[Catalog-sig] Package comments

Laura Creighton lac at openend.se
Wed Nov 4 23:27:05 CET 2009

In a message of Wed, 04 Nov 2009 21:50:41 +0100, "M.-A. Lemburg" writes:
>Laura Creighton wrote:
>I wouldn't generalize that. I've often found information
>in those reviews that was otherwise hard to find.
>My overall experience with the Amazon system is more on
>the positive side.

I think that the reviews are worthwhile.  It is the *rating* that
I think distorts things.


>Discussions on newsgroups, user reports in blogs, etc. are
>far more informative than an eBay style rating system.
>Perhaps requiring at least 50 words for the comment would
>help ;-)

Maybe.  The thing about an eBay rating is that there are thousands,
maybe tens of thousands of people making the rating, and the rating is
just about one thing 'this person is trustworthy, i.e. reliably ships
things that arrive undamaged and are more or less what I thought I was
bidding on'.  The people who had a bad experience because they didn't
understand what they were buying can be overwhelmed by those who had a
good experience -- assuming you do a lot of business you can cancel 
those bad reports out fairly quickly.

This is rather different from 'I wanted to parse some XML and
I tried this parser and it didn't work for me'.  Why not? Maybe
you got a SAX parser and you were looking for a DOM parser, but
are still ignorant enough to not know what you ought to be looking

I think that only detailed descriptions about what you wanted to
do and how it did or didn't work for you can be useful for the
next potential user of the package.  A rating system will only
mislead people.  And they make it inevitable that people will
make comparisons between packages where they ought not to be


>Marc-Andre Lemburg

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