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Extending characters limit for KudoZ peer comments
Thread poster: Christel Zipfel

Christel Zipfel  Identity Verified
Member (2004)
Italian to German
+ ...
Jul 5, 2010

If you want to post a cirumstantiated comment to a KudoZ question, 255 characters are way too little!

What do you think?

I got fed up with fiddling around trying to shorten my comment in some way which needs more time than to write the comment itself! Couldn't we have at least 400 or 500 characters for example?


 

JaneTranslates  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 12:01
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Agree. Jul 6, 2010

I've often gone back and abbreviated, omitted punctuation, omitted spaces between sentences, and used shorter, less expressive words to try to squeeze a comment into the limited space. The truncated version is never satisfactory. An occasional exercise in curtailed verbosity may be good for the soul, but sometimes we actually have something worthwhile to say and need room to say it properly.

 

Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:01
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
+ ...
Absolutely! Jul 6, 2010

A strong agree here!

 

A_Nespoli  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 18:01
Member (2007)
German to Italian
+ ...
Surely agree Jul 6, 2010

Surely agree

Alessandra


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:01
English to German
+ ...
I agree Jul 6, 2010

Especially when trying to explain a "disagree", the comments at times sound more impolite and rude than intended.

 

Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:01
Italian to English
+ ...
I also agree Jul 6, 2010

Especially as there's sometimes a need to respond to the answerer's own response to your comment, all in the same tiny space...

 

Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:01
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Agree Jul 6, 2010

I've also sometimes had to edit down to keep within the limit, to the detriment of what I wanted to say.

 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:01
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Don't agree Jul 6, 2010

Yes, I very often had the same problem, but I think we should be capable of making a sufficient point in 255 characters. Or at least a point that can help the answerer reconsider his/her proposal.

In a way, adding more space will create the same effect as adding more lanes to a motorway: you will always find drivers in the 3rd lane of an empty 4-lane motorway... because you have still have one lane to pass them. Giving us 500 characters will only make our comments longer, but not necessarily more relevant or explanatory.

[Edited at 2010-07-06 08:22 GMT]


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 17:01
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes Jul 6, 2010

A strong agree (another one)!

 

Lucia Leszinsky
SITE STAFF
Only 4% of KudoZ peer comments contain more than 200 characters Jul 6, 2010

Hello all,

I just took a few minutes to check 100 peer comments at random in most latest KudoZ answers and I discovered that only 4 of these comments included more than 200 characters (that's the 4%). So, it seems an extension may not be necessary.

In any case, I will be adding this suggestion to our list of ideas for improvement to be evaluated in future revisions of the KudoZ system.

Thank you all for your feedback!

Kind regards,

Lucia


 

Katalin Szilárd  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 18:01
Member (2006)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Agree Jul 6, 2010

In Hungarian we have diagraphs like ny, cs, gy, ty, ly, zs, sz, dz and it's almost always true that if you translate from English to Hungarian, the Hungarian text will be longer. The character limit was probably counted for English, and even if you peer comment in English the space is not enough, so you can imagine how difficult is when somebody is peer commenting in Hungarian. Many times we use abbreviations like what you use in chats, or in text messaging and it doesn't sound too professional. Also it may lead to misinterpretations. Furthermore when you want to add a link, links may have a lot of characters, so we need to write something like: "see in the discussion" and many people don't even check discussion posts.



[Edited at 2010-07-06 12:41 GMT]


 

Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:01
Italian to English
+ ...
Possible alternative Jul 6, 2010

Lucia wrote:

Database-related systems tend to store text in variables either limited to 255 characters or with a much higher (or no) size limit. Using limited variables is generally the most common approach since unlimited ones use a lot more space. Hence, the 255 characters limit is not arbitrary.

Also, I just took a few minutes to check 100 peer comments at random in most latest KudoZ answers and I discovered that only 4 of these comments included more than 200 characters (that's the 4%). So, it seems an extension may not be necessary.




