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Maintaining module reviews

by rinceWind (Monsignor)
on Oct 07, 2004 at 11:47 UTC ( #397265=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

I really like the reviews section for module reviews. To me it is much better than cpanratings, as it has discussion, which puts a reviewer's comments in context. Cpanratings does not even have the module author's right of reply. I have an issue with this with one of my modules, but I digress.

My issue concerns updating reviews I have written in the past. An extreme hypothetical case is a module which I have written a review of X::Y praising it as the best thing since sliced bread. But I now want to replace it with a review saying that the module X::Y sucks and you should really be using X::Z instead.

I have so far contributed 3 module reviews to PM, and I have updates I would like to apply to all of them. My problem is that I am not sure if I should replace what I wrote previously with a new review, or whether I should leave the original reviews intact, following my own guidelines for updating an existing node.

The first approach leads to something which is more immediately readable to someone using the review as a reference, but much of the discussion is probably no longer relevant as it pertained to the original review.

This brings to mind the fruits of some beer fuelled discussion at a London.pm meet, about two dimensional wikis (this was vapourware, we didn't get as far as turning the idea into code). For each root node in the wiki, one axis is the tree of discussion threads, and the other is the root node's revision history. When going to each revision, appropriate discussion threads would be displayed - appropriate to the particular revision. Being a wiki, the restrictions on who can edit were not applicable (each discussion node would also have a complete revision history).

Whilst I think that the 2D approach is probably not appropriate for PM, I am wondering if there is some way of laying out a review, which does not detract from the clarity, but does not invalidate the prior discussion.

I wonder whether a solution to this this could apply to other sections of the monastery, like the Code Catacombs and Tutorials.

--
I'm Not Just Another Perl Hacker

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Maintaining module reviews
by stvn (Monsignor) on Oct 07, 2004 at 13:12 UTC
    Cpanratings does not even have the module author's right of reply. I have an issue with this with one of my modules, but I digress.

    There is nothing to stop you from reviewing your own module if you want, merlyn did it. Personally, I am not so sure about that practice though.

    Fortunately though, module reviews are editable by their original authors. I faced a similar issue as you when I got my first module review (see the bottom most one), and I decided to include information in the POD docs about why I felt my module was not redundant. The review author saw the update and changed his review and rating (course I am not sure if he ever actually used the module or not though).

    As for changing Tutorials, and your extreme case:

    My issue concerns updating reviews I have written in the past. An extreme hypothetical case is a module which I have written a review of X::Y praising it as the best thing since sliced bread. But I now want to replace it with a review saying that the module X::Y sucks and you should really be using X::Z instead
    I think the easiest way to handle this is to simply write a new review for X::Z and provide a link from the old tutorial to the new one. If you feel really strongly then edit the tutorial and include a UPDATE at the top of it suggesting the user go to the new tutorial.

    For the less extreme cases, where say the module has been updated and the tutorial is maybe giving outdated or wrong information, I think editing is perfectly acceptable. After all, what good is it if it is outdated? However, I would recommend that if the information you are removing still possibly has some value, copy and paste it into a child node of the tutorial and mark it as such.

    While I like the 2D Wiki idea, it seems like an extreme solution for a relatively simple problem. I very much agree that editing comment nodes can be an annoying practice, and think your guidelines are good. I don't think those same guidelines need to apply to Tutorials. If what you edit out is possibly still valuable to someone, make sure it is still there (again, as a child node) or note it somehow, but I would really think Tutorials loose their value if they are not kept up to date.

    -stvn
Re: Maintaining module reviews (update)
by tye (Sage) on Oct 07, 2004 at 16:01 UTC

    My suggestion is that you update the review so that it reads the way you'd write it now, but include at the end the parts that your deleted and/or a description of what you changed or whatever so that at least most of the original review can be inferred from the updated review.

    If the two reviews are completely different, then perhaps two review nodes that link to each other would be okay.

    - tye        

Re: Maintaining module reviews
by Fletch (Chancellor) on Oct 07, 2004 at 12:46 UTC

    Maybe not exactly germane, but I got pointed at Wikalong the other day. It's a Firefox plugin that puts a wiki page in the sidebar keyed off the URL of the page being viewed. That might at least provide some ideas as it's somewhat similar to your idea (providing a parallel commentary to a page).

Re: Maintaining module reviews
by idsfa (Vicar) on Oct 07, 2004 at 21:21 UTC

    In my review of DBD::AnyData, I modified the review with <strike> tags and an Updated flag. IMO, no reason to deviate from the general policy for other nodes on PerlMonks: leave the history.


    If anyone needs me I'll be in the Angry Dome.
Re: Maintaining module reviews
by jacques (Priest) on Oct 07, 2004 at 15:39 UTC
    Cpanratings does not even have the module author's right of reply.

    This would only be a problem if some jerk flamed your module for no good reason. Hopefully, such worthless reviews would be identified and removed.

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