Re: [R] How to search for packages

From: Gabor Grothendieck <ggrothendieck_at_gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 4 Feb 2008 09:50:51 -0500

Google for CRAN Task Views

On Feb 4, 2008 9:34 AM, Monica Pisica <pisicandru_at_hotmail.com> wrote:
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> Hi everybody,
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> I know this might be very off topic and it took me quite a while to up my courage to post this…. But I remember a thread some time ago about how we can find the packages we need to do specific tasks in R if we don't know before hand which ones actually do it. Now all the packages are listed alphabetically on the web site. Since I am not very advanced in writing my own functions I relay heavily on work already done and only when I have no other choice I modify existing functions. Usually my modifications are only cosmetic.
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> But sometimes I use lots of time to just read the descriptions of packages until I decide that maybe one will do close to what I want. I wonder if there is any way to improve how these packages are displayed on the site and help with this decision. I wonder if the community as a whole can come up with some broader categories such as Bayesian, spatial statistics, bootstrap, vegetation analysis, circular statistics, robust statistics, etc., and the authors of the package can choose 1 or 2 or how many categories they think their package fits the most. On the web page we can have a list of those very broad categories and within each category we can have in alpha order the packages themselves with their description and such as it is now. So if I am interested in vegetation analysis or environmental analysis but I never did it before I go to that category and see which packages are more geared towards that particular subject. For example it was by chance alone and some GOOGLE search that I discovered that the package labdsv has anything to do with vegetation analysis since first of course I looked at any package which might have "veg" or "env" in the title.
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> I also realize that this might mean a lot of work, but R develops so rapidly that soon I think it will be unmanageable to just peruse the list of packages and read descriptions in order to choose which package to install, when you are not familiar with all of them. I hope I didn't offend the community with this, I would be very sorry since actually I get lots of help here and I learnt a lot from you. I will remain forever greatful.
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> Thanks,
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> Monica
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