[R] The hidden costs of GPL software?
andy_liaw at merck.com
Tue Nov 23 22:31:23 CET 2004
> From: Patrick Burns
> I think John has exactly the right image -- index to a book --
> but I disagree with his conclusions.
> I read somewhere that an index should not be done by the
> author. It was probably written by someone who was bored
> of indexing, but the logic was precisely because indices should
> be about concepts. The author of a package will have one
> concept for a function but not all of the concepts that come
> from various fields of study. I suspect that no one outside of
> finance would think to index "sd" with "volatility" for (a not very
> good) example.
> There could be an index builder that accepts a search phrase and
> the function or package that is the successful answer to the search.
> If this were open, then R users could contribute to the index who
> don't feel qualified to submit code. It could also help diffuse the
> frustration of taking too long to find a function by allowing a way
> to insure that the exact same thing doesn't happen to others.
> Amazon has a function that says those who bought "The Chicago
> Manual of Style" also bought Strunk and White.
Would that be the same function that suggested bunch of books on fashion
modeling when I look up Frank's book (`Regression Modeling Strategies')? 8-)
> In the same way,
> the R index could provide a list of terms that overlap the given
> search term. For example if we search for "goodness of fit", then
> "hypothesis test" might be one of the related terms that pops up.
> No, I'm not volunteering to build the system.
> Patrick Burns
> Burns Statistics
> patrick at burns-stat.com
> +44 (0)20 8525 0696
> (home of S Poetry and "A Guide for the Unwilling S User")
> John Fox wrote:
> >Dear Duncan,
> >I don't think that there is an automatic, nearly costless
> way of providing
> >an effective solution to locating R resources. The problem
> seems to me to be
> >analogous to indexing a book. There's an excellent
> description of what that
> >process *should* look like in the Chicago Manual of Style,
> and it's a lot of
> >work. In my experience, most book indexes are quite poor,
> and automatically
> >generated indexes, while not useless, are even worse, since
> one should index
> >concepts, not words. The ideal indexer is therefore the
> author of the book.
> >I guess that the question boils down to how important is it
> to provide an
> >analogue of a good index to R? As I said in a previous
> message, I believe
> >that the current search facilities work pretty well -- about
> as well as one
> >could expect of an automatic approach. I don't believe that
> there's an
> >effective centralized solution, so doing something more
> ambitious than is
> >currently available implies farming out the process to
> package authors. Of
> >course, there's no guarantee that all package authors will
> be diligent
> > John
> >John Fox
> >Department of Sociology
> >McMaster University
> >Hamilton, Ontario
> >Canada L8S 4M4
> >>-----Original Message-----
> >>From: r-help-bounces at stat.math.ethz.ch
> >>[mailto:r-help-bounces at stat.math.ethz.ch] On Behalf Of
> Duncan Murdoch
> >>Sent: Monday, November 22, 2004 8:55 AM
> >>To: Cliff Lunneborg
> >>Cc: r-help at stat.math.ethz.ch
> >>Subject: Re: [R] The hidden costs of GPL software?
> >>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
> >>>with the requirement that package authors supply their own
> >>keywords for
> >>>each documented object? I believe that this is the intent of the
> >>>concept entries in Rd files, but their use certainly is not
> >>required or
> >>>even actively encouraged. (They're just mentioned in
> passing in the
> >>>Writing 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
> >>R-help at stat.math.ethz.ch mailing list
> >>PLEASE do read the posting guide!
> >R-help at stat.math.ethz.ch mailing list
> >PLEASE do read the posting guide!
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