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Notes towards an E3 position statement about development practices.
Our experiments are live for a short period of time, and they are optimized for insight and speed rather than polish. They are not permanent features. They will be taken down regardless of how well-liked they are, because they are there to answer questions, not to be liked. In April of 2011, the board unanimously approved Resolution:Openness, which designates editor engagement and retention as the top priority for the foundation. We won't fix the editor decline problem unless we know what is causing it, and we won't know what is causing it unless we run a set of experiments that test a range of hypotheses. Multivariate testing *always* takes a toll. Think, for example, how disorienting it would be to ask a question on IRC on the presumption that the interface you just interacted with is universal, only to find that no one knows what you're talking about, because they haven't been bucketed into the same experimental group as you. We are aware of these effects and strive to minimize them, but we will allow ourselves to behave like elephants from time to time and we expect to be suffered.
July 29, 2012
VPT discussion (PEF-specific)