[Rd] Bounty on Error Checking

Laurent Gautier lgautier at gmail.com
Fri Jan 4 13:48:17 CET 2013

On 2013-01-04 12:00, r-devel-request at r-project.org wrote:
> Message: 16 Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2013 22:52:44 +0000 From: Ben Bolker 
> <bbolker at gmail.com> To: <r-devel at stat.math.ethz.ch> Subject: Re: [Rd] 
> Bounty on Error Checking Message-ID: 
> <loom.20130103T234406-301 at post.gmane.org> Content-Type: text/plain; 
> charset="us-ascii" ivo welch <ivo.welch <at> anderson.ucla.edu> writes:
>> >
>> >Dear R developers---I just spent half a day debugging an R program,
>> >which had two bugs---I selected the wrongly named variable, which
>> >turns out to have been a scalar, which then happily multiplied as if
>> >it was a matrix; and another wrongly named variable from a data frame,
>> >that triggered no error when used as a[["name"]] or a$name .  there
>> >should be an option to turn on that throws an error inside R when one
>> >does this.  I cannot imagine that there is much code that wants to
>> >reference non-existing columns in data frames.
>> >
>> >I know you guys are saints for developing without financial support.
>> >but maybe we non-insider end-users can help by putting up a bounty
>> >list on R-project for us end-users to contribute to?  I would pledge
>> >$500 to a $10,000 fund that funds a project to comprehensively enhance
>> >the programming and debugging aspects of R.  it would only take 20 of
>> >us to make this possible.
>> >
>> >personally, I think basic nudgeware is the way to go.  when a user
>> >starts R in interactive mode, there should be a note that says,
>> >
>> >  please donate $20 to the R foundation to support the development.
>> >press enter to continue or enter your contribution number to avoid
>> >this message in the future .
>> >
>> >you can even accept the same string if need be.  it's a nudge only,
>> >not a requirement.
>     I did bring this idea up briefly 5 years ago (for whatever that's
> worth)Lhttp://tolstoy.newcastle.edu.au/R/e2/devel/07/05/3202.html.
> I very much doubt R-core will go for this, but there's nothing stopping
> some private citizen with time and energy on their hands from setting
> up their own private bounty system.  As I see it the challenges would
> be:
> * setting up and administering the web site and the bounty system
> (i.e. figuring out rules for deciding when a bounty should be paid)
> * convincing the R community that their money is safe with you;
> * figuring out an appropriate payment/escrow system (Paypal?)
> * dealing with any tax and reporting issues relevant to your locality of
> receiving and disbursing money
> It's conceivable that some existing R-oriented entity (Mango Solutions,
> Revolution, RStudio?) would want/be willing to partner.
>    This won't take care of getting stuff into core R, but (1)
> well-worked out proofs of concept would go a long way to convincing
> R-core; (2) a lot can be done outside of core R if (for
> example) you moved over to using data.table everywhere instead of
> data frames (only translating to data frames where absolutely necessary).
> (I would love a scalar data type for R, but I don't think that
> can be done without a near-complete rewrite ...)
>    Ben Bolker

The Pypy project is funding the developments of new features this way 
(http://pypy.org/ - right side of the page, there are proposals, how 
much they cost to implement, and how much was donated). There must be 
others, I am just more aware of that one.

A potential difficulty is that all of R-core is possibly already funded 
(tenure positions in the academia, I'd guess) and might be moderately 
sensitive to the fact that a given feature should be implemented because 
people are paying to see it appear.

More information about the R-devel mailing list