Re: [R] Your unfair assignment of blame (was parmat error from MASS?)

From: john polo <>
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2008 07:11:59 -0500

thank you for your help.

Prof Brian Ripley wrote:
> There is no such code in MASS, so please don't make random assignments of
> blame. A competent R author would have used rowMeans(parmat).
that is why i asked for help. i've been using R for 2 months now. i never claimed to be competent.

> R has debugging tools (see 'Writing R Extensions') and you should use
> them to locate in which function the error is occurring. E.g.
> traceback() would tell you. Even then, the error is almost certainly
> in the data passed to the function and not in the function itself.
thank you for pointing me in the direction for error interpretation. i posted once before, about a month ago and asked if there was a way to learn how to interpret error messages. the only response was that i'd learn to recognize them after some time. you were correct, traceback indicated MASS was not at fault.

from a non-programmer, non-expert point of view, if i was going to try to locate a source for error interpretation (which i have spent many hours over the last 2 months doing. it's much easier to do that than come here and get helpful, if snarky, responses), i would have thought there would be information in the refman or intro or maybe installation and administration. as is obvious, i'm nowhere near writing packages for R. reading such documentation wasn't obvious for me.  

> We don't know what the PVA package/project is, or who 'our' refers to
> -- despite the posting guide you have not given a signature block.
i had intended to include a link to the PVA package, but it seems the author (Bruce Kendall @ UCSB) took it down. i didn't think the list wanted me to post all the code from the routines i have been using. the posting guideline said:
"/Some/ consider it good manners to include a concise signature specifying affiliation"
my emphasis. if it's required, the guidelines should say that. had i a sig it would say University of South Florida, where i'm an undergrad in biology. i don't know if that explains much more about my lack of R or computer or math competence.

University of South Florida mailing list PLEASE do read the posting guide and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code. Received on Tue 11 Mar 2008 - 12:23:27 GMT

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