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1) Sorry, but it's not fair to compare your results to those of
presidential surveys. Yours are clearly biased. In presidential surveys,
the people are picked at random and all results are tallied, even those
who decline to state an opinion.
In your survey, you started out with a non-random sample. For example,
how many of the zillions of VB developers are likely to be included in
your lists? You then significantly biased the results by excluding all
declined-to-state answers -- 99.3% of all survey recipients. If a
presidential survey had gotten this result, the resulting headline would
have been, "Almost no voters have opinions" rather than "Candidate A
holds 52% lead."
In all fairness, I'm not sure how you would be able to do a random
survey of IT professionals, since it seems virtually impossible to
compile a list of them. Thus, it's not that your survey is worthless,
just that it's not fairly reported.
2) Gallup states that, "The current U.S. adult population in the
continental United States is 187 million. The typical sample size for a
Gallup poll, which is designed to represent this general population, is
1,000 national adults." 
I'm assuming that Gallup has got their mathematics right, so your
contention that, "media news outlets were trying to determine the
outcome of the US presidential election using smaller sample sizes."
tells us that (a) your statement is incorrect, (b) the polls you refer
to have a significant margin of error, or (c) the guy sitting next to
you in statistics class who copied your exams got a job anyway.
3) I'm very curious about the Evans survey, which states that 44% of
those surveyed are using or plan to use XQuery. I don't get the
opportunity to talk to that many database professionals, but I did speak
to DAMA user's groups in 2001 and 2003 (about 70 people total). Judging
by the questions I was asked, both groups were very competent. However,
only 10-15% even knew XML, much less were considering XQuery. Either my
sample is biased, Evans' sample is biased, or the world has changed a
lot in two years.
Tony Lavinio wrote:
> We definitely weren't expecting to find such a strong trend.
> Remember too that this is not "we're using XQuery and not XSLT"
> but simply a question of using XQuery or not. The majority of
> Stylus Studio customers tend to have an XSLT background, so if
> anything we thought it would be skewed even away from XQuery and
> towards XSLT since Stylus Studio started out as an XSLT tool.
> (BTW, if anyone is afraid of getting spammed for registering for
> a copy of the survey results but wants a copy, you can ask me at
> a home email address I set up just for this  and I will send a
> copy directly to you.)
> Here is the methodology we used:
> 1. We emailed over 75,000 IT professionals, and also had the
> survey posted on our website. We obtained email address from
> tradeshow lists, direct marketing lists, registered customers
> and our entire customer prospect list. We did not as some
> have suggested ask just the XQuery SIG :).
> 2. 550 completed surveys were submitted.
> 3. Of the 550 people who submitted complete surveys, 477
> indicated that they currently use or plan to use XQuery this
> 4. This is a huge sample size... to put things in perspective,
> last year, media news outlets were trying to determine the
> outcome of the US presidential election using smaller sample
> As the survey results show - respondents turned out to be a very
> well distributed sampling. In terms of Job Titles, we got
> everything from Student to CEO. Industry break-down was across
> the board across two dozen vertical industries, and company size
> was evenly distributed between small, medium, and large
> companies. Furthermore, our numbers are not too far off from
> what a 2005 Evans Data study revealed - that 44% of developers
> are already using or plan to use XQuery.  Perhaps try
> averaging the two survey findings if that suits you better.
> In summary - while we encourage other vendors on this list to
> conduct their own surveys, we stand behind our own survey results
> - we believe that XQuery adoption is real. And amazingly so,
> since the standard is still a draft.
>  survey1 (at) lavinio.net
> Tony Lavinio
> Stylus Studio Principal Software Architect
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