Criteria for reviews

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  • Problem
  • Updated 5 years ago
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I am not new to IMDB, but I am trying to submit a review for the first time. I find it unbelievably stupid that the review form mechanically tells me that I "don't have enough lines", when I've written more than a dozen. Undoubtedly, the idiotic software designers chose to quantify number of lines based on hard return/line-breaks, rather than any real, reasonable measure. Sure, I could shove a return character between every sentence, but that's not how a good writer writes. For the love of God, will someone lash the idiot who made that decision and put someone in charge who knows the hell what s/he's doing?
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Frank

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Posted 5 years ago

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bluesmanSF, Champion

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Wow. How completely inappropriate. I bet your reviews are real gems if you think that's how writers write.
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Frank

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Wow, how completely ignorant. I'm a successful writer, a successful web developer, and a highly valued software quality-assurance engineer. What are your qualifications, "bluesman"?
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bluesmanSF, Champion

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What are your qualifications
At what? Recognizine an a-hole? Just a lifetime of reading things like your post, of course.
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Frank

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Fine. The vast gap of misunderstanding that exists through the Internet is a dangerous trap. Sorry to have irritated you.
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bluesmanSF, Champion

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You're suggesting I misunderstood your ranting and cursing like a six-year-old? You meant to say something different?

You know what...don't bother answering...you're not worth the waste of the second or two it'll take to read the next stupid thing you type.
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Frank

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What made you so angry?
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OJT

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If you want to say something in short writing, use "message boards" instead of reviews.
A review should be a review, and that should take some lines.
Back many years ago, there wasn't a rule like this, but then we got a lot of comments which were far from reviews, and most of them today, still there, are quite uninteresting to read. 
Use message boards instead!
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Frank

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Thanks for the helpful suggestion...a proper review would, indeed, be more than a few paragraphs.
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Nobody

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I've spent a few minutes playing with the review editor (just "testing" it, not really submitting a review). When I click the "Preview" button, the editor apparently performs a temporary reformatting step prior to checking the line count. I think I almost understand how that works (but I won't try to explain it here). ... I wonder, though, why they don't simply count the number of words instead?
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Frank

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Geez--the more I think about it, the more disgusted I am with the incompetence that people get away with.
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DavidAH_Ca, Champion

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  • When I was in the publishing industry, the standard measure of word count was 6 characters per word; has cable news lowered the standard from a 6th-grade level to a kindergarten level?
I used 5 because I remembered that as the number used in calculating typing speed. I may have remembered incorrectly.
  • Last and most important, the problem is with how the software counts lines. It's obvious to me that the number of words doesn't count at all; the software seems only to count hard returns. This is just plain inexcusably bad programming.
Actually, it seems to me that Nobody's post indicates the opposite. His test seems to indicate that they ignore single hard returns and wrap the text at about the 72 character limit I mentioned and that is what constitutes one line.
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Nobody

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Actually, it seems to me that Nobody's post indicates the opposite.
Sorry if I my previous comments may have obfuscated some details. If my understanding may be (more or less) correct, the sequence of events would be something like this:

(1)  A user begins writing a review. Between one paragraph and the next, the user enters two successive hard returns to separate the paragraphs. The user might (or might not) choose to enter single hard returns between lines within paragraphs.

(2)  The user presses the Preview button.

(3)  The software that processes the text (I'll just call it "the software") apparently removes any single hard returns that the user had placed within paragraphs. So, at this point, there will not be any hard returns within paragraphs.

(4)  For each paragraph or contiguous text of any length longer than a prescribed line width (apparently about 70-72 characters or thereabouts), the software adds new hard returns to reformat the text to fit the prescribed line width. (I neglected to clarify this in my previous comments.)

(5)  If my understanding is correct, after such reformatting the software counts the resulting number of lines in the text box.

For typical text, on average, probably a few more than a hundred words (approximately) should usually suffice to satisfy the requirement.

However, the current implementation has at least a couple of problems:

If the user puts a double hard return following a period, the software (correctly) retains the double hard return (usually meaning a paragraph break). But if the user puts a double hard return following other punctuation (e.g., after an exclamation mark or a question mark or a colon), the software (incorrectly) discards that double hard return.

The current implementation allows users to enter shorter reviews by splitting them into short lines, or (at worst) even just single words, each followed by a period and a double return. In this way, a user could submit as few as ten words. Obviously, this is not good.

A simple word-count based limit should be straightforward to implement and could avoid the aforementioned problems.

(Amusingly, even a simple word-count limit could raise a silly controversy if some users may disagree on exactly what constitutes a "word" -- or whether some hyphenated terms should be counted as single words, or whether numeric values should be counted as words, or whether a proper name or title should be counted as if it were one word, or whether short words should be counted fractionally or given a free pass, or whether long words should be penalized, or whether certain parts of speech should be given a pass, or whether a review's average word length should be taken into account and the limit adjusted accordingly, etc. ... Some users might argue that a word count may be a bad idea anyway, and that a character count should be used instead.)

But (silly arguments aside) it seems to me that a simple word-count limit would be reasonably fair and probably would be less problematic than the current implementation.
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Frank

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David, 5 characters/word isn't unreasonable--I was just being curmudgeonly. I'm not 100% up on the latest software libraries, but I'm having trouble conceiving of a variable or object method that would measure *wrapped* lines in a Text Area. But I'm not the best one to say.
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Frank

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"Nobody" - that's a great detailed analysis/reverse-engineering. Some email applications and sites insert hard returns at word-wraps, but, in my opinion, that's not a user-friendly action. So, however IMDB does it, it strikes me as very user-unfriendly.

The issue of how long a post has to be to be considered a "review" is in part a separate issue, I guess. Knowing now that they have a place for shorter "notes", or whatever they call them, does resolve the problem somewhat.

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