Re: [Rd] Jazzing up the Task Views index page

From: Joshua Wiley <>
Date: Wed, 22 Feb 2012 07:34:07 -0800


In a way, a simple text based system is clean and is consistent with the plain text requirements of the listservs, and interacting with R through code/text. However, for people with different backgrounds, it can seem unappealing. I definitely believe your page is more inviting.

I work at a campus statistical consulting center and we are seeing a substantial increase in researchers and grad students using R. We only recently began supporting R, and one thing I have noticed in both clients and other consultants relatively unfamiliar with R is that they often seem to not look beyond the core. In my opinion, this is partly responsible for the belief that R is difficult to use or that task X is easier to do in program Y than in R. I believe that better marketing and navigability of the task views (which themselves are excellent lists of packages relevant to particular disciplines or applications) can help this perception.

Barry, is this a test/example only or would you plan on keeping something like that on your site even if it is not adopted for cran task views? If it is not adopted elsewhere and you are willing to maintain it, I would like to link to it.

Very nice work!



On Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 4:58 AM, Barry Rowlingson <> wrote:
> A little while ago here we had a short discussion about Task Views - I
> think ignited by someone saying 'how many times do I have to say "have
> you read the Optimisation Task View?"?' and I poured some fuel on that
> fire by saying "Task Views" was a stupid name.
> Anyway, I did say that Task Views were rather brilliant, but were let
> down by their hidden position on the R web sites (tucked away as the
> third element of a sub-menu of a CRAN mirror site linked to by the
> CRAN link from the Download menu on the main R home page). The index
> page is rather plain, so I designed a more engaging one. The result of
> my effort is now here:
> Having done that, I even considered that something like that could
> replace the R Homepage. Giving new visitors an idea of the vast range
> of techniques and application areas available in R would seem to be
> better than the current graphic which has been there since perhaps
> 2004.
> Comments, thoughts, flames, etc?
> Barry
> ______________________________________________
> mailing list

Joshua Wiley
Ph.D. Student, Health Psychology
Programmer Analyst II, Statistical Consulting Group
University of California, Los Angeles

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