Sorry, I missed the first part of your remarks. Thank you for your kind words, your thoughtfulness, and for your work on this, too. Very happy to communicate with a fellow analyst and efficiency person.
What worries me the most about this issue is that the way the blogroll widget arranged my links *changed*.
Upon inquiry WP asserted that the links widget ratings system is a "star" system, rather than what it is labeled as, a "rating" or "ranking" system (so that the way my blogroll appears *now* is how it was always intended to appear, based on my rankings.)
Whatever it is called, I worked with the ratings to make my list appear the way I wanted it to. When the way I arranged my links suddenly flipped, that's what prompted my inquiry.
That led, thanks to your remarks, and I agree, to a broader discussion of the widget's rating system as a whole. (I might have gone there, too, if WP had shown any interest.)
There are three issues: 1) that fact that something happened a few weeks ago that suddenly flipped the order of at least some people's blogrolls, 2) the way the blogroll widget's rating system is labeled and explained, the instructions, are confusing, 3) how the ratings actually work, which could be changed to an exact, non-limited ordinal functionality rather than smearyness of "star" ratings, which really don't make sense for this purpose.
I'm surprised by the dearth of interest and feedback from WP staff.
As a website administrator I listened closely to (as well as solicited) website users' feedback and when a problem or upgrade seemed indicated, spoke with customer service people and site engineers to see what varied solutions could be implemented, consulted with my editorial colleagues, made decisions, then arranged reconfigurations to the site to make it easier to use, rewrote instructions for users, communicated with and updated all interested users, and did this on a continual basis (the perfect job for an analytical efficiency expert).
So I keep thinking WP works that way, too, but there has been no communcation after the first statement that things are as they are supposed to be, despite the confusion of the instructions, and there have been no remarks on the change I noticed.
Perhaps most WP users don't care how the widget works and either aren't bothered by the confusions and inefficiencies or don't want to bother inquiring about them.
However, it would be wonderful to get some feedback from WP, perhaps instruction rewriting, or a even a coding revamp.
Or maybe the problem is this forum. I've stated often that I never wanted to be involved in and am now sick of having to use a "forum" system, which ensures denigrating abuse from other users while system administrators completely ignore it.
(If upgrading will get out of it, that's the most tempting inducement I know to upgrade.)
Your insight and kindness have made my day.