PoliTree Dev Update: August 2020

The following is part of a larger series discussing the ongoing development of PoliTree, an attempted political-compass killer which has been way too long in the making. To find out more, visit the introduction.

One of the things I didn’t expect to complete by now was the metadata, but it has been added for every branch page. I put these inside drop-downs as not to overwhelm the reader with information. Check the wiki to learn more about how it works.


When creating these drop-downs, I had to consider how I wanted to split up the information. At first I was considering setting up a section for Importance, but eventually decided to roll that into a Seminal type for the key readings.

Even after I decided on the list of tags, there were still things I had to reconsider. A rating for Length is one of these, as the site currently contains documents ranging from 1 to 1000 pages. The original plan was to make every star worth 200 pages and every half-star worth 100, but ultimately this left a lot of resources with either a one or two-star length rating. Eventually, I decided to take into account what the most common page ranges are and developed a solution: ranges would get wider on the fringes (with incredibly short or incredibly long documents) and narrow towards the middle. This means that a two-star rating might cover a range of about 50 pages (books between 250 and 300 pages long), while a five-star rating would cover triple that (books between 850 and 1000 pages long). This would allow for nuance between the ratings of books of average lengths.

Currently, the Difficulty rating I’m doing rather loosely: I read random passages in the book, and judge its difficulty. However, I am considering a rubric of sorts in the future, it would just take some more brainstorming.

Genre was initially limited to a set of about five options (the way Type is handled), but eventually I decided the library is too diverse to keep it limited. Readers should be able to understand what each Genre tag means anyways, so this should not be a big deal.

Type, on the other hand, is using terms with a very particular meaning in this context, so it has to remain limited. I might add definitions for each type in the wiki later.

In addition:

  • Various reference files have been replaced with ones that are smaller and easier to read.
  • We are now up to 15 out of 32 sets of filter questions completed.

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