[Rd] R-devel and not R-help (was 'using "= matrix (...)" in .C calls')

Martin Maechler maechler at stat.math.ethz.ch
Fri Jun 18 10:17:18 CEST 2004

>>>>> "PD" == Peter Dalgaard <p.dalgaard at biostat.ku.dk>
>>>>>     on 17 Jun 2004 18:50:25 +0200 writes:

    PD> Tony Plate <tplate at blackmesacapital.com> writes:
    >> Also, this type of basic question is more appropriate for
    >> R-help, not R-devel.

    PD> Hmm. No. 

    PD> (1) This list is for developers, and they can be beginners too. On
    PD> r-help we cannot even assume that people know that C is a
    PD> programming language.

yes, yes, yes!
In general, I believe people should shift more topics from
R-help to R-devel, rather than the other way around.  Indeed,
lately we have been seeing too many things on R-help that should
have gone to R-devel instead.

A very good example being the thread started by Vadim Ogranovich
with subject "mkChar can be interrupted" (on Mon, 14 Jun 2004).
That has been utterly non-intelligible for probably more than
90% of the readers of R-help, and it may even have been the reason of
several "unsubscribe"rs (from R-help) that I as list maintainer
had seen happening +- subsequently.

I'd say, informed questions should go to R-devel in many cases
where .C() is involved and certainly in all cases where .Call()
is used.  Even though we (R core) would like to promote the use
of .Call() as much as possible, for most R users, programming in
C (or C++, Java, Fortran) is a big step, and learning to use
SEXP's is a much bigger step most (unfortunately) never take.

BTW: I'm glad for well formulated suggestions along the lines
     above to be added to http://www.r-project.org/mail.html
     and/or the posting guide

Martin Maechler

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