additions… #51

…web design…

statistical fun…

To me statistics are just fun, deceptive games, and I don't play games. What others find in statistics is also mostly irrelevant to me, since their findings are nearly always based on limited and non-verifiable data. Limited data means they're of limited use to anyone, and if they're not even verifiable the whole exercise of looking at them is a waste of time.

When it comes to statistics for browser-usage – browser stats, I tend to ignore all numbers that pop up on various sites. One reason is simply that such numbers has nothing to do with my work in web development, and another reason is that the numbers are all over the place.

Product-quality on the other hand can be verified through testing, which means anyone can have a go at it. I base all my choices in web development on know-how related to product-quality, standard compliance etc., and have so far found no correlation between statistics and quality. Thus, I rely on thorough testing as basis for making such choices.

Of course: thorough testing isn't something all web developers' like to spend time on, and since the more limited tests they often fall back on are about as useful as limited statistical data, conclusions on product-quality are often as flawed as conclusions on statistics.

no time for research…

One can find loads of articles, reviews, opinions and conclusions on and about anything, based on from a few minutes to a few hours research and/or testing. Often both opinions and conclusions are just borrowed from others in order to save time, and statistics are often used as “evidence”.

The result is as can be expected: most of what gets presented as facts about anything anywhere, is nonsense wrapped in a not very trust-worthy “believe me” package. No, it's not even funny.

I see no point in reading, and even less in commenting on, most such weak and for the most part pretty opinionated and skewed reviews, when those who wrote them clearly have more focus on getting a few lines out quickly then on checking facts. If they've got no time for their posts and articles, then I haven't either.

Of course there are exceptions, and some really substantial ones too. Once found, these few good sources can be well worth spending some time and attention on. These are exceptions though, and as such they confirm the general rule that “90% of everything is cruft.”

research takes time…

I do spend time on research, and you can bet my conclusions aren't based on limited data by the time I get to the final stage. However, since I don't feel like publishing detailed factual descriptions every time I reach a conclusion, and I have a feeling few read much anyway, I'll stick to publishing these short articles focused on conclusions, and keep the details at hand (on my hard-disks) in case I have to back up my conclusions at a later date.

At the time of publishing I may be in disagreement with many publishers on an issue, but since I'm publishing late the chances are neither they nor anyone else will notice. Suits me just fine since I'm not out to take sides or to challenge anyone – I'm just after those facts no matter what they are.

The thing is: I'm not the least interested in quick publishing, or even in publishing at all. I need those facts and conclusions as building-blocks in my own work, and the act of publishing anything on anything is something that just has to wait until I'm sure I've gotten all my facts and subsequent conclusions right.

Some out here want me to share some of my conclusions with them, and since the workload is the same no matter where they're published, I may as well put some of them in the public space, instead of in a private one hidden from view and search engines.

Seek, and thou shall find … but not necessarily what you were looking for.

stats are fun, but…

Yes, statistics, and articles and reviews based on them, are fun to read at times, like comic books and other distractions in an otherwise busy day. Might even be fun to collect and then republish articles based on stats after a while, just to show how little value and factual basis most of them have had.

Beyond the usefulness they may have as distractions, I have to conclude that statistics, like those on browser-use that some like to refer to from time to time, are not worth looking at – at all.

quality matters – popularity does not…

The degree of quality can only be determined by unlocking facts on/about a subject/object, no matter the subject/object. Facts can be hidden far beneath the surface, so one often has to dig deep and be open for surprises.

I can change my mind in minutes if new, verifiable, facts appear that substantiate such a change. Popular opinions on the other hand are of no value to me, unless people/groups that promote them can back them up with real facts.

Most people are in search of answers that suit both their needs and their whishes, and tend to join circles with common goals. I'm in search of answers, regardless of whether they suit me or not, and I don't like going in circles.

Life is short, and I'm for the most part too busy trying to unlock more facts on subjects I'm interested in to be bothered by what others focus their attention on at any given time. Life carries too many such distractions, and I can only set aside time from more important matters to glance at a few now and then.

Attention switches quickly these days – too often based on flashes of shallow and non-substantial information. Those with short attention-span can probably pick up and sort out their own thoughts and opinions for and between themselves – or mess them up altogether and leave them behind, without my help.

Ask, and thou shall be answered … but it may not be the answer one hoped for, and one rarely ever finds true answers in stats.

sincerely  georg; sign

Hageland 01.mar.2009
last rev: 07.mar.2009



Seek, and thou shall find … but not necessarily what you were looking for.
— Georg

more on stats: