[Rd] [Rcpp-devel] GPL and R Community Policies (Rcpp)

Gabor Grothendieck ggrothendieck at gmail.com
Thu Dec 2 00:37:41 CET 2010

On Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 5:18 PM, Hadley Wickham <hadley at rice.edu> wrote:
>> Perhaps a wider community of R users can weigh in on a
>> policy decision that was implicitly deemed acceptable on this
>> thread. Namely, that it is fine to arbitrarily and
>> for no reason deprecate the contributions of past
>> authors, and as more progress is made, even more
>> disparaging remarks can be added.
> What is disparaging about saying "a small portion of the code is based
> on code written during 2005 and 2006 by Dominick Samperi"? I read this
> as a factual statement saying that the current version of Rcpp is
> based on, in a small way, your earlier work.
> For reference, a disparaging comment would be something like: "This
> package was based code written by Hadley Wickham that made my eyes
> bleed", or "The development of this package was driven by the godawful
> code that Hadley wrote".

Its very difficult to truly assess relative contributions when you mix
in design, coding, level of effort, promotion, etc.   I would not
focus on the single word "disparaging".  I think the poster simply
used the wrong word and perhaps what he meant was more along the lines
of: as the creator of the package he presumably set the design (or
significant elements of the design) for all subsequent work and in
that respect even if its true that the number of lines he generated is
relatively small compared to the current package, that phrase gives
the misleading impression that his contribution was also small.  There
is a difference between something that is true and non-misleading and
something that is true and misleading.

Statistics & Software Consulting
GKX Group, GKX Associates Inc.
tel: 1-877-GKX-GROUP
email: ggrothendieck at gmail.com

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