[R] Wikis etc.

ecoinfo ecoinformatics at gmail.com
Fri Jan 6 17:54:41 CET 2006

I use free Gmail to receive R-help emails. It is nice since

1. You can search your email quickly.
2. Replies to the same emails would be grouped together chronologically.
3. You can set up filters to put emails to different labels according
to the key words.

Please check the detailed description at

On 1/6/06, Don MacQueen <macq at llnl.gov> wrote:
> I don't have any significant experience with wikis, but I have yet to
> use any discussion board that was anywhere near as useful to me, or
> as easy to use, as an email list.
> Discussion boards have a web browser interface. Typically, they
> display at most a dozen topics at a time. Scrolling to get the next
> dozen is slow, as it requires a download from some web server. There
> is a huge amount of wasted screen space. When there is a topic that
> generates many messages scrolling through them is slow, as some
> discussion board interfaces show only 6 or 7 at a time. Search
> engines provided by the discussion board software are limited and
> slow.
> In contrast, in my email client I can show about three dozen subject
> lines at a time, I can quickly scroll up and down through the list, I
> can quickly group all the messages with the same subject line with a
> single click of the mouse. I can easily and quickly store selected
> messages of particular interest to a place where I can easily find
> them again. My email software searches very quickly through a huge
> number of messages.
> Then there's the question of administration and maintenance. Who is
> going to set up the wiki or discussion board categories? As far as I
> can tell (and that's actually not very far), either of them would
> require a lot more time and effort to set up and maintain than the
> present email list.
> Yes, r-help has a huge volume -- right now, my R-help mailbox has
> almost 22,000 messages in it, 2004-01-02 to the present; its size is
> about 124 mb. Yes, there is a lot of duplication. None the less, I
> find it easier and quicker to scan the subject lines a few times a
> day for interesting-looking topics than it would be to go to a
> browser and have to navigate up and down through various categories,
> looking for interesting-looking topics.
> As far as I can tell, the wiki concept is more along the lines of a
> reference library, whereas mailing lists and discussion boards are
> meant for people to ask each other questions, and give each other
> answers. If that perception is at all accurate, I would have to say
> that a wiki is by no means a suitable replacement for an email list.
> And when it comes to a choice between an email list and a discussion
> board, I have a strong preference for the email list.
> -Don
> At 7:04 PM -0600 1/5/06, Frank E Harrell Jr wrote:
> >I feel that as long as people continue to provide help on r-help wikis
> >will not be successful.  I think we need to move to a central wiki or
> >discussion board and to move away from e-mail.  People are extremely
> >helpful but e-mail seems to be to always be memory-less and messages get
> >too long without factorization of old text.  R-help is now too active
> >and too many new users are asking questions asked dozens of times for
> >e-mail to be effective.
> >
> >The wiki also needs to collect and organize example code, especially for
> >data manipulation.  I think that new users would profit immensely from a
> >compendium of examples.
> >
> >Just my .02 Euros
> >
> >Frank
> >--
> >Frank E Harrell Jr   Professor and Chair           School of Medicine
> >                       Department of Biostatistics   Vanderbilt University
> >
> >______________________________________________
> >R-help at stat.math.ethz.ch mailing list
> >https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> >PLEASE do read the posting guide! http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> --
> --------------------------------------
> Don MacQueen
> Environmental Protection Department
> Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
> Livermore, CA, USA
> ______________________________________________
> R-help at stat.math.ethz.ch mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> PLEASE do read the posting guide! http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html

Xiaohua Dai, Dr.

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