Re: [R] A long digression on packages

From: Duncan Murdoch <murdoch_at_stats.uwo.ca>
Date: Mon 06 Jun 2005 - 23:17:20 EST

On 6/6/2005 6:46 AM, Chris Evans wrote:
> On 5 Jun 2005 at 18:44, Jari Oksanen wrote:
>

>> There are diverse opinions about netiquette. One of the most basic, in
>> my opinion, is this: if someone posts starts a discussion in a certain
>> forum, you shall not divert it to another forum where it may be hidden
>> by most readers, perhaps even by the originator of the thread.

>
> With the greatest of respect for Duncan and the R-devel list, I think
> Jari has a point here. This is one of the most important issues I've
> seen raised on this list (R-help) in recent months and I think it may
> be a structural problem for the development of R, in common with that
> of much FLOSS s'ware, that there's a separation of users and authors
> that needs thought.

I don't think the existence of two lists implies separate populations of users versus authors. In fact, I suspect most R users are authors and vice versa (though some authors publish more than others). The point is that when discussing something about the development of R, it makes more sense to do it in the R development list. When asking for help on how to use R, it makes more sense to do it here.

If in a few month's time, I want to look up a vaguely remembered discussion about improvements to the package help system, I'll look for it in the R-devel archives. If it took place here, I'd miss it.

> It may already exist, but a web interface that did a help.search over
> all the packages in the current release version would be great. (If
> it does exist, sorry, but I'm no dunce and use R nearly every day and
> try to read much of r-help every day and don't know it, which may say
> something!)

I don't think a search that is restricted in exactly that way currently exists, but a Google search like

  kappa site:http://cran.r-project.org/src/contrib/Descriptions

might be useful (if you're searching for kappa!).

Duncan Murdoch



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