Re: [Rd] Brainstorm: Alpha and Beta testing of R versions

From: Andrew Robinson <>
Date: Mon 07 Nov 2005 - 22:56:35 GMT

Martin, you're very welcome.

> A general point about your suggestions: You seem to assume that
> bug reports are typically entered via the R-bugs web interface

Yes, that was the premiss of my suggestions. Perhaps to supplement these ideas, could be rewritten to prompt useful information, much as prompt() does. And simple e-mail to could be filtered to only allow entries from R core, and/or a list of registered beta testers.

> actually we have been thinking of moving to bugzilla -- if only
> Peter Dalgaard could find a smart enough person (even to be paid)
> who'd port all the old bug reports into the new format..

I see that this would be useful. What are the challenges? If funding is available, then I wonder if any of the linked organizations might be suitable?

> As you've remarked below, I've expressed gratitude more than once
> for helpful bug reports.

Absolutely, and the effect is appreciated. Sadly, the average user struggles to distinguish between a helpful and an unhelpful bug report before sending it.

> indeed I was, partly. The point was just that if the bug
> reporting will be something like a challenge with prizes, we had
> to discourage too many entries {which would be made just to try
> to win (a|the) prize}.

Yes, I see that. I really don't think that we need prizes; I really do think that we need to create an environment that actively mitigates against the kinds of error that you/we find so frustrating. A sort of TQM strategy.



Andrew Robinson
Senior Lecturer in Statistics                       Tel: +61-3-8344-9763
Department of Mathematics and Statistics            Fax: +61-3-8344-4599
University of Melbourne, VIC 3010 Australia
Email:    Website:

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