[R] Protocol for answering basic questions

bogdan romocea br44114 at yahoo.com
Wed Dec 1 22:18:22 CET 2004

I'm also an R beginner. I have asked stupid questions, and received
RTFM replies. I believe such replies are _GREAT_, as long as they
include a brief reference to what to read, and where. (In some cases
searches don't work unless you happen to use the 'right' keywords,
and in other cases it may be relatively easy to miss a paragraph in a
manual - or even FAQ.)

I believe that rudeness (perceived or real) doesn't matter. It is
only solving the problem that matters. In this respect, it seems to
me that most (if not all) users who ask a question on R-help figure
out what to do.  

In regards to politeness, I think that the solution - and the problem
- lies almost completely in the other camp: those who ask (and not
those who reply). I would recommend all R beginners to not feel
easily offended, and to not be afraid to ask stupid questions. So
what if you risk being perceived a lazy idiot? (As I occasionally am,
and certainly will be again.) Do go ahead and ask, if you must. Do
you need to solve your problem or not?

Many many many thanks to all those who bother to answer questions on
R-help. (I still find it hard to believe that experts such as Brian
Ripley and Peter Dalgaard, to quote just two names, take the trouble
to answer so many questions, including basic ones.) And, of course,
thank heavens and the R Core Team that R exists.

-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Brown FM CEFAS [mailto:r.g.brown at cefas.co.uk]
Sent: Wednesday, December 01, 2004 11:46 AM
To: r-help at stat.math.ethz.ch
Subject: [R] Protocol for answering basic questions

I have been following the discussions on 'Reasons not to answer very
basic questions in a straightforward way' with interest as someone
who is also new to R and has had similar experiences.  As such it
with sadness that I note that most seem to agree with the present
approach to the responses to basic questions.  I must thank those
respondants to my own questions who have been helpful, but there are
some whose replies are in my opinion not only unhelpful but actually

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