Book Review Replies

Voice Card  -  Volume 21  -  John Card Number 11  -  Thu, Sep 5, 1991 7:31 PM

This is a response to VC 21 Paul 6 ("Suggestion")...


When I was overhauling Archipelago as part of the 2.0 revision, I gave this matter a good deal of thought. It would certainly be nice to respond to book reviews. But I finally decided to go with the current simpler design.

I guess my primary reason was that I wanted the Book Review Archive stack to stand on its own. If each book review card maintains links to separate voice card volumes, the archive stack is no longer truly portable; we can't give it out to non-Archipelagoans without apologies for buttons that don't work.

Book Review cards with an array of reply boxes are, well, voice cards. There would no longer be any real difference. If you REALLY want reply boxes that bad, it might be better to do away with book review cards altogether and just talk about books using ordinary voice cards.

Under the current system we can still respond to book reviews. We just don't have a link button attached to the review itself. This is the price we pay for having stand-alone book reviews. It's worth remembering that the only way to achieve simplicity in interface design is by purposely choosing NOT to implement every possible feature.

Lurking under this fairly minor request is a more fundamental interface question. Should we streamline Archipelago even further by eliminating other card types and doing all of our work on voice cards? Or should we increase the variety by developing other types of specialized cards (that may not have all the features of a voice card)?

These are aesthetic, not technological questions. Technically, we can go either way. But which way do we WANT to go?

Any other opinions?