Re: [R] New-user support package - suggestions?

From: Andrew Robinson <A.Robinson_at_ms.unimelb.edu.au>
Date: Fri 05 May 2006 - 10:53:01 EST

Well, the risk is small of choosing the wrong editor, because I won't be producing such videos. Make no mistake, I think that they could be a great idea, but only if executed by someone with more of a clue about remote education than I have! However, the suggestion is now out in the archives, so maybe such a person will pick it up and run with it!

I've had a number of very useful suggestions off-list, which I am following up separately, and I'd like to encourage all the new and relatively new users on this list to send me their gripes - off list, of course, if you wish.

Cheers

Andrew

On Thu, May 04, 2006 at 02:55:08PM +0200, S?ren H?jsgaard wrote:
> And which editor would that be??? And don't say Emacs+ESS - people who are able to use Emacs+ESS would not need such videos!
> Best
> S?ren
>
> > -----Oprindelig meddelelse-----
> > Fra: Frank E Harrell Jr [mailto:f.harrell@vanderbilt.edu]
> > Sendt: 4. maj 2006 14:30
> > Til: S?ren H?jsgaard
> > Cc: Uwe Ligges; Andrew Robinson; R-Help Discussion
> > Emne: Re: [R] New-user support package - suggestions?
> >
> > S?ren H?jsgaard wrote:
> > > Dear Andrew,
> > >
> > > I tend to agree with Uwe.
> > >
> > > A perhaps more useful approach for achieving your goal
> > would be to create a video introduction to R. On
> > http://www.learnvisualstudio.net/ you can find examples of
> > such introductory videos for programming, for example in C#.
> > >
> > > I've experimented a little myself with creating such videos
> > for "getting started" with R, i.e. installing R, installing
> > the Tinn-R editor, using the help facilities, finding things
> > on CRAN. It is not as easy to do as I had thought... (If
> > anyone is interested in the result, please drop me a line and
> > I'll send you a link).. There are various relevant pieces of
> > software around, for example camtasia (commercial) and
> > camstudio (freeware)..
> > >
> > > Such a set of videos could make it onto CRAN...
> > >
> > > Best
> > > S?ren
> >
> > But please choose an editor that works on all platforms.
> >
> > Frank
> >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > ________________________________
> > >
> > > Fra: r-help-bounces@stat.math.ethz.ch p? vegne af Uwe Ligges
> > > Sendt: to 04-05-2006 09:13
> > > Til: Andrew Robinson
> > > Cc: R-Help Discussion
> > > Emne: Re: [R] New-user support package - suggestions?
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Andrew Robinson wrote:
> > >
> > >
> > >>Dear Community,
> > >>
> > >>This is largely a repost with some new information.
> > >>
> > >>I'm interested in developing a package that could ease the
> > >>command-line learning curve for new users. It would provide more
> > >>detailed syntax checking and commentary as feedback. It
> > would try to
> > >>anticipate common new-user errors, and provide feedback to help
> > >>correct them.
> > >
> > >
> > > Re. "anticipate", see
> > >
> > > install.packages("fortunes")
> > > library("fortunes")
> > > fortune("anticipate")
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >>As a trivial example, instead of
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>>mean(c(1,2,NA))
> > >>
> > >>[1] NA
> > >>
> > >>we might have
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>>mean(c(1,2,NA))
> > >>
> > >>[1] NA
> > >>Warning: your data contains missing values. If you wish to ignore
> > >>these for the purposes of computing the mean, use the argument:
> > >>"na.rm=TRUE".
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Attention. If you give help like this, you will implicitly
> > teach users
> > > not to read the manuals but trust on R's warning/error messages and
> > > suggestions.
> > > Some students won't ask the question "why do my data
> > contain NAs" but
> > > will start using na.rm=TRUE, even if the error was in a
> > prior step and
> > > no NAs were expected at all.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >>I'm interested in any thoughts that people have about this
> > idea - what
> > >>errors do you commonly see, and how can they be dealt with?
> > >>
> > >>I have funding for 6 weeks of programming support for this
> > idea. All
> > >>suggestions are welcome.
> > >>
> > >>Cheers,
> > >>
> > >>Andrew
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Your project sounds very ambitious. I anticipate you will be
> > > disappointed after 6 weeks of "programming", because you won't have
> > > achieved very much. I'd rather try to spend 6 weeks of time
> > for some
> > > more promising projects...
> > >
> > > Just my first thoughts, just go on with your project if you
> > are convinced.
> > >
> > > Best,
> > > Uwe Ligges
> > >
> > > ______________________________________________
> > > R-help@stat.math.ethz.ch mailing list
> > > https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> > > PLEASE do read the posting guide!
> > > http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> > >
> > > ______________________________________________
> > > R-help@stat.math.ethz.ch mailing list
> > > https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> > > PLEASE do read the posting guide!
> > > http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> > >
> >
> >
> > --
> > Frank E Harrell Jr Professor and Chair School of Medicine
> > Department of Biostatistics
> > Vanderbilt University
> >

-- 
Andrew Robinson  
Department of Mathematics and Statistics            Tel: +61-3-8344-9763
University of Melbourne, VIC 3010 Australia         Fax: +61-3-8344-4599
Email: a.robinson_at_ms.unimelb.edu.au         http://www.ms.unimelb.edu.au

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Received on Fri May 05 11:04:45 2006

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