Chronological vs. Reverse Chronological

Ordering of articles in the Mac Guide

  • Chronological (oldest at top)

    Votes: 1 9.1%
  • Reverse Chronological (newest at top)

    Votes: 7 63.6%
  • Don't care, but there should be a standard.

    Votes: 2 18.2%
  • Don't want a standard

    Votes: 1 9.1%

  • Total voters
    11
  • Poll closed .

BlizzardBomb

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jun 15, 2005
2,537
0
England
Just been looking at some of the hardware pages and noticed an inconsistency with the order the hardware is put in. So is chronological order or reverse chronological order preferred?

I've always done it by reverse chronological order (so the most recent (and most important?) release is nearest to the top).

Examples:
iMac - Reverse Chronological
Mac mini - Chronological
 

HexMonkey

Administrator
Staff member
Feb 5, 2004
2,161
432
New Zealand
Good point. There's not currently any policy on ordering (nor is there one on Wikipedia, from what I can tell, although most of the articles I looked at there are ordered chronologically). I have no strong preference either way but wouldn't object to having a guideline for consistency purposes.
 

Eraserhead

macrumors G4
Nov 3, 2005
10,410
10,566
UK
I think that reverse chronological order is probably more useful, as most people want to know about the newest model, and it hides the generally less complete older versions of the hardware at the bottom of the page.
 

Mechcozmo

macrumors 603
Jul 17, 2004
5,215
2
I think that reverse chronological order is probably more useful, as most people want to know about the newest model, and it hides the generally less complete older versions of the hardware at the bottom of the page.
No, I disagree.

Chronological order is the more orderly of the two. While reverse may seem like a good idea because the newest is at the top, we must remember that more often than not people will not be looking for the newest but instead what they own-- and that happens to be a few revisions out of date. (Besides, when have the Guides ever had the newest information in them? Hardly ever.)
By starting with the oldest, we give a history. What the rest of the page will be like. What to expect. It makes it easier to give a product history and description, as a sort of lead-in to the oldest of the line. We then progress onto newer versions, until the product line ends or there are no newer products at the time. People will open the page, see the older version, and click the quick-nav link (in the boxy thingy) to jump to the model they are looking for versus trying to figure out why the model on the top is on the top if it isn't _the_ newest one.

I really don't like reverse chronological order...:rolleyes: at least, I dislike it enough to reply to a two-month-old thread in order to voice my opinion on it. :D
 

Eraserhead

macrumors G4
Nov 3, 2005
10,410
10,566
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I really don't like reverse chronological order...:rolleyes: at least, I dislike it enough to reply to a two-month-old thread in order to voice my opinion on it. :D
You have a good point, I think Hexmonkey is right though, there should be a policy on it.
 

Mechcozmo

macrumors 603
Jul 17, 2004
5,215
2
You have a good point, I think Hexmonkey is right though, there should be a policy on it.
If I may be so bold as to suggest it... chronological-order as policy?

Is there some sort of official channel to make it policy? Perhaps some sort of ritualistic dance? :confused: ;) I suppose it would be good to find out if there are any continuing objections before chronological-ordering is put into effect.
 

BlizzardBomb

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jun 15, 2005
2,537
0
England
If I may be so bold as to suggest it... chronological-order as policy?

Is there some sort of official channel to make it policy? Perhaps some sort of ritualistic dance? :confused: ;) I suppose it would be good to find out if there are any continuing objections before chronological-ordering is put into effect.
I guess you hate me for making lots of articles reverse chronological order then :p

Maybe a poll would work if enough people would take part in it.
 

xUKHCx

Administrator emeritus
Jan 15, 2006
12,587
6
The Kop
Reverse, means that if you want to find out about an old product then you can search but if you want to just quickly find out the specs etc of the latest it is just a quick glance. Much better than the other way around i think.
 

Eraserhead

macrumors G4
Nov 3, 2005
10,410
10,566
UK
Reverse, means that if you want to find out about an old product then you can search but if you want to just quickly find out the specs etc of the latest it is just a quick glance. Much better than the other way around i think.
FWIW I agree with you, but I am curious on what other people think.
 

Peace

macrumors Core
Apr 1, 2005
19,509
3,982
Space--The ONLY Frontier
I think "reverse chronological" isn't even proper english because chronological is an adjective meaning oldest to newest.The better term would be "the opposite of chronological". :)
 

Eraserhead

macrumors G4
Nov 3, 2005
10,410
10,566
UK
I think "reverse chronological" isn't even proper english because chronological is an adjective meaning oldest to newest.The better term would be "the opposite of chronological". :)
Well I'd love to edit it, but the mods have made it BlizzardBomb's poll now they merged the threads ;).
 

