[R] Wikis etc.

Jack Tanner ihok at hotmail.com
Sun Jan 8 21:12:57 CET 2006

Philippe's idea to start a wiki that grows out of the content on 
http://zoonek2.free.fr/UNIX/48_R/all.html is really great. Here's why.

My hypothesis is that the basic reason that people ask questions on R-help 
rather than first looking elsewhere is that looking elsewhere doesn't get 
them the info they need.

People think in terms of the tasks they have to do. The documentation for R, 
which can be very good, is organized in terms of the structure of R, its 
functions. This mismatch -- people think of tasks, the documentation "thinks 
in" functions -- causes people to turn to the mailing list.

What we need is documentation that can be browsed in terms of tasks, like 
http://zoonek2.free.fr/UNIX/48_R/all.html. If that can be edited by the 
community, all the better. This is especially good for newbies (like myself) 
who try a tutorial, find that it lacks in some aspect, and can give 
immediate feedback, e.g., via a Wiki.

As far as keeping current with the latest versions of R, I think we'll have 
to arrive at some sort of convention that says: the code in this example 
works with R version X, package version Y. Then, if that code is found to 
fail in some future version, it's easy enough to make a second exampe. (As a 
bonus, these examples could be an automated test suite for R.)

Philippe, if you find you'd like assistance, I'd like to help.

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