[R] R - Wikis and R-core

Martin Maechler maechler at stat.math.ethz.ch
Tue Jan 10 14:48:04 CET 2006

We've had a small "review time" within R-core on this topic,
amd would like to state the following:

The R-core team welcomes proposals to develop an R-wiki.

- We would consider linking a very small number of Wikis (ideally one) 
  from www.r-project.org and offering an address in the r-project.org 
  domain (such as 'wiki.r-project.org').

- The core team has no support time to offer, and would be looking for
  a medium-term commitment from a maintainer team for the Wiki(s).

- Suggestions for the R documentation would best be filtered through the 
  Wiki maintainers, who could e.g. supply suggested patches during the alpha 
  phase of an R release.

Our main concerns have been about ensuring the quality of such extra
documentation projects, hence the 2nd point above.
Several of our more general, not mainly R, experiences have been
of outdated web pages which are continued to be used as
reference when their advice has long been superseded.  
I think it's very important to try ensuring that this won't
happen with an R Wiki.

Martin Maechler, ETH Zurich

>>>>> "PhGr" == Philippe Grosjean <phgrosjean at sciviews.org>
>>>>>     on Sun, 8 Jan 2006 17:00:44 +0100 (CET) writes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    PhGr> Philippe Grosjean

    PhGr> ______________________________________________
    PhGr> R-help at stat.math.ethz.ch mailing list
    PhGr> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help PLEASE do
    PhGr> read the posting guide!
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