[Catalog-sig] Package comments

M.-A. Lemburg mal at egenix.com
Thu Nov 5 11:32:28 CET 2009

Laura Creighton wrote:
> In a message of Wed, 04 Nov 2009 21:50:41 +0100, "M.-A. Lemburg" writes:
>> Laura Creighton wrote:
> <snip>
>> 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.
> <snip>
>> 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
> for.
> 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
> made.

So you are suggesting to keep the comments and remove the rating
system ?

Wouldn't that lead to the usual tail of comments you see on
blog entries instead of encouraging reviews ?

Marc-Andre Lemburg

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