Summary of mails concerning R help system

Peter Dalgaard BSA
29 Jan 1998 13:59:16 +0100

Friedrich Leisch <> writes:

> 4) Rdconv -t rtf  to support the windoze help format ... I definetely
> don't have time or any motivation to do that, so if somebody wants to
> do that, he's welcome.

Actually, you are probably the one best *capable* of doing it, but
obviously someone needs to dig out the relevant instructions for what
is supposed to translate to what, and how to get and apply the help
compiler. I snooped around at some point and found some pointers, but
of course I didn't do it systematically in any way. There are, btw,
also (commercial) HTML to WinHelp converters, which I suppose we could
get someone to pay for a copy of.

> 5) That's actually a wish/suggestion from me: Maybe somebody wants to
> help the R project but doesn't know too much about writing code
> So if you think you could write two or three pages on how to use R ...
.. I'll send you a lollipop. These things tend to expand!   

The first ca. 10 pages of my course notes might actually form the
basis of a "tutorial round trip" for zero-knowledge users, once I get
them translated from Danish. 

I've done a little of that already, but right now, my priorities are
on revising the Danish version before my students need them (due to
<mumble>, they have to learn ANOVA before linear regression this time,
which is a fairly innocent change at the theoretical level, but
implies quite some perturbation at the software level)

One thing we need to be aware of is that there are several types of
users at several skill levels, and that the help system should be
useful for all of them. In particular, we have practitioners (some of
which are not statistical professionals), and academics/programmers.
These - or even the same person in different modes - will be looking
for very different things. Also one should know that a good
introduction is meant to be read exactly once, nothing is more
annoying than when the author has put everything in one document and
you have to wade through pages of trivialities to find the one piece
of information you need.

   O__  ---- Peter Dalgaard             Blegdamsvej 3  
  c/ /'_ --- Dept. of Biostatistics     2200 Cph. N   
 (*) \(*) -- University of Copenhagen   Denmark      Ph: (+45) 35327918
~~~~~~~~~~ - (             FAX: (+45) 35327907

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