[R] Suggestion for posting guide
maechler at stat.math.ethz.ch
Fri Aug 20 19:45:57 CEST 2004
>>>>> "Tony" == Tony Plate <tplate at blackmesacapital.com>
>>>>> on Fri, 20 Aug 2004 10:05:28 -0600 writes:
Tony> When I originally compiled the posting guide many
Tony> people felt that it should be kept as concise as
Tony> possible, so that its length would not discourage
Tony> people from reading it. (It probably ended up too
Tony> long anyway.) So I wouldn't really recommend adding a
Tony> section of this length too it.
Tony> That said, a question posted with a good example that
Tony> can be cut and pasted directly into R is far easier to
Tony> respond to, so it does seem like a good idea to help
Tony> people create such things. If someone (Gabor?) wanted
Tony> to create a page on how to provide good examples in
Tony> posts, the people who control what gets put on the
Tony> R-project site might be willing to put it up there,
Tony> and a link to it from the posting guide would seem
Tony> like a good idea.
Tony> Tony Plate
read on :
Tony> At Thursday 07:17 AM 8/19/2004, Gabor Grothendieck wrote:
>> I have a suggestion for the posting guide. One problem
>> with some posts is that they do not provide an example
>> that can be reproduced. I think that many people just do
>> not know how to easily specify some data and some
>> technical assistance should be provided in the posting
>> guide. If the problem depends on specific data they
>> should be made aware, in the posting guide, of:
Rereading the posting guide (which *really* is rather too long
already for beginners), I see that we already have an 'Examples:' section.
[Have you seen that, Gabor, and not found useful enough?]
And just below that, we say
PGuide> When providing examples, it is best to give an R command that
PGuide> constructs the data, as in the matrix() expression above. For
PGuide> more complicated data structures, dump("x", file=stdout())
PGuide> will print an expression that will recreate the object x.
I tend to think that
should probably be replaced with
even though they are not quite the same now (and even more
different in R-devel i.e. 2.0.0-to-be).
>> since that outputs object x as R code which can then be
>> easily copied from the post and pasted into a session.
(yes, but that's already in there!).
>> If its not dependent on particular data they can generate
>> patterned or random data IF THEY KNOW HOW but many might
>> find it easier to just use one of the included datasets
>> so some guidance should be provided on the contents of a
>> few of them, e.g.
>> R comes with built in data sets. data() will list them, data(iris) will
>> attach data set iris and ?iris, str(iris), summary(iris), head(iris)
>> and dput(iris) will give more information on iris (after attaching it).
>> The following are a few of the datasets that come with R:
>> iris - data frame with 4 numeric columns and one 3 level factor
>> nhtemp - a ts class time series
>> faithful - data frame with two numeric columns
>> warpbreaks - data with a numeric column, a 2-level factor & a 3-level
>> Also letters, LETTERS, month.abb and month.name are built
>> in character vectors that do not require a data statement
>> to access.
Thank you for the suggestions, Gabor.
If you have proposals for improvement, I'd mostly appreciate to
get a "diff -u" output from the current and your modified
posting-guide.html files --
probably only sent to Tony Plate and me (unless other people
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