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Cats Ecosystem Community Survey 2018 Results

Overall we received 588 responses over the course of 30 days. This feedback is essential for us to make informed decisions on our 2019 plan. Thank you, everyone, who participated.

As promised, here are the results, as well as some quick reads from us.




Q: How long have you been using the Cats ecosystem (including Cats and Cats ecosystem libraries)?

Results:

1

Our read:

46% of the respondents are relatively new (less than 1 year) users. Welcome!




Q: Do you feel welcome in the Cats ecosystem community?

Results:

2

Our read:

83% of users gave the 4+ ratings on the welcomeness of the community. This is a promising sign. We should aim for having more 5 ratings (currently at 42.5%) and fewer 3- ones.




Q: How can we be more welcoming?

Responses summary:

We received 92 responses on this free-form question. The vast majority, 90+%, of them suggested that more documentation, tutorials, and real-world examples would help them feel more welcome. Some of them suggested that the learning curve could be less intimidating to them if there were more introductory resources.

Our read:

The learning curve for Cats ecosystem libraries could be steep for people new to pure functional programming. This is by far the most impactful area for us to work on to be more inclusive.




Q: In what types of projects do you primarily use the Cats ecosystem?

Results:

3

Our read:

83% of respondents are using Cats ecosystem libraries in production applications. We are honored to have that trust. In the meantime, it’s a great responsibility for us to maintain stability and robustness.




Q: In which application domain do you primarily use the Cats ecosystem?

Results:

4

The free form other responses are omitted for the sake of conciseness.




Q: If you use Cats directly, how is your overall experience using Cats?

Results:

5

Q: What would significantly improve your experience using Cats?

Results:

5

The free form other responses can be summarized as

  1. better IDE support 10 (1.8%)
  2. better imports 7 (1.3%)
  3. better integration with other libs 3 (0.6%)

Our read:

Overall the experience is mostly positive for our users. 73% of them believe there is space for improvements - they gave a rating less than 5. Again, more documentation and training will help most users. 25% of users are looking for more features.




Q: If you are contributing to Cats, thank you! How is your overall experience contributing?

Results:

6

Q: What would significantly improve your contributing experience?

Results:

6

Our read:

The contributing experience is good/okay but not really great. There is still a lot of work to be done here.




Q: For your applications, what would be a good time line for the Cats ecosystem to drop Scala 2.11 support?

Results:

6

Our read:

26% of our users still can’t migrate to Scala 2.12 before second half of 2019.




Q: If you are blocked from upgrading to Scala 2.12, by what?

Results:

6




Q: What would be a good cadence for Cats to release a new major version (backward incompatible with previous ones)?

Results:

6

Our read:

The community is split on this one. There are slightly more users that prefer a longer cadence (18-36 or in sync with Scala minor version) than those who prefer a shorter one (12-18 months).




Q: How are you using cats-laws?

Results:

6

Q: How would a breaking change in cats-laws affect you?

Results:

6

Our Read:

Breaking Cats-laws’s backward compatibility might be blockers for roughly 6% of the users.




Q: Would you benefit or suffer from cats-laws and cats-testkit being updated to Scalacheck 1.14 which is binary breaking with Scalacheck 1.13?

Results:

6

Our Read:

While most people are neutral on this one, there are significantly more users (14.2%) who would benefit from a Scalacheck 1.14 upgrade than those who would suffer (1%).




Q: Cats and most of its ecosystem libraries are maintained by hobbyists on their spare time. How would you feel about the future of the Cats ecosystem if there were financial backing to allow full-time or part-time maintainers?

Results:

6

Our Read:

In regards to financially backed full-time or part-time maintainers, it would give more confidence to 69.9% users while reducing it for 3% of the users.




Q: If you are against having compensated maintainers, what is your concern?

The free form answers can be summarized as

Our Read:

These concerns will be taken into consideration when we, if we decide to, design an institution to support paid maintainership.




Q: If you are in favor of compensated maintainers, which financial source(s) would help boost your confidence in the ecosystem the most?

Results:

6




Q: If you are in favor of corporate contribution, would your employer be interested?

Results:

6




Q: Would you like to participate in Cats ecosystem community surveys going forward?

Results:

6




Q: Please leave any additional feedback/suggestions below.

We received many kind words here, we can’t list all of them but here are a few examples





Overall we are encouraged by the survey responses from the community, in the meantime, they also showed us many areas to improve. Our 2019 planning will be based on these remarkably valuable feedbacks. We hope to present it to the community soon.

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