[R] GUI's for teaching

Emmanuel Paradis paradis at isem.univ-montp2.fr
Thu Jun 27 22:39:28 CEST 2002

At 14:47 26/06/02 -0700, Marc Feldesman wrote:
>Beginners I've taught seem to have more difficulty figuring out which 
>function(s) to use to accomplish a particular task than actually figuring 
>out how to use R (or S-Plus) from the command line.  They also have 
>difficulty remembering the arguments to specific functions once they figure 
>out which ones to use.  The first problem might be resolved by a more fully 
>cross-referenced help system (the help system is great for experienced 
>users, but hard if you don't actually know the name of the function you're 
>looking for).  The second problem might be aided by adding code-completion 
>to the UI - something ESS already does for many packages and libraries.

Yes, that is why I insisted more on R's help system in the last version of
"R for beginners". (BTW, a revised English version is now available on my
home page, see link below, comments are welcome of course, I will send it
soon to CRAN). I think how to use the help system is one of the few things
that are good to know before starting. A nice way to learn R may be to run
it and browse the help in html format: the "See Also"-section has
hyperlinks from one help page to the others. I believe the help pages have
all what people would like to see in a GUI.

Emmanuel Paradis

>I think if these two areas could be addressed, beginners might be less 
>daunted by R/S learning curve.
>My $0.01 (US).
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