[Rd] [R] Semantics of sequences in R

Wacek Kusnierczyk Waclaw.Marcin.Kusnierczyk at idi.ntnu.no
Wed Feb 25 10:39:06 CET 2009

Berwin A Turlach wrote:


>>>> on the other hand, i have seen quite a few responses that were
>>>> bashing a user for reporting a non-existent bug or submitting an
>>>> annoying patch.
>>> In didactic terms those are "negative motivations/reinforcements";
>>> opinion differ on how effective they are to reach certain learning
>>> outcomes.   
>> ah, so what's the difference between the way i pinpoint design flaws
>> and the way r gurus respond to people, so that i am running with a
>> chip on my shoulder, and they are being 'negatively
>> motivating/reinforcing' in didactic terms?  [...]
> Your goal is, presumably, that you want to have the design flaws
> fixed/discussed/&c.  The goal of the R gurus is to avoid having to
> waste their time on unproductive issues because people do not read
> documentation/behave contrary to how they are asked to behave/&c.
> To reach your goal, the controversial approach is counter productive.
> To reach their goal, the controversial approach can be quite effective.

berwin, i have an additional reflection which i'd like to share with
thee.  glad to see thy opinion.

there certainly is a difference between the r gurus who develop and
maintain an impressive software system, and the average user who has
limited understanding of both the internals and the interface.  but this
difference is in the amount of knowledge about this specific product; 
in interpersonal communication, the developers and the users are
essentially *peers*. 

offline, i have been told that some of the r gurus can be equally
arrogant (read: negatively motivating/reinforcing) to other developers
as they are to users;  but why should a user care, especially that there
is no hierarchical dependence between the developers and the users,
while there may be between the developers?  (which would still not
justify arrogance, but some bosses just cannot let it be.)

when you seem to sanction and support the rudeness with which some r
gurus tend to respond to certain posts, and which is clearly documented
in a number of fortunes, you have no point in objecting to how certain
users write to you.  irrespectively of your achievements with r, you are
due to all users the same respect you expect to be treated with.  to
paraphrase from duncan's, you cannot demand anything from the users, and
if you expect them to be kind, be kind too.  or live with it.


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