Re: [R] lme nesting/interaction advice

From: Federico Calboli <>
Date: Mon, 12 May 2008 10:50:03 +0100

On 12 May 2008, at 01:05, Andrew Robinson wrote:

> On Mon, May 12, 2008 at 10:34:40AM +1200, Rolf Turner wrote:

>> On 12/05/2008, at 9:45 AM, Andrew Robinson wrote:
>>> On Sun, May 11, 2008 at 07:52:50PM +0100, Federico Calboli wrote:
>>>> The main point of my question is, having a 3 way anova (or
>>>> ancova, if
>>>> you prefer), with *no* nesting, 2 fixed effects and 1 random
>>>> effect,
>>>> why is it so boneheaded difficult to specify a bog standard fully
>>>> crossed model? I'm not talking about some rarified esoteric model
>>>> here, we're talking about stuff tought in a first year Biology
>>>> Stats
>>>> course here[1].
>>> That may be so, but I've never needed to use one.
>> So what? This is still a standard, common, garden-variety
>> model that you will encounter in exercises in many (if not
>> all!) textbooks on experimental design and anova.
> To reply in similar vein, so what?  Why should R-core or the R
> community feel it necessary to reproduce every textbook example?  How
> many times have *you* used such a model in real statistical work,
> Rolf?

There is a very important reason why R (or any other stats package) should *easily* face the challenge of bog standard models: because it is a *tool* for an end (i.e. the analysis of data to figure out what the heck they tell us) rather than a end in itself.

Bog standard models are *likely* to be used over and over again because they are *bog standard*, and they became such by being used *lots*.

If someone with a relatively easy model cannot use R for his job s/he will use something else, and the R community will *not* increase in numbers. Since R is a *community driven project*, you do the math on what that would mean in the long run.



Federico C. F. Calboli
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health
Imperial College, St. Mary's Campus
Norfolk Place, London W2 1PG

Tel +44 (0)20 75941602   Fax +44 (0)20 75943193

f.calboli [.a.t]
f.calboli [.a.t]

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