The 2013 git-annex user survey has been running for several weeks and around 375 people have answered at least the first question. While I am going to leave it up through the end of the year, I went over the data today to see what interesting preliminary conclusions I can draw.

  • 11% build git-annex from source. More than I would have guessed.

  • 20% use the prebuilt versions from the git-annex website.

    This is a number to keep in mind later, when more people have upgraded to the last release, which checks for upgrades. I can run some stats on the number of upgrade checks I receive, and multiplying that by 5 would give a good approximation of the total number of computers running git-annex.

  • I'm surprised to see so many more Linux (79%) than OSX (15%) users. Also surprising is there are more Windows (2%) than Android (1%) users. (Android numbers may be artificially low since many users will use it in addition to one of the other OSes.)

  • Android and Windows unsurprisingly lead in ports requested, but the Synology NAS is a surprise runner up, with 5% (more than IOS).

    In theory it would not be too hard to make a standalone arm tarball, which could be used on such a device, although IIRC the Synology had problems with a too old linker and libc. It would help if I could make the standalone tarball not depend on the system linker at all.

    A susprising number (3%) want some kind of port the the Raspberry Pi, which is weird because I'd think they'd just be using Raspbian on it.. but a standalone arm tarball would also cover that use case.

  • A minimum of 1664 (probably closer to 2000) git annex repositories are being used by the 248 people who answered that question. Around 7 repositories per person average, which is either one repository checked out on 7 different machines or two repositories on 3 machines, etc.

  • At least 143 terabytes of data are being stored in git-annex. This does not count redundant data. (It also excludes several hundred terabytes from one instituion that I don't think are fully online yet.) Average user has more than half a terabyte of data.

  • 8% of users store scientific data in git-annex! :) A couple of users are using it for game development assets, and 5% of users are using it for some form of business data.

  • Only 10% of users are sharing a git-annex repository with at least one other person. 27% use it by themselves, but want to get others using their repositories. This probably points to it needing to be easier for nontechnical users.

  • 61% of git-annex users have good or very good knowledge of git. This question intentionally used the same wording as the general git user survey, so the results can be compared. The curves have somewhat different shapes, with git-annex's users being biased more toward the higher knowledge levels than git's users.

  • The question about how happy users are also used the same wording. While 74% of users are happy with git-annex, 94% are similarly happy with git, and a while the median git-annex user is happy, the median git user is very happy.

    The 10% who wrote in "very enthusiastic, but still often bitten by quirks (so not very happy yet, but with lots of confidence in the potential" might have thrown off this comparison some, but they certianly made their point!

  • 3% of respondants say that a bug is preventing them from using git-annex, but that they have not reported the bug yet. Frustrating! 1% say that a bug that's been reported already is blocking them.

  • 18% wrote in that they need the webapp to support using github (etc) as a central server. I've been moving in that direction with the encryption and some other changes, so it's probably time to make a UI for that.

  • 12% want more control over which files are stored locally when using the assistant.

  • A really surprising thing happened when someone wrote in that I should work on "not needing twice disk space of repo in direct mode", and 5% of people then picked this choice. This is some kind of documentation problem, because of course git-annex never needs 2x disk space, whether using direct mode or not. That's one of its advantages over git!

  • Somewhere between 59 and 161 of the survey respondants use Debian. I can compare this with Debian popularity contest data which has 400 active installations and 1000 total installations, and make guesses about what fraction of all git-annex users have answered the survey. By making different assumptions I got guesses that varied by 2 orders of magnitude, so not worth bothering with. Explicitly asking how many people use each Linux distribution would be a good idea in next year's survey.

Main work today was fixing Android DNS lookups, which was trying to use /etc/resolv.conf to look up SRV records for XMPP, and had to be changed to use a getprop command instead. Since I can't remember dealing with this before (not impossible I made some quick fix to the dns library before and lost it though), I'm wondering if XMPP was ever usable on Android before. Cannot remember. May work now, anyway...