A two-minute Ruby flavoured survey to help shape a new service

Please take a few seconds to fill out the following survey …

http://bit.ly/gyCAJ9

I’m currently working on a new Ruby-orientated service and would really
appreciate input from fellow Ruby developers.

I’ll look forward to reviewing your responses and appreciate you taking
the time to help.

On Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 03:46:17AM +0900, Mic P. wrote:

Please take a few seconds to fill out the following survey …

http://bit.ly/gyCAJ9

I’m currently working on a new Ruby-orientated service and would really
appreciate input from fellow Ruby developers.

I’ll look forward to reviewing your responses and appreciate you taking
the time to help.

I take it, from the questions, that you’re considering an iPhone app but
not anything for other smartphones and related devices (such as Android
devices). Is there any particular reason for that?

well this is a forum so why not have the questions entered here since
some of the answers may not be simple yes/no answers. Also since it’s
a public forum the answers might help others who have the same type of
questions or marketing concerns. btw nice trek font.

here is Chad’s questions for this who don’t care to click the link:

Is RubyGems.org your primary source for installing and updating gems?

Yes
No

Do you update gems as soon as new versions are released?

Yes
No

Would you like real-time notifications when new versions of gems are
released?

Yes
No

Are you currently the maintainer of one or more a gems?

Yes
No

From the list below, which is your preferred browser?

Safari
Chrome
Firefox
Internet Explorer
Opera
Other

Do you have an active Twitter account?

Yes
No

Do you have an active Facebook account?

Yes
No

Do you own an iPhone?

Yes
No

~

Chad P. wrote in post #989682:

I take it, from the questions, that you’re considering an iPhone app but
not anything for other smartphones and related devices (such as Android
devices). Is there any particular reason for that?

Hi Chad,

Aside from Ruby, the only other language I’m fluent in is Objective-C,
this was the driving factor behind deciding to develop an iPhone
application.

Please note though that the iPhone application will be entirely
complimentary to the web service rather than a requirement, and you’ll
still be able to get the most out of the web service which will be open
and available to everyone.

Having said that, if all goes well and there’s significant demand for an
Android or Blackberry application (or any other platform) then I’d be
more than willing to explore those options =)

Thanks

-Mic

Stu wrote in post #989698:

well this is a forum so why not have the questions entered here since
some of the answers may not be simple yes/no answers. Also since it’s
a public forum the answers might help others who have the same type of
questions or marketing concerns. btw nice trek font.

Hey Stu,

I restricted the questions to simple yes/no or multiple choice because
it’s much easier to visualise the responses. Also, if I had opened up
the questions to allow people to enter free text then I would have been
collecting information that isn’t relevant to this specific project.

For instance, I am only interested if rubygems.org is your primary
source of gems. If I had allowed people to enter their own responses
they would have inevitably mentioned other gem hosts which I would have
only had to disregard.

Also, I think it’s much easier to persuade people to fill out a survey
if it’s quick and requires minimal input; hence the limited number of
questions and answer choices.

I didn’t list the questions on the forum primarily because it would be
much harder to collect the responses.

The responses so far have thrown up some interesting facts about Ruby
developers behaviour & preferences so once the survey is complete (I’m
aiming for around 250 responses and I’m about 60% the way there) then I
probably will publish the results somewhere in the hope others may find
them useful =)

-Mic

On Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 9:34 AM, Mic P. [email protected] wrote:

Stu wrote in post #989698:

well this is a forum so why not have the questions entered here since
some of the answers may not be simple yes/no answers. Also since it’s
a public forum the answers might help others who have the same type of
questions or marketing concerns. btw nice trek font.

I restricted the questions to simple yes/no or multiple choice because
it’s much easier to visualise the responses. Also, if I had opened up
the questions to allow people to enter free text then I would have been
collecting information that isn’t relevant to this specific project.

Free text is not the only alternative. For example, the last one
could deserve more answers like “it depends” or “i don’t know”. Now
you have something which you can easily visualize - but if the base
data set is a bad model of reality your good visualization buys you
nothing.

For instance, I am only interested if rubygems.org is your primary
source of gems. If I had allowed people to enter their own responses
they would have inevitably mentioned other gem hosts which I would have
only had to disregard.

Also, I think it’s much easier to persuade people to fill out a survey
if it’s quick and requires minimal input; hence the limited number of
questions and answer choices.

Actually the limited choice of answers can make answering harder and
thus slower. :slight_smile:

I didn’t list the questions on the forum primarily because it would be
much harder to collect the responses.

Clearly. The Google Docs approach is remarkably easy and works good.

The responses so far have thrown up some interesting facts about Ruby
developers behaviour & preferences so once the survey is complete (I’m
aiming for around 250 responses and I’m about 60% the way there) then I
probably will publish the results somewhere in the hope others may find
them useful =)

This of course is a requirement for us. :slight_smile:

Cheers

robert

Robert K. wrote in post #989747:

Free text is not the only alternative. For example, the last one
could deserve more answers like “it depends” or “i don’t know”. Now
you have something which you can easily visualize - but if the base
data set is a bad model of reality your good visualization buys you
nothing.

I’m not sure I totally agree. Choosing your “it depends” option as an
example, if I added that and 30% chose it, I wouldn’t have any idea what
their decision depended on and the only way to find out would to be open
it up even further by adding a free text option so that if they chose
“it depends” they could also add, in their words, what it depended on.

I feel (although you may well disagree) that I worded the questions in a
way that tightly fit the available answers meaning there would be little
need, if any, for further options.

This of course is a requirement for us. :slight_smile:

Cheers

robert

What is a requirement? Could you explain?

Thanks

-Mic

On Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 2:47 PM, Mic P. [email protected] wrote:

Robert K. wrote in post #989747:

This of course is a requirement for us. :slight_smile:

What is a requirement? Could you explain?

Publication.

robert

Mic P. wrote:

For the record, I only really consider “free” to be a reasonable price
:wink:

-Justin

On Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 07:31:50AM +0900, Stu wrote:

here is Chad’s questions for this who don’t care to click the link:

Uhh . . . they aren’t my questions. I just replied to “Mic”, who
actually started this thread.

On Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 04:24:50PM +0900, Mic P. wrote:

Chad P. wrote in post #989682:

I take it, from the questions, that you’re considering an iPhone app
but not anything for other smartphones and related devices (such as
Android devices). Is there any particular reason for that?

Aside from Ruby, the only other language I’m fluent in is Objective-C,
this was the driving factor behind deciding to develop an iPhone
application.

That’s a fair answer. Thanks for responding.

I figured I’d point out that you can write software for Android in Ruby,
though. Aside from the Ruboto JVM and frameworks like Titanium, there’s
also SL4A (Scripting Layer For Android), which I have found a touch
addictive:

Try the SL4A scripting environment for your Android device
http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/programming-and-development/?p=3932

Please note though that the iPhone application will be entirely
complimentary to the web service rather than a requirement, and you’ll
still be able to get the most out of the web service which will be open
and available to everyone.

I thought that might be the case – it often is for Web services that
have iPhone applications associated with them. I was mostly just
curious
about the reasons for iPhone in particular.

Having said that, if all goes well and there’s significant demand for
an Android or Blackberry application (or any other platform) then I’d
be more than willing to explore those options =)

Whether I’d “demand” an Android application depends on whether I would
find this mysterious service useful, of course. Anyway, good luck with
your endeavor, and thanks again for taking the time to reply.

Sorry about that. I just realized I miss quoted. =)

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