Certainly, in most cases it's not necessary - it's the few occasions when it is that we're talking about. Bearing in mind the non-arbitrary nature of the 255-character limit, the obvious alternative would be to permit the dis/agreer to respond to the answerer's response in a new text box, rather than having to edit the old. For me, the limit almost always becomes a problem only on the few occasions that I have disagreed, the answerer has responded to my criticism and I wish to respond to his/her comment: I currently have no option but to edit my original comment.
A new text box for the new comment would resolve this problem. As "Creativity" points out, a simple "see the discussion" doesn't really help: at best, it means having to jump about all over the page to follow the argument, and at worst, people don't read it at all.


 

Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:01
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
+ ...
one reason more to extend the limit Jul 6, 2010

Lucia wrote:

Hello all,

I just took a few minutes to check 100 peer comments at random in most latest KudoZ answers and I discovered that only 4 of these comments included more than 200 characters (that's the 4%). So, it seems an extension may not be necessary.

In any case, I will be adding this suggestion to our list of ideas for improvement to be evaluated in future revisions of the KudoZ system.

Thank you all for your feedback!

Kind regards,

Lucia


Lucia,

thanks for giving us this figure. However, imho, your conclusion that an extension might not be necessary because only 4 % of the comments are longer than 200 words, is wrong. Of course, most of my peer comments don't ever reach half as much length, but still I'm running into problems in occasions in which I want to say more.

What purpose does the limit of 255 characters serve, anyway? People who need to say more will do so anyway, it will only take them more time while the readability of the result degrades due to excessive use of abbreviation etc.

I agree that there should be some limit, but 255 words definitely is too short.

Regards,
Erik


 

Lucia Leszinsky
SITE STAFF
Comments should be posted only to back up agree/disagree/neutral peer comments Jul 6, 2010

Marie-Hélène Hayles wrote:

Bearing in mind the non-arbitrary nature of the 255-character limit, the obvious alternative would be to permit the dis/agreer to respond to the answerer's response in a new text box, rather than having to edit the old.


I am afraid that having an option / section to reply to the answerer's reply to a peer comment is a different feature, Marie-Hélène. Peer comments must contain linguistic evaluations or considerations of the answer proposed and not replies to answerers' replies.

efreitag wrote:

What purpose does the limit of 255 characters serve, anyway? People who need to say more will do so anyway, it will only take them more time while the readability of the result degrades due to excessive use of abbreviation etc.


The characters limit for peer comments ensures the backing-up nature of such comments. In cases in which more needs to be said or added, the use of reference posts is recommended.

Lucia


 

Steffen Walter  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:01
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Where do you draw the line between "linguistic" and "non-linguistic", Lucia? Jul 6, 2010

Lucia wrote:

Marie-Hélène Hayles wrote:
Bearing in mind the non-arbitrary nature of the 255-character limit, the obvious alternative would be to permit the dis/agreer to respond to the answerer's response in a new text box, rather than having to edit the old.


I am afraid that having an option / section to reply to the answerer's reply to a peer comment is a different feature, Marie-Hélène. Peer comments must contain linguistic evaluations or considerations of the answer proposed and not replies to answerers' replies.

efreitag wrote:
What purpose does the limit of 255 characters serve, anyway? People who need to say more will do so anyway, it will only take them more time while the readability of the result degrades due to excessive use of abbreviation etc.


The characters limit for peer comments ensures the backing-up nature of such comments. In cases in which more needs to be said or added, the use of reference posts is recommended.

Lucia


Hi Lucia,

I generally agree with Marie-Hélène. Such replies to answerers' replies are in turn "linguistic" (and obviously related to the answer), or so they should be, which is why I don't see why they shouldn't be allowed. If, on the other hand, such comments are not linguistic, moderators or staff may still take appropriate action based on KudoZ rules.

Steffen


 
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