[R] Wikis etc.

phgrosjean@sciviews.org phgrosjean at sciviews.org
Sun Jan 8 17:00:44 CET 2006

Hello all,

Sorry for not taking part of this discussion earlier, and for not
answering Detlef Steuer, Martin Maechler, and others that asked more
direct questions to me. I am away from my office and my computer until the
16th of January.

Just quick and partial answers:
1) I did not know about Hamburg RWiki. But I would be happy to merge both
in one or the other way, as Detlef suggests it.

2) I choose DokuWiki as the best engine after a careful comparison of
various Wiki engines. It is the best one, as far as I know, for the
purpose of writting software documentation and similar pages. There is an
extensive and clearly presented comparison of many Wikki engines at:

3) I started to change DokuWiki (addition of various plugins, addition of
R code syntax coloring with GESHI, etc...). So, it goes well beyond all
current Wiki engines regarding its suitability to present R stuff.

4) The reasons I did this is because I think the Wiki format could be of a
wider use. I plan to change a little bit the DokuWiki syntax, so that it
works with plain .R code files (Wiki part is simply embedded in commented
lines, and the rest is recognized and formatted as R code by the Wiki
engine). That way, the same Wiki document can either rendered by the Wiki
engine for a nice presentation, or sourced in R indifferently.

5) My last idea is to add a Rpad engine to the Wiki, so that one could
play with R code presented in the Wiki pages and see the effects of
changes directly in the Wiki.

6) Regarding the content of the Wiki, it should be nice to propose to the
authors of various existing document to put them in a Wiki form. Something
like "Statistics with R" (http://zoonek2.free.fr/UNIX/48_R/all.html) is
written in a way that stimulates additions to pages in perpetual
construction, if it was presented in a Wiki form. It is licensed as
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 license, that
is, exactly the same one as DokuWiki that I choose for R Wiki. Of course,
I plan to ask its author to do so before putting its hundreds of very
interesting pages on the Wiki... I think it is vital to have already
something in the Wiki, in order to attract enough readers, and then enough

7) Regarding spamming and vandalism, DokuWiki allows to manage rights and
users, even individually for pages. I think it would be fine to lock pages
that reach a certain maturity (read-only / editable by selected users
only) , with link to a discussion page which remaining freely accessible
at the bottom of locked pages.

8) I would be happy to contribute this work to the R foundation in one way
or the other to integrate it in http://www.r-project.org or
http://cran.r-project.org. But if it is fine keeping it in
http://www.sciviews.org as well, it is also fine for me.

I suggest that all interested people drop a little email to my mailbox.
I'll recontact you when I will be back to my office to work on a more
elaborate solution altogether when I am back at my office.

Philippe Grosjean

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