[R] Netiquette etc {was "nls.control() has no influence on nls()!"}

Martin Maechler maechler at stat.math.ethz.ch
Mon Apr 16 12:08:48 CEST 2007

>>>>> "Joerg" == Joerg van den Hoff <j.van_den_hoff at fzd.de>
>>>>>     on Mon, 16 Apr 2007 11:15:23 +0200 writes:

    Joerg> On Mon, Apr 16, 2007 at 09:03:27AM +0200, Martin Maechler wrote:

    >> >>>>> "Yuchen" == Yuchen Luo <realityrandom at gmail.com>


    Joerg> a final remark (off-topic?), concerning the response
    Joerg> of m. maechler (but I notice this attitude
    Joerg> continously on the list): this is supposed to be a
    Joerg> help list, neither a boot camp nor a thought-police
    Joerg> school, right?.

In general, Joerg, you are entirely right, and I do behave like
that typically. 

Now, since you responded in public, I do too:
What I did not like at all about Yuchen's posting was it's
subject which claims obvious misfunctioning, using a "!", not a
"?" to make the point.  
The subject of an e-mail is the first and typically most read part
and I'd like users to be a bit more polite there.
{see also below}

    Joerg> concerning the question at hand, the
    Joerg> one word response

    Joerg> `?nls'

    Joerg> would have been justifiable (it usually _is_ in the
    Joerg> manpage), if not overly helpful, probably. but the
    Joerg> actual response is worded such that -- would it be
    Joerg> directed at me -- I would judge it simply offensive:
    Joerg> "get to your senses" is not what one should be told,
    Joerg> simply because ond did not grasp how to use the
    Joerg> `control' argument and/or because in the subject
    Joerg> (contrary to the body) of the mail 'has no influence'
    Joerg> is used instead of `seems to have no influence'.

    Joerg> I really do think that if someone deems a certain
    Joerg> question really stupid, it would be wise simply to
    Joerg> keep 'radio silence' (i.e. ignore it), which probably
    Joerg> is the best corrective anyway. 

often the most sensible, but then the users don't know why the
silence is resounding...

    Joerg> the 'how dare you' responses are annoying, to say the least.

    Joerg> for heavens sake...

well.. I am (often) glad to help users who ask questions about
their problems, but sometimes *we* feel a bit annoyed by users
shouting (that's what "!" in a subject typically means) at the
public and denouncing misfunctioning of something we've put in
quite a bit of work.


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