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From Jonathan Ellis <jbel...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: How is Cassandra being used?
Date Wed, 16 Nov 2011 02:01:54 GMT
On Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 7:02 PM, Eric Evans <eevans@acunu.com> wrote:
> I think this is potentially quite dangerous; There are a lot people
> who get very twitchy at the idea of software that Phones Home.  I've
> seen this so many times, and in all cases it was for software a lot
> less sensitive than a database.

True, but unlike most Home Phoners, ours will be out there in the open
and you can see exactly what it's sending (or not, if you disable it).
 I'm sure there's other examples in the wild of this, but the only one
I can think of is popcorn [1].

More broadly, my sense is that people are getting used to the idea
that it's okay to give away anonymous statistics as part of the price
of "free," although YMMclearlyV. I am, after all, a Windows user. :)

> I'm sure you've already considered this though, you're already talking
> about anonymity, and transparency, and what I assume is neutrality of
> the collection endpoint (can apache actually provide a VM; is that a
> thing?).

Yes, they provide Ubuntu or FreeBSD VMs.

> I'm just afraid that we'll scare people off before they can
> be properly convinced that it's all on the up-and-up.

How would you propose addressing this?

> I'm curious to see what others think, but at the moment I'm hovering
> somewhere around a -0 if it were opt-in (off by default).

I'm okay with opt-in if you think that's useful as a first step to
ease the twitchiness you mention, but longer term I think it's only
really useful if it's on by default. There's a lot of research that
shows that people tend to stick with whatever is the path of least
resistance [2], and specifically, my experience with Cassandra users
is exactly that -- one reason we've spent so much effort getting
defaults so good is because almost nobody goes beyond that.

[1] http://popcon.debian.org/
[2] http://www.richmondfed.org/publications/research/region_focus/2007/winter/pdf/feature2.pdf

-- 
Jonathan Ellis
Project Chair, Apache Cassandra
co-founder of DataStax, the source for professional Cassandra support
http://www.datastax.com

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