[R] Bug/problem reporting: Possible to modify posting guide FAQ?
rgentlem at fhcrc.org
Tue Aug 29 01:57:55 CEST 2006
I guess the question often comes down to whether it is a bug report,
or a question. If you know it is a bug, and have a complete and correct
example where the obviously incorrect behavior occurs and you are
positive that the problem is the package then sending it to the
maintainer is appropriate. When I get these I try to deal with them.
Real bug reports that go to the mailing list may be missed so in my
opinion it would be best to cc the maintainer and we will amend the FAQ
in that direction. If instead you are asking a question, of the form, is
this a bug, or why is this happening, then for BioC at least, it is
better to post directly to the list, as there are many folks who can
help and you are more likely to get an answer. When I get one of these
emails I always refer the person to the mailing lists. I see little
problem with being redirected by a maintainer to the mailing list if
they feel that the question is better asked there.
Bioconductor is different from R, clearly our mailing list has to be
more about the constituent packages, since we will direct questions
about R to the appropriate R mailing lists. R mailing lists tend to be
about R, so asking about a specific package there (among the 1000 or so)
often does not get you very far, but sometimes it does.
Steven McKinney wrote:
> If users post a bug or problem issue to an R-based news group
> (R-devel, R-help, BioC - though BioC is far more forgiving)
> they get yelled at for not reading the posting guide
> and FAQ.
> "Please *_do_* read the FAQ, the posting guide, ..."
> the yellers do say. So I read the BioC FAQ and it says...
> "Bug reports on packages should perhaps be sent to the
> package maintainer rather than to r-bugs."
> So I send email to a maintainer, who I believe rightly points out
> "best to send this kind of questions to the bioc mailing list, rather
> than to myself privately, because other people might (a) also have
> answers or (b) benefit from the questions & answers."
> Could the FAQ possibly be revised to some sensible combination
> that generates less finger pointing, such as
> "Bug reports on packages should be sent to the Bioconductor mailing list,
> and sent or copied to the package maintainer, rather than to r-bugs."
> "Bug reports on packages should be sent to the package maintainer,
> and copied to the Bioconductor mailing list, rather than to r-bugs."
> Could the posting guides to R-help and R-devel do something
> Sign me
> <Tired of all the finger pointing>
> "If the question relates to a contributed package , e.g., one downloaded
> from CRAN, try contacting the package maintainer first. You can also
> use find("functionname") and packageDescription("packagename") to
> find this information. Only send such questions to R-help or R-devel if
> you get no reply or need further assistance. This applies to both
> requests for help and to bug reports."
> How about
> If the question relates to a contributed package , e.g., one downloaded
> from CRAN, email the list and be sure to additionally send to or copy to
> the package maintainer as well. You can use find("functionname")
> and packageDescription("packagename") to find this information.
> Only send such questions to one of R-help or R-devel. This applies to both
> requests for help and to bug reports.
> R-help at stat.math.ethz.ch mailing list
> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
Robert Gentleman, PhD
Program in Computational Biology
Division of Public Health Sciences
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
1100 Fairview Ave. N, M2-B876
PO Box 19024
Seattle, Washington 98109-1024
rgentlem at fhcrc.org
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