The Value of an Editor

I wrote a round-up of reviews of Google's new OnHub Wi-Fi router today for TidBITS, as I (and TidBITS) didn't get a review unit, but I like to help people make informed decisions about purchasing new gear, especially Wi-Fi stuff. The reviews are mixed, but it's pretty clear the unit isn't fully baked. And Wi-Fi routers are tough to test fairly beyond some built-in features; testing coverage and performance (actual data throughput) requires lots of devices, moving equipment around, and having identical tests in the same circumstances with other base stations. Only a few of the reviewers were able to do that.

It was clear that reviewers who did more thorough testing were finding less to like because of inconsistent performance and behavior. In my original draft, I wrote:

The reviewers who apparently tested coverage and features the least had the best things to say about the router, as well as the converse.

My old friend and dear editor Adam Engst made a revision:

The reviewers who seemingly tested coverage and features the least had the best things to say about the OnHub; those who performed more complete tests were the least impressed.

Much sharper! It's the same sentiment and the same conclusion, but spelling out the converse makes the whole thing snap.

My friend, former boss, and coffee aficionado Marco Arment linked to the article, singling out that phrase:

I'm still cry-laughing over his reaction! It's high praise and I appreciate it tremendously! But I also thought it was a good thing to share the love with Adam, and demonstrate what a good editor brings to the table, even for what seems like a casual statement of fact.