[R-wiki] [R] Packages - a great resource, but hard to find the right one
maechler at stat.math.ethz.ch
Fri Nov 23 15:09:52 CET 2007
>>>>> "JH" == Johannes Huesing <johannes at huesing.name>
>>>>> on Thu, 22 Nov 2007 22:14:57 +0100 writes:
JH> Antony Unwin <unwin at math.uni-augsburg.de> [Thu, Nov 22,
JH> 2007 at 12:43:07PM CET]:
>> There have been several constructive responses to John
>> Sorkin's comment, but none of them are fully
>> satisfactory. Of course, if you know the name of the
>> function you are looking for, there are lots of ways to
>> search ? provided that everyone calls the function by a
>> name that matches your search.
JH> I follow the suggestion to Google (mostly restricted by
JH> site:cran.r-project.org) which gets me quite far.
>> If you think there might be a function, but you don't
>> know the name, then you have to be lucky in how you
>> search. R is a language and the suggestions so far seem
>> to me like dictionary suggestions, whereas maybe what
>> John is looking for is something more like a thesarus.
JH> This is hard to do in a collaborative effort. One
JH> analogue is the HOWTOs vs the man pages which I see in
JH> Linux. Some of the HOWTOs are outstanding, the only
JH> problem they are facing is that they tend to be out of
>> R packages are a strange collection, as befits a growing
>> language. There are large packages, small packages, good
>> packages (and not so good packages), personal mixtures of
>> tools in packages, packages to accompany books,
>> superceded packages, unusual packages, everything. Above
>> all there are lots of packages. As the software editor
>> of the Journal of Statistical Software I suggested we
>> should review R packages.
JH> You mean: prior to submission?
>> No one has shown any enthusiasm for this suggestion, but
>> I think it would help. Any volunteers?
JH> I am still putting some hope into the R Wiki. To my
JH> dismay it is also package oriented,
JH> not method-oriented.
I don't think this is true; at least it's not at all intended.
I'll *exceptionally* am crossposting this to the R-Wiki Special
JH> I tend to think that there is a chance
JH> of controlled documentation if somebody set out an
JH> infrastructure going beyond the current one. Anything
JH> like a classification of methods.
JH> Thing is, I may like to volunteer, but not in the
JH> "here's a package for you to review by week 32"
JH> way. Rather in the way that I search a package which
JH> fits my problem. One package lets me down and I'd like
JH> to know other users and the maintainer about it. The
JH> other one works black magic and I'd like to drop a
JH> raving review about it. This needs an infrastructure
JH> with a low barrier to entry. A wiki is not the worst
JH> idea if the initial infrastructure is geared at
JH> addressing problems rather than packages.
JH> -- Johannes Hüsing
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