Poll results

Brian Goetz brian.goetz at oracle.com
Mon Jun 20 11:20:44 PDT 2011

And now, for the poll results.

Recall there were two polls.  The first was polluted not only because 
the link escaped, but many of the voters in the escaped version saw what 
were essentially different questions.  So the poll audience was a mashup 
of the lambda-dev community and the Twitter community voting on two 
different things.  The second was mostly just the  lambda-dev 
community.  But, like the commercial about the origin of 
chocolate-and-peanut-butter snacks, the pollution did have a silver 
lining in that it disclosed an interesting phenomenon.

Here is the results of the poll taken of the lambda-dev community:


 From a strict "pick a winner" perspective, BGGA has the:
  - most lovers
  - most lovers+likers
  - fewest haters
  - best lover/hater ratio

But Strawman posts a good second (thought more haters.)  SotL seems the 
most "don't love it but could live with it".

Here's where it gets interesting.  When the first poll got polluted, 
there were 25 or so voters already, drawn from the lambda-dev 
population.  Then a bunch of twitters showed up.  Let's say the first 
poll was 1/3 lambdenizens and 2/3 twitterites.  These are clearly two 
different populations:
  - Lambdenizens have seen all the forms before, most twitterites 
probably haven't;
  - Lambdenizens were counseled to think before voting, and I suspect 
most did; twitterites were missing those instructions and therefore 
their contribution to the polling was much more "click from the hip."

Here's the results of the polluted poll: you see an even more dramatic 
swing for BGGA, and much lower support for Strawman:


Given that about 1/3 of the votes were from the Strawman-friendly crowd 
(and I saw this while I was hitting reload on the poll results the first 
time -- there was a clear point at which the votes started to go "the 
other way" that correlated with the time the link escaped), nearly all 
the twitterites disliked Strawman, and clearly had a stronger like for 
BGGA, which crushed all the others on the metrics above.  (I could do 
some statistical work to try and eliminate the lambda-dev contribution 
from the polluted poll, but I've been too lazy to do so yet -- but I 
don't think anyone would be surprised by the result.)

One explanation for the skew is that strawman looks awful horrible barfo 
to most Java devs initially, but then grows on you.  (Or maybe it 
appeals only to language lovers, but I have to say it looked awful to me 
at first and I still feel that way.)

But there's a clear preference for BGGA not only on a click-from-the-hip 
basis, but that preference sticks around somewhat even after you've had 
more time to think about the alternatives.

Over the next few weeks we will be running more polls; some will be 
targeted at specific A-vs-B choices, and we will probably do a broader 
poll that is designed for the community at large.  Stay tuned.

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