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Wikipedia:Peer review/Acorn Computers Ltd/archive1

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Acorn Computers Ltd[edit]

This may be approaching feature article status in terms of article depth/quality. Particularly interested in comments on the structure. Should the number of sub-headings be consolidated or not? TreveX 17:52, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)


Since I'm the one guilty of the current structure, I'll state my reasons. The article has become quite long and probably must be broken up by headings. Since Wikipedia allows multi-levels sections, I don't think we should be afraid of using them. The best demonstration of the thinking behind the heading structure is the section on Acorn's financial troubles. One of the reasons for these troubles was Acorn's heavy outlay on R&D projects. So having the R&D Expenditure as a sub-section of financial problems makese sense to me - and then having the various things this expenditure was going on as further sub-sections actually makes the table of contents itself a mini-history of Acorn. Otherwise, the "Supplying the Electron" section goes to the same depth as "Financial problems" and the structure disappears and you just get a list of headings. In the article the subsections don't make all THAT much difference, but they make the table of contents actually DO something in itself rather than be just a list of links to various titles, which is what it would be if the headings and sub-headings went. lmno 23:51, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)

It is nice to see the history of one of the major players in computers documented. I have the impression that a lot of effort was put in this article to make it factually correct. Discussion on the talk page indicates that some authors even communicated with the people involved to verify the history of Acorn. Some problems that I came across are:
  • The lead section doesn't invite me to read on. Expand it a bit. Why was Acorn special, why do I want to know everything about it? Mention ARM for example.
  • I liked this gem: "And when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth!" but it is not really neutral. Grep for exclamation marks to find more
  • The use of era is too dramatic in the section titles.
  • Overall, the acticle could do with a copy-edit to make the text flow better before nominating it at FAC. The prehistory section for example is a bit dense in information.
The peer review request itself more or less suggests that there are too much sub-headings. I agree with lmno that the article needs sub-headings (almost all articles of this size do) but the amount of them in this article is at first glance excessive. Indeed, the table of contents serves as a mini-history. However, only after you have read the article and understand what all the headings refer to. I don't think that it is very helpful when first reading the article. Instead, the size of the table of contents may discourage readers. An unfortunate additional problem is that the rendering of sub-headings at level 2, 3 and 4 are not very clearly distinct in the main body of the text (at least not with my konqueror browser). Of course, this is more a problem of the wikimedia software than of the article. Nevertheless, I think these are reasons enough to reduce the number of headings. Some suggestions:
  • the first heading "Company history: from CPU to CPUs" can go, so that all sub-headings below go up one level. Almost the entire article falls under this heading and as such it is more like an alternative article title instead of a heading. A nice side effect is that the article then uses heading levels 1,2 and 3 which are more clearly distinguishable.
  • Merge "Prehistory" and "CPU Ltd". They both deal with the history of Acorn. A separation in paragraphs is sufficient, no need for sub-headings.
  • The section "1983: Flotation" is small, can it be merged?
Generally, I would try to avoid sections that are one (small) paragraph in length. Paragraph delimeters are sufficient to indicate structure. If you feel it is necessary to use these headings to make the subject clear then this is an indication that the flow of the main text itself is not in good shape. For example: the headings "Proton" and "Tube" that fall under "Research and development" can be deleted. Rename "Research and development" to something like "Development of the Proton and Tube".
Jan van Male 13:41, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)
It is nice to see so many comments addressed (within 24 hours!). I'd say the first half of the article is now `ready' (as if that is ever the case on wiki). The second half of the article could use copy-editting to reduce some POV and add some clarifications. I'd like to invite others to add their comments. Jan van Male 14:32, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)