[R] The hidden costs of GPL software?

Duncan Murdoch murdoch at stats.uwo.ca
Mon Nov 22 14:54:40 CET 2004

On Fri, 19 Nov 2004 13:59:23 -0800, "Cliff Lunneborg"
<cliff at ms.washington.edu> quoted John Fox:

>Why not, as previously has been proposed, replace the
>current static (and, in my view, not very useful) set of keywords in R
>documentation with the requirement that package authors supply their own
>keywords for each documented object? I believe that this is the intent
>the concept entries in Rd files, but their use certainly is not required
>even actively encouraged. (They're just mentioned in passing in the
>R Extensions manual.

That would not be easy and won't happen quickly.  There are some

 - The base packages mostly don't use  \concept. (E.g. base has 365
man pages, only about 15 of them use it).  Adding it to each file is a
fairly time-consuming task.

- Before we started, we'd need to agree as to what they are for.
Right now, I think they are mainly used when the name of a concept
doesn't match the name of the function that implements it, e.g.
"modulo", "remainder", "promise", "argmin", "assertion".  The need for
this usage is pretty rare.  If they were used for everything, what
would they contain?

 - Keywording in a useful way is hard.  There are spelling issues
(e.g. optimise versus optimize); our fuzzy matching helps with those.
But there are also multiple names for the same thing, and multiple
meanings for the same name.

Duncan Murdoch

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