[Qt-creator] [Development] Requesting repository for telemetry plugin in Qt Creator

Pasi Keränen pasi.keranen at qt.io
Fri Feb 23 08:05:38 CET 2018

Hi there,

+1 for having a generic telemetry plugin in Qt.

This is great initiative and very much the way today's app and application industry works. UX studies performed by UX experts have been minimized and targeted for specific (usually new/experimental) features or upcoming new software (like we did with Qt 3D Studio back in last spring). And the mass information on "how do our users use the SW? do they find the stuff we've put in there? how often they hit a wall in doing sequence X? how many crashes do they experience when doing Y?" is collected via automated telemetry. It is great as it brings data from the actual user in their actual work and you can then use that to concentrate on functionality that really matters to your users. Making stuff they repeat hundred times a week easier and faster, making them more productive.

I see definite need for this in Qt 3D Studio so please don’t make this just with Qt Creator in mind. Also, in my humble opinion, in order to be relevant in today's UI development, Qt should also offer this kind of a plug-in to our customers. A ready-to-go plug-in that automatically ensures the data is collected in a way that fulfills data privacy acts and respects the privacy of the user would be great. Especially for startups and smaller companies, but also for bigger companies wanting to switch to the modern way of doing UI development. It is not as easy to do as one might think at glance.

I would ask anyone who has not done work with usability and user experience people in the past to give this way of working a chance. I've worked 7 years in application development while we grew usability knowledge in the team over that time. The first time I got to observe a real world user working with our software in actual real world situation was eye opening. We had gotten so many important things wrong in our idealistic thinking and forgotten to handle certain cases that occur on the field. Also you become blind to your own creations faults as you just know how the software works. It's just a fact of life.

Pasi Keränen

Senior Manager, 3D
The Qt Company

On 22/02/2018, 22.36, "Development on behalf of André Pönitz" <development-bounces+pasi.keranen=qt.io at qt-project.org on behalf of apoenitz at t-online.de> wrote:

On Thu, Feb 22, 2018 at 01:58:55PM +0000, Tino Pyssysalo wrote:
> Hi,
> The idea is to develop a generic library/plugin, which anyone could use for
> analytics.

I see no reason why this can't be done as part of e.g. the commercial Qt
offering, with customers being free to deploy that if they feel it helps
their own offering (for whatever reasons that I luckily do not need to
comprehend), nor do I see a reason why this should be used by the Qt
Project's Qt Creator, especially when the people potentially acting on the
results expressed severe dislike and doubts on the usefulness of such
analytics for their work.

For an Open Source solution there is e.g. KUserFeedback. I haven't used
that myself, but judging from the description it appears to do what you
claim to want to do, and judging from a quick look at the code and the
name of the author I am ready to bet its implementation is sane.

So I really have a hard time to see a gap here that needs to be filled.

> The backend can be any storage and The Qt Company does not provide
> that.
> We plan to use the same backend, which we already use in online installers to
> collect statistics about installations. At least in case of Qt Creator, the
> plan is to make some analysis results available for the community. Obviously,
> we do not do that for our commercial tooling.
> Analytics is opt-in and disabled by default in Qt Creator. We plan to ask user
> in the installer, if the user wish to participate in Qt UX improvement. If the
> answers is no, the analytics plugin is never installed.  When the creator is
> started for the first time, it will show a dialog, consisting a list of
> collected data items and an option to enable/disable the plugin. There will be
> a new output pane, which shows collected data, conversions methods, if any
> used, and transmitted data to the user.  -- Tino

At some point you need to qualify what you mean when you use the word "we".
Your current use of "we" clearly does not include myself, nor, if you allow
me to extrapolate from the grapevine, the majority of the Qt Creator team.

  - who is "we"?
  - why is "us" (the Qt Creator team) not part of "we"
    when the topic is related to Qt Creator?
  - what data do you intent to collect exactly?
  - what mechanism do you plan to use to translate
    the collected data into what actions?


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