application usage information and it would be great to drive in that direction for a little while.

We're looking into, as it was suggested on the blog, that we might provide correlations between usage such that you could see xterm users are more likely to run xmms. However there might be other correlations that would be good to show as well.

Also we're trying to figure out how we can determine related applications. Mime types are a bit of a mess to try linking similar applications together so we might have to ask people to help edit the information wiki style. The application categorires are problematic for this as well. Right now there doesn't seem to be any existing information on how thunderbird, evolution, and balsa are all email clients.

While our application pages don't always correspond directly to a project we've looked into providing doap [5] files for all of our application information. Because of the disconnect between application, package, and project this might not work out but it's certainly possible to provide some information in this format.

As this mockup [6] suggests we're currently looking into how we could offer install links for applications thus giving a bit more of a application browse and download / install feel. The backend bits to this all use yum / pirut to handle the actual install. And we've also added a way to pull in more application description information as well.

There's a little bit more information available on the app stats wiki page [7] if you still have general questions.

As you might already be aware, Fedora has been collecting various statistics [1] and extending this to understand what applications users are dabbling with is very interesting. Integrating this via mugshot would require two things

 * Downloading and installing the client
 * Registering with Mugshot

Smolt is the profiler in Fedora that collects hardware information anonymously in a opt-in way. The plan there is to install it by default and integrate it with first boot. The Fedora package review for mugshot [2] seems to be struck on a licensing issue. Is there any progress on this? Would it be possible to integrate mugshot into first boot before the Fedora 7 release [3]? In the first boot integration, the mugshot user login or registration is a tab in the same space as adding a new user. That is logical but it would make it much less obvious since most users probably would skip additional tabs or advanced option areas.

From the Fedora perspective it also important to differentiate between what mugshot users in general prefer from what applications Fedora users are using. A straight forward method to do is that is to read /etc/fedora-release. Additionally if the users are using Firefox you can read the user agent part too. Are you differentiating this currently or is there any plans to do so?

The ability to install applications and provide more package description with screenshots (it might even be user screen captures) etc is very nice and is somewhat similar to cnr[4]. You could add additional features like reviewing an application, comments, search etc. Is there a way to split that out from mugshot? I think we would want that in Fedora and it would be useful for users not using mugshot too.



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