CalBoy

macrumors 604
May 21, 2007
7,849
36
I think "reverse chronological" isn't even proper english because chronological is an adjective meaning oldest to newest.The better term would be "the opposite of chronological". :)
There's nothing wrong with reverse chronological, but the best term would have been "chronologically regressive" no confusion there:p

Seriously though, I voted for reverse chronological because the people who need more help are typically new to OS X and Macs, and they are far more likely to have newer hardware.
 

CalBoy

macrumors 604
May 21, 2007
7,849
36
OK so so far Reverse Chronological is in the lead. Only another week of voting.
Well, we don't exactly have a massive number of votes. But I guess it's all good, because I wanted reverse chronological!:D
 

CalBoy

macrumors 604
May 21, 2007
7,849
36
I suspect most people don't really mind ;).
Or they're just the types who flock to the "macbook/macbook pro" threads and never explore any other part of the site:rolleyes: But you're right, most people don't care, that is until they can't find what they need:p
 

snipper

macrumors regular
Feb 9, 2004
199
23
[...]Chronological order is the more orderly of the two. While reverse may seem like a good idea because the newest is at the top, we must remember that more often than not people will not be looking for the newest but instead what they own-- and that happens to be a few revisions out of date.
It all depends on what people are looking for, but even if they are looking up their own hardware, it's most likely the will find it in the more recent half of the page these days. I think that's why most poll'ers are voting for reverse chronological.

The Guides not being up to date is a pity, but not a valid argument in this case.
By starting with the oldest, we give a history. What the rest of the page will be like. What to expect. It makes it easier to give a product history and description, as a sort of lead-in to the oldest of the line. We then progress onto newer versions, until the product line ends or there are no newer products at the time.
I agree on the fact that it's a 'history', but for these pages it can be a plus to have them in reversed historical order. A history can be told in reverse and still make sense.

If it were about pages that really tell a story - like for example a biography, with characters and such - then chronological would be much more practical, also to write and maintain.

People interested in product updates are not interested in the complete history but only in one or two products. Usually what they own and what they are thinking of buying.
 

BlizzardBomb

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jun 15, 2005
2,537
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England
The Guides not being up to date is a pity, but not a valid argument in this case.
Well usually, either me, HexMonkey, or a few other people, update pages of major pieces of hardware on the day they're announced, so in terms of popular pieces of Apple Hardware (iPhone, iMac, MB, MBP, etc.), they are actually pretty up-to-date IMO.
 

Eraserhead

macrumors G4
Nov 3, 2005
10,410
10,566
UK
Well usually, either me, HexMonkey, or a few other people, update pages of major pieces of hardware on the day they're announced, so in terms of popular pieces of Apple Hardware (iPhone, iMac, MB, MBP, etc.), they are actually pretty up-to-date IMO.
I do remember updating the buyer's guides in October or something for the autumn releases so it doesn't always happen. I think it depends if they slip through the net or not to an extent.
 

BlizzardBomb

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jun 15, 2005
2,537
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England
I do remember updating the buyer's guides in October or something for the autumn releases so it doesn't always happen. I think it depends if they slip through the net or not to an extent.
I was referring to the actual hardware pages, but I do agree that the Buyer's Guides sometimes aren't as up-to-date as they should be (maybe MR needs to make it more obvious somehow that anyone can edit these pages and even the simplest of changes like typos, grammar are welcome).
 

Eraserhead

macrumors G4
Nov 3, 2005
10,410
10,566
UK
(maybe MR needs to make it more obvious somehow that anyone can edit these pages and even the simplest of changes like typos, grammar are welcome).
You edit the template to do it ;). Though it would be nice to know how to find the required codes for the buyers guide.
 

BlizzardBomb

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jun 15, 2005
2,537
0
England
You edit the template to do it ;). Though it would be nice to know how to find the required codes for the buyers guide.
Yeah I know, but I'm sure there are lots of regular forum users who have a few minutes spare a week to look over a few articles don't edit, because they might not understand how to etc.
 

Eraserhead

macrumors G4
Nov 3, 2005
10,410
10,566
UK
OK so less than 24 hours to go.

EDIT: Given the lead of reverse chronological while updating the Mac Mini article with the rev C update I have switched it to reverse chronological, if chronological ordering does win I'll switch it back tomorrow.