[R-sig-ME] [R] lme nesting/interaction advice

Nathaniel Smith njs at pobox.com
Wed May 14 10:19:54 CEST 2008

On Wed, May 14, 2008 at 09:28:18AM +0200, Reinhold Kliegl wrote:
> >  The pdfs that come with the package are, alas, basically useless
> >  (unless you want to fix bugs in lme4).  The best user docs I'm aware
> >  of are the short article in the May 2005 R newsletter, and the
> >  papers/book draft written by Harold Baayen et al and available from
> >  his webpage.
> I do not think it is very nice to characterize work as ", alas,
> basically useless (unless you want to fix bugs in lme4)."  There are
> many other good uses to them, at least I have not fixed a single bug.
> Why the pejorative language--especially on this list?

I should perhaps clarify that I was thinking mainly of the lme4
vignettes, which are explicitly targeted at implementors.  (If you
have used them for other purposes, then I'd honestly love to know
what.)  I see on CRAN that the help pages are also available as a PDF,
and the help pages are definitely valuable to end-users as a
reference, but... they don't even document how to write an lmer
formula.  Obviously this will be fixed sooner or later when someone
has the time, and fortunately we have the other documents mentioned
above (also mostly authored or co-authored by Doug) to cover the gap
until then -- but for now they're not trivial to find.

My intention wasn't to be pejorative, but simply to provide clear and
honest information about which documentation was currently useful for
which purposes.  But I do apologize if my flippant way of doing that
offended anyone.

-- Nathaniel

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