[R] French IRC channel and mailing list ?

baptiste auguie ba208 at exeter.ac.uk
Tue Dec 9 19:54:56 CET 2008

A few personal thoughts on this:

I recently joined a newly created R user group on google < http://groups.google.co.uk/group/gur-ugr 
  > that started with a similar impulse.

In my personal opinion, I see little overall benefit from such an  
approach. For one thing, a major strength of the R mailing list is the  
large number of very knowledgeable persons. A mailing list with only a  
few 10s of users will never provide as good a support as you can find  
in the main list. The advice you get could very easily be biased or  
even plain wrong without much of a peer-review, so to say. Another  
thing to consider is whether people who can help and understand french  
actually want to answer a question in french, thereby limiting their  
advice to a much narrower audience (people facing a similar problem  
subsequently may be unable to get help from an answer in this  
language). Perhaps even more likely is the opposite situation where  
the question has been solved many times in the main mailing list: it  
can be quite tempting to just send the link and say, "well, here is  
the solution, let me know what you don't understand" rather than doing  
a translator's job. Solving an R problem and translating somebody's  
text have very unequal appeal.

I don't know what the exact policy is for this mailing list (a search  
for "english" in the posting guide didn't return anything). Perhaps it  
is OK to send the occasional question in french, or "franglais". I  
know I don't mind seeing a few of these and answering them if I can,  
while I would not join a new list for the reasons stated above. This  
would have the advantage of keeping the knowledge together. Maybe a  
special tag could be used so that people not interested can filter out  
all questions posted in non-english languages.

Best wishes,


On 8 Dec 2008, at 21:10, Julien Barnier wrote:

> Dear all,
> For some time now, R is becomming more and more popular in more and
> more countries. France is for sure one of them, but french people
> being french one of the obstacle they might tackle is the lack of
> documentation and support in their native language.
> To offer this support in french an IRC channel (#Rfr on
> irc.freenode.net) was created some months ago, beside the official
> english channel #R. We (me (~juba) and Pierre-Yves Chibon (~pingou))
> have to recognize that it has a very low activity right now but it's
> related to our lack of promotion about it.
> Another tool that could be useful to bring support in french (and
> other languages) would be dedicated mailing-lists. I've searched the
> archives to see if similar requests have already been made but
> couldn't manage to find one. So I would like to ask here the question,
> has there been any thought on the creation of dedicated R-help
> mailing-lists for the major languages such as Spanish, French, Chinese
> and others ?
> We had some thought about it and we actually think that it would be
> something useful for users to be able to receive some help (especially
> when their english is not really fluent).
> Thanks in advance for your answers,
> Sincerely,
> Pierre-Yves Chibon
> Julien Barnier
> ______________________________________________
> R-help at r-project.org mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.


Baptiste Auguié

School of Physics
University of Exeter
Stocker Road,
Exeter, Devon,

Phone: +44 1392 264187


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