[Rd] idea (PR#7345)

Duncan Murdoch murdoch at stats.uwo.ca
Fri Nov 5 15:44:10 CET 2004

On Fri, 5 Nov 2004 13:51:07 +0000 (GMT), Dan Bolser
<dmb at mrc-dunn.cam.ac.uk> wrote :

>If you are being snide, however, ...
>Naturally doing this is totally beyond me, but as an end user it is my
>prerogative to suggest such things. In fact any good software product
>should be bombarded with suggestions on how it could be improved. 

I think you misunderstood the comment.  You're right that making good
suggestions is valuable.  However, R is an open source project:
nothing gets done unless someone volunteers to do it (or contributes
lots of money to pay someone to do it; that hasn't happened much yet,
though it has happened).

This means that big things only get done by their proponents.  Nobody
has time to devote to someone else's idea that will take weeks to
develop, unless it looks like a really interesting problem to solve.
A number of us happily implement small suggestions, but we just don't
have time to work on everything that would be good in R.  Luckily R
has a very active development community (see the hundreds of packages
on CRAN), so an amazing number of things get done.

>I really don't understand the negative and condescending culture that seems
>to pervade R-dev. OK, so I am running round like a headless chicken,
>complaining all over the place, doing thing in an inappropriate way and
>generally annoying people all over, but I am not a troll. I genuinely like
>R and I genuinely wish it could be better in certain ways, and (perhaps
>vainly) I believe I can help by making my opinion known. I just don't get
>the 'shut-up and f*** off' attitude. 

Email is no good for sending or receiving nuances of meaning.  It's
very easy for someone to read a suggested improvement as a demand for
service, and that would be totally inappropriate in an open source
project.  It's also very easy for someone to read a "do it yourself"
response as negative and condescending.   Both of these may be correct
readings in some cases, but not in all:  and you'll save a lot of
energy by just ignoring the bits you don't like.

>Ah well .. perhaps I am just being over sensitive. Again, apologies all
>round if that is the case. 

Duncan Murdoch

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