[R] Wikis etc.

Jonathan Baron baron at psych.upenn.edu
Fri Jan 6 15:15:56 CET 2006

On 01/06/06 13:40, John Marsland wrote:
> Going back to the wiki issue, it might be wise to this about using Trac
> <http://projects.edgewall.com/trac/> which is an open source project that
> integrates a wiki with the SVN code versioning system (used by R-project) and a
> replacement for bugzilla's ticketing system. We use it to document our own code.
> Trac would have the advantage of pushing questions on the R list back towards
> the  actual source code and allowing all users to participate in the future
> development of the software.

It isn't clear to me what this would be for.  I'm not sure that I
trust users to modify code.

I was thinking myself that user input might be most useful for
the documentation of functions.  Not that this is so bad, but
rather it might be possible to have an extended system of
documentation on the web, with FAQ-type questions answered as
part of the documentation itself, so that people would not have
to rely on R-help so much (even in its archived forms).

And I was thinking of setting up a Wiki with one page per
function.  (Given that there are now hundreds or thousands of
functions, setting this up would have to be automated.)  I've
just installed (for another purpose) TWiki, which seems to have
some nice features for this sort of thing (in particular, data
stored as text files, hence easily manipulated by other
programs), but I will not have time to think through how to do
this for some time.  Just another idea to throw into the hopper.

In principle, another possibility is to do something like the PHP 
manual at http://www.php.net/manual/en/, which is not a wiki but
more like a bulletin board, with discussion of each command.  But 
I think a wiki is better.  I found it time consuming to read
through all those comments, almost as bad as reading through
R-help postings. :)

Jonathan Baron, Professor of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania
Home page: http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~baron

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