[R] French IRC channel and mailing list ?

Julien Barnier julien at nozav.org
Wed Dec 10 00:35:13 CET 2008

Hi Baptiste,

> 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.

In my opinion, the creation of a french R support mailing list was not
an attempt to make a second R-help in another language. Like you, I
think that such an attempt would fail for the same reasons you
detailed in your mail.

I think that the lack of native language support is mostly a problem
for beginners who need to have access to help easily. In general they
don't really need to talk to highly skilled users or R core
developpers, but just to people with a bit of experience who can help
them to execute quite simple tasks such as data import, data
manipulation, graphics customization, etc. That's the feeling I've got
from the questions I see in #R on freenode.

So maybe a «localized» support mailing list would target a different
public, whereas R-help would stay the reference list for more complex

Thanks for sharing your thoughts,



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