[R] Input appreciated: R teaching idea + a way to improve R-
mckellercran at gmail.com
Tue Oct 23 19:34:06 CEST 2007
I think what Ted is getting at is a new kind of wiki. Maybe in the
short term (unless someone out there is willing to jump in and put
this sort of thing together), it isn't practical, but as a concept, I
found it quite appealing. The problem with learning from books is that
you don't get to see the evolution of an idea... you only get the
final product. But in learning, it is almost as important to see how
*not* to do it as to see *how* to do it.
In a way, I think this is why this list-serve continues to be so
popular - you see lots of ways *not* to do something and replies about
better ways to do it. The problem with the list-serve is, of course,
that people get frustrated with the same old questions cropping up
again and again. And for people with questions, the lack of
organization and varying quality/quantity of responses can make it
difficult to learn from the list-serve. I think Ted's idea is actually
a really good compromise. But until it takes off, I think the current
wiki needs lots of work, and will serve a very good purpose if only
the community would spend more time on it... Just my 2 cents...
On 10/23/07, Philippe Grosjean <phgrosjean at sciviews.org> wrote:
> 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
> > ------------------------------ XFMail ------------------------------
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Matthew C Keller
Asst. Professor of Psychology
University of Colorado at Boulder
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