[R] Problems in Recommending R

Neil Shephard nshephard at gmail.com
Tue Feb 3 17:43:50 CET 2009

Warren Young wrote:
> Yyeahhh...look how much that sort of stance has helped the cause of 
> Linux on the desktop.  World domination has been a year or two away for 
> the last 10 years.  (Speaking as one who uses Linux every day, and used 
> it as his main desktop at home for many years before switching to OS X.)

Linux on the desktop is more likely a goal of Ubuntu.  The main aims of
http://www.kernel.org/ is simply to support the hardware in an open manner. 
GNU was to develop a UNIX-like standards compliant operating system, not
sure getting that onto the desktop of every computer was an aim.

Anyway this is a tangent and mostly irrelevant.

Warren Young wrote:
> I think that's the earlier poster's main point: this can be a one-click 
> process.  Why make the human tell the computer things it already knows?

Because sometimes the human has a better idea as to what they want than the

Example - I've found it infuriating when I've wanted to download browser
source code (as the distro I use compiles from source) for firefox and only
been presented with pre-compiled binaries (if I'm browsing at home) or
windows versions (if I'm at work), then wasting more time trying to find FTP
mirrors where the most recent source tar-balls are available, and as I
remember that took far longer than being able to choose what OS and version
I wanted from a series of clearly written pages.

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