"`R notes' should be better"

Kurt Hornik Kurt.Hornik@ci.tuwien.ac.at
Sun, 15 Mar 1998 16:05:05 +0100 (CET)

>>>>> Thomas Lumley writes:

> On Fri, 13 Mar 1998, Martin Maechler wrote:
>> Maybe, the main point should be:
>> >>>>>> How are these notes used? <<<<
>> If ``most of the time: on paper'',	  I think I'd prefer latex to texinfo
>> If ``substantially: via Web browser'',  maybe texinfo is better.

> I think the notes should be intended primarily for paper.  There are
> things hypertext is good for, but reading large chunks of mathematical
> text isn't one of them (even on a 20 inch monitor). HTML/info would be
> useful for cut-and-paste and for when the printed copy is lost, stolen
> or strayed, but I'd much rather read from paper.

Actually, I am very much undecided on this.  Of course, we do have all
the help pages for on-line reading, but the question is whether they
contain everything one needs.  If someone wants to know what to do with
lists, for example, looking up the help page for list() and then perhaps
going through subscripting etc will be a little complicated.

Or, suppose someone eventually sat down and carefully explained what
expressions, names, ... are.  

To put it differently, the on-line thing I am looking for would NOT have
a lot of math in it.

As an aside, there is the additional issue that if someone writes R code
and quickly wants to look up the exact syntax of a function, it may be
great if one could do that without firing up R.

And yes, cut&paste would be great in a structured introduction.  But
this could also be in HTML obtained via latex2html/hyperlatex, so no
need for using Texinfo just for this purpose.

> I would be prepared to do some of the revision in June/July, in
> particular the model formula/frame/matrix stuff and glms, if it
> doesn't get done by someone else first.

Sounds great.

> How will we handle notes on packages? Terry Therneau has really good
> documentation for survival4, which we may be able to include somehow.

We could have a package `doc' subdirectory, and install its contents to
some place in the `doc' tree.

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