[Rd] Brainstorm: Alpha and Beta testing of R versions

Andrew Robinson A.Robinson at ms.unimelb.edu.au
Mon Nov 7 23:56:35 CET 2005

Martin, you're very welcome.  

> A general point about your suggestions:  You seem to assume that
> bug reports are typically entered via the R-bugs web interface

Yes, that was the premiss of my suggestions.  Perhaps to supplement
these ideas, bug.report() could be rewritten to prompt useful
information, much as prompt() does. And simple e-mail to
R-bugs at r-project.org could be filtered to only allow entries from R
core, and/or a list of registered beta testers.

> actually we have been thinking of moving to bugzilla -- if only
> Peter Dalgaard could find a smart enough person (even to be paid)
> who'd port all the old bug reports into the new format..

I see that this would be useful.  What are the challenges? If funding
is available, then I wonder if any of the linked organizations might
be suitable?


> As you've remarked below, I've expressed gratitude more than once
> for helpful bug reports.

Absolutely, and the effect is appreciated.  Sadly, the average user
struggles to distinguish between a helpful and an unhelpful bug report
before sending it.

> indeed I was, partly.  The point was just that if the bug
> reporting will be something like a challenge with prizes, we had
> to discourage too many entries {which would be made just to try
> to win (a|the) prize}.

Yes, I see that.  I really don't think that we need prizes; I really
do think that we need to create an environment that actively mitigates
against the kinds of error that you/we find so frustrating. A sort of
TQM strategy.


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

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