[R] 25th anniversary of R-help & new rules for the list

John Fox j|ox @end|ng |rom mcm@@ter@c@
Fri Apr 1 17:16:18 CEST 2022

Dear R-help list members,

The first message to the R-help email list was posted by Ross Ihaka 25 
years ago, on April 1, 1997!

On this 25th anniversary of R-help, the official description of the list 
and the rules for posting to it have been modified. The general object 
of these changes is to broaden the topics that are legitimately 
discussed on the R-help list, partly to reflect how the list actually is 

The description of the list at <https://www.r-project.org/mail.html> now 

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The ‘main’ R mailing list, for discussion about problems and solutions 
encountered using R, including using R packages in the standard R 
distribution and on CRAN; announcements (not covered by R-announce or 
R-packages); the availability of new functionality for R and 
documentation of R; and for posting nice examples and benchmarks.

This is quite an active list with many messages per day. An alternative 
is to subscribe and choose daily digests (in plain or MIME format). Use 
the web interface for information, subscription, archives, etc.

Please read the posting guide before sending a message to the list. In 
particular, if asking for help with a problem, it is important to be 
clear and concrete, and it is almost always advisable to send a minimal 
reproducible example of the problem.

There are many more specific R email lists (see below under ‘Special 
Interest Groups’). If a problem is appropriate for one of the more 
specific lists, you are usually more likely to get help by posting to 
the more specific list. For example, a problem specific to R under macOS 
should normally be posted to the R-SIG-Mac list, and a problem 
concerning R software for mixed-effects models should normally be posted 
to the R-SIG-mixed-models list.

R-help is not intended for help with homework or basic-statistics questions.

Bugs in contributed CRAN packages should normally be reported directly 
to the package maintainer (enter the command 
maintainer("package-name")). You may also be able to obtain help with a 
problem from the package maintainer.

Help with R problems is available from a number of sources beyond the R 
email lists. See under ‘Help’ at the R home page.

------------ snip --------------

We have also modified the brief description of the R-help list in the 
posting guide at <https://www.r-project.org/posting-guide.html> and 
(eventually) in the R FAQ.

John Fox

For the R Foundation
John Fox, Professor Emeritus
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontarion, Canada
web: https://socialsciences.mcmaster.ca/jfox/

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