[R] Web based R-help not a list

P.B. Lecavalier p.barill at gmail.com
Fri Nov 11 06:29:47 CET 2011

On 11/10/2011 02:32 PM, Cem Girit wrote:
> Hello David,
>                  I am terribly sorry.  I could never imagine that my naive
> questions could offend an experienced  R-user such as you so much that he
> would publicly declare that he is no longer going to help me in the future!
> Wow; I did not know that using R-Help like this is a cult like activity.


I can assure you that your opinion is welcome here. I do not accept 
views like those expressed above of the kind "quit it, it's the way it 
works here". Open source software is, like the scientific process, about 
innovation and open-mindedness, not being held hostage by the past. If 
good ideas never met controversy, we would live in a perfect world.

Speaking of your suggestions, it sure would help to have more content in 
a posting, such as pictures or data files, but it might limit the 
portability of the messages: I am quite sure that in five years from now 
we will be able to access this text. Not so as for auxiliary content. 
Short-term gains in efficiency might come at the expense of the 
posting's useful life (i.e. those guys having the very same question as 
you do).

I really like the possibility of accessing this list from an email 
client, with the old "offline feel" once you downloaded the latest 
messages in your client, without all sorts of online bells and whistles, 
but I agree that it's an asset to have a web interface, for those who 
don't like "the good ol'way". I like the idea of having different ways 
to do the same things, and that's why I use R. I believe a good approach 
is like that of the openSUSE forums (just picking a familiar example), 
with a web interface and also an NNTP access, emulating a mailing list. 
I would love to have different topics or (for NNTP) different newsgroup 

It's up to the maintainers or interested contributers.

Philippe Baril Lecavalier

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