|Don't ask to ask, just ask|
Book Reputationsby shockme (Chaplain)
|on Dec 31, 2001 at 00:38 UTC||Need Help??|
I had a thought while reading gmax's recent suggestion. It would be nice if every Perl book had its own reputation within the PM community (or, as Zaxo so eloquently phrased it, "XP for books").
Currently, PM provides facilities for reviewing books. For example, you can quickly access splinky's review of The Perl Cookbook. Also, you can ++ or -- the review. But, when someone ++s this node, is (s)he commenting on his/her opinion of splinky's review or his/her opinion of the book itself? There's no real way of knowing, but based on most of the comments associated with several other reviews, it appears that many times people are voting on the review.
Additionally, unless you've voted, you cannot see the reputation of The Perl Cookbook. So, until you vote, you don't know the reputation. (And, again, does this number reflect the reputation of the book or the reputation of the book review?)
Finally, while it is possible to know what some think of a book by reading their comments associated with a book review, these comments reflect only the opinions of those who had the time to give their opinion. Many people in the community do not always have the time to contribute their opinion or, as gmax mentioned, do not feel qualified to author an opinion on a given book. However, they might certainly vote on a book. Voting requires no penmanship mastery and only a minimal time commitment.
My proposal is for each Perl book to have its own node where people can vote on the book. The reputation should be visable to all. Additionally, as with current nodes, people can enter comments as they wish. This would allow every Perl book to have its own reputation based upon the votes of the PMers. This would also allow everyone, at a glance, to determine the overall opinion of a book and, hopefully, plan their libraries accordingly.
Good, bad or indifferent, I'd like to hear what others think of this idea.
If things get any worse, I'll have to ask you to stop helping me.