[R] Input appreciated: R teaching idea + a way to improve R-

Philippe Grosjean phgrosjean at sciviews.org
Tue Oct 23 19:23:46 CEST 2007

Well... you want comments... It's rigid, and complex. The Wiki is much 
more flexible and flexibility is a quality sometimes. At least, I 
haven't received much complains about the way pages can be 
written/edited in the R Wiki (but I received a couple of complains on 
the way these pages are presented and organized). So, I consider the 
fully flexible approach of the Wiki is fine, or people don't provide 
enough feedback!


(Ted Harding) wrote:
> On 23-Oct-07 16:11:12, Tony Plate wrote:
>> [...]
>> Is there any way on the R-Wiki for people to quickly and easily add an 
>> annotation indicating that they believe some particular advice is poor 
>> practice?  Ideally, these annotations would be easily searchable  so 
>> that other users could find and fix or respond to them.
>> -- Tony Plate
> I think the ideal medium for this kind of thing (and in my opinion
> it can -- and in the future will -- expand to the general domain
> of on-line publication) is on the following lines.
> A. Someone puts up a document. This is "owned" by its author
> and cannot be changed by anyone else. (There is also an argument
> for stipulating that on such a medium the author cannot change
> it either--the "back-trace" could be meaningful and important).
> B. There is one exception to (A). Anyone can "mark" a place in the
> document with a link to another contribution (which might be a
> further contribution, a comment, a correction, a link to something
> else altogether, ... ). All such links can also be followed in the
> reverse direction.
> C. Rules (A) and (B) appliy to all documents in the hierarchy.
> D. At some stage, the original author or anyone else can "wrap up"
> what has happened so far by creating a new "root" document. The
> previous version can be archived.
> E. There is a case for plain-text file format where the content
> can be expressed in words. More generally, though (and, of course,
> especially for content which includes graphics or mathematics),
> a generally-readable file format with the necessary capacilities
> should be used. This seems to me to imply PDF (and exclude such
> proprietary formats as Word or Excel, and unfortunately even PS
> which is not universally readable). Where data need to be included,
> this whould be possible using CSV files.
> Having said all that, I'm wondering what web format and software
> can conveniently implement such a structure. I have very little
> experience with Wikis (apart from reading them from time to time),
> so I don't really know how well a Wiki would lend itself to this.
> There are some other considerations which would be at least
> desirable.
> F. Searchability.
> G. A user should be able to bring up a tree representation,
> using edges to link nodes which, when clicked/hovered on,
> would pop up a box giving a brief descrption of what the
> link is about; and the user should be able to drop ("prune")
> branches which are not of interest in order to simplify the
> task.
> I'd be very interested to see commments on these thoughts!
> Best wishes to all,
> Ted.
> --------------------------------------------------------------------
> E-Mail: (Ted Harding) <Ted.Harding at manchester.ac.uk>
> Fax-to-email: +44 (0)870 094 0861
> Date: 23-Oct-07                                       Time: 18:11:17
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