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Re^11: And here's why I think "downvotes" should be eliminated, or tabulated separately ... (node order)

by tye (Sage)
on Jul 07, 2015 at 04:52 UTC ( #1133501=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^10: And here's why I think "downvotes" should be eliminated, or tabulated separately ... (node order)
in thread And here's why I think "downvotes" should be eliminated, or tabulated separately ...

I can remember quite a few occasions where the highest rep answer wasn't the most useful one for the problem I searched for

And you remember few occasions where the most quickly posted answer wasn't the most useful one for the problem you searched for? Otherwise, you present the weakest of arguments against the proposal.

So, add to that "I don't want to use that configuration", which is not an argument against it since registered users have had the option to choose from several configurations for a decade already. Also, one downvote lacking any accompanying explanation.

I think the arguments "for" are winning rather decisively, despite their quite modest showing.

- tye        

  • Comment on Re^11: And here's why I think "downvotes" should be eliminated, or tabulated separately ... (node order)

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Re^12: And here's why I think "downvotes" should be eliminated, or tabulated separately ... (node order)
by Anonymous Monk on Jul 07, 2015 at 07:47 UTC

    ...I think the arguments "for" are winning rather decisively, despite their quite modest showing.

    Current view for me, chronological, doesn't say "replies are ordered chronologically", although timestamps are shown, and the nodeids increase

    If you switch the default ordering for me, I would find a note explaining the ordering useful

Re^12: And here's why I think "downvotes" should be eliminated, or tabulated separately ... (node order)
by Arunbear (Prior) on Jul 08, 2015 at 13:10 UTC
    And you remember few occasions where the most quickly posted answer wasn't the most useful one for the problem you searched for?
    Indeed. But with the new ordering (assuming I was using it), I'd still have to read all the replies, hence my doubt that it would be an improvement over the old ordering.

    You mentioned "Anonymous visitors and new (registered) users are the ones who would most benefit from showing notes sorted by reputation instead of by time.", but didn't explain where the benefit comes from.

      The benefit comes from better nodes being shown first. Did anybody claim the ordering was perfect? Of course not. Don't be silly.

      Ever heard a joke about "I found it, but it was in the last place that i looked"? Most people, when they find what they are looking for, they stop looking. You, however, feel the need to worry that, if you stop looking, you might miss an even better version of what you are looking for. That is completely reasonable, but it most certainly isn't true for everybody reading an internet forum.

      However, even if one goes on to read all of the nodes, having found a useful answer in one of the first nodes, one can more quickly skip nodes that clearly don't provide a better answer.

      Experienced users have more tools for being able to discern the quality of replies, even for seeing the reputation of some or all of the replies. Anonymous and new visitors benefit the most from having the relative reputations of the nodes be represented.

      The site even benefits from new visitors being much more likely to see useful replies before seeing clearly unhelpful or even obnoxious replies. I suspect the new visitors also find that to be beneficial. And I think that is the case even when they go on to read all of the unhelpful replies (and I also think they are less likely to bother reading all of the unhelpful replies all of the way through if they've previously read one or more helpful replies).

      Perhaps you've seen people on the internet write "tl;dr"? That seems to be pretty common. Just because you refuse to resort to that, don't blind yourself to the rather obvious fact of its existence. "Stopping at 1 many times wouldn't have provided me with the very best of the answers" doesn't even come close to refuting "Sorting answers by an imperfect measure of quality provides some benefit" even just in considering somebody stopping before reading all of the replies.

      I actually feel a bit silly trying to explain such. But you asked. I hope that was useful.

      - tye        

        Thank you, tye, well said. Just to add on that a bit....

        There is at least one good case I can think of for preferring to have replies ordered chronologically: it makes it much easier (in fact, I'd say it almost makes the difference between possible and nearly impossible) to do a "diff", in your head, of the thread upon subsequent visits to the page. You know that the new ones are to be found at the bottom (at least, for any given branch and level of the tree). I suspect this isn't a common scenario for visitors and newbies; but for old-timers like us, we can easily set that preference in our User Settings. In fact, the "Newest First" setting is probably there for those folks who are so interested in "what's new" that they don't want to be bothered with jumping to the bottom of the page. But if one only visits a given thread once, having the replies ordered chronologically gives no benefit that I can think of.

        I reckon we are the only monastery ever to have a dungeon stuffed with 16,000 zombies.
        You, however, feel the need to worry that, if you stop looking, you might miss an even better version of what you are looking for.
        No, I learned from some previous experiences that if I stop looking I wouldn't get an answer that actually works. So the "objection" is really "Stopping at 1 many times would have provided me with an answer that didn't work". I should have worded my earlier reply more precisely to indicate that.

        I am grateful for your explanation though, so no need to feel silly.

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