[R] Splitting the list

Heinz Tuechler tuechler at gmx.at
Thu Jan 5 09:19:27 CET 2006

At 11:56 05.01.2006 +1100, John Maindonald wrote:
>I've changed the heading because this really is another thread.  I  
>think it inevitable that there will, in the course of time, be other  
>lists that are devoted, in some shape or form, to the concerns of  
>practitioners (at all levels) who are using R.  One development I'd  
>not like to see is fracture along application area lines, allowing  
>those who are comfortable in coteries whose focus was somewhat  
>relevant to standards of use of statistics in that area 15 or 20  
>years ago to continue that way.  One of the great things about R, in  
>its development to date, has been its role in exposing people from a  
>variety of application area communities to statistical traditions  
>different from that in which they have been nurtured. I expect it to  
>have a continuing role in raising statistical analysis standards, in  
>"raising the bar".
>Another possibility is fracture along geographic boundaries.  This  
>has both benefits (one being that its is easier within a smaller  
>circle of people who are more likely to know each other for  
>contributors to establish a rapport that will make the list really  
>effective; also there will be notices and discussion that are of  
>local interest) and drawbacks (it risks separating subscribers off  
>from important discussions on the official R lists.)  On balance,  
>this may be the better way to go. Indeed subscribers to ANZSTAT  
>(Australian and NZ statistical list) will know that an R-downunder  
>list, hosted at Auckland, is currently in test-drive mode. There  
>should be enough subscribers in common between this and the official  
>R lists that the south-eastern portion of Gondwana does not, at any  
>time in the very near future, float off totally on its own.
>There are of course other possibilities, and it may be useful to  
>canvass them.

Repeating a comment under the subject "Splitting the list":
I would considere to use flags at the beginning of the subject line, like
e.g. "BQ" for basic question. Of course, also geographic boundaries could
be considered.
This flags should be defined in the posting guide.
This way, every reader/expert can decide on a personal level to split the
list by filtering the messages accordingly.

Heinz Tuechler

>John Maindonald             email: john.maindonald at anu.edu.au
>phone : +61 2 (6125)3473    fax  : +61 2(6125)5549
>Mathematical Sciences Institute, Room 1194,
>John Dedman Mathematical Sciences Building (Building 27)
>Australian National University, Canberra ACT 0200.
>On 4 Jan 2006, at 10:00 PM, r-help-request at stat.math.ethz.ch wrote:
>> From: Ben Fairbank <BEN at SSANET.COM>
>> Date: 4 January 2006 4:42:31 AM
>> To: R-help at stat.math.ethz.ch
>> Subject: Re: [R] A comment about R:
>> One implicit point in Kjetil's message is the difficulty of learning
>> enough of R to make its use a natural and desired "first choice
>> alternative," which I see as the point at which real progress and
>> learning commence with any new language.  I agree that the long  
>> learning
>> curve is a serious problem, and in the past I have discussed, off  
>> list,
>> with one of the very senior contributors to this list the  
>> possibility of
>> splitting the list into sections for newcomers and for advanced users.
>> He gave some very cogent reasons for not splitting, such as the
>> possibility of newcomers' getting bad advice from others only slightly
>> more advanced than themselves.  And yet I suspect that a newcomers'
>> section would encourage the kind of mutually helpful collegiality  
>> among
>> newcomers that now characterizes the exchanges of the more experienced
>> users on this list.  I know that I have occasionally been reluctant to
>> post issues that seem too elementary or trivial to vex the others  
>> on the
>> list with and so have stumbled around for an hour or so seeking the
>> solution to a simple problem.  Had I the counsel of others similarly
>> situated progress might have been far faster.  Have other newcomers or
>> occasional users had the same experience?
>> Is it time to reconsider splitting this list into two sections?
>> Certainly the volume of traffic could justify it.
>> Ben Fairbank
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