[R] Problems in Recommending R

Warren Young warren at etr-usa.com
Tue Feb 3 16:29:25 CET 2009

Neil Shephard wrote:
> Perhaps this is a deliberate design and serves as an "intelligence" test. 
> If you can't navigate through to find the correct download you're really
> going to struggle getting started with R ;-D

Yyeahhh...look how much that sort of stance has helped the cause of 
Linux on the desktop.  World domination has been a year or two away for 
the last 10 years.  (Speaking as one who uses Linux every day, and used 
it as his main desktop at home for many years before switching to OS X.)

It's easy to pick apart the 6-step process posted above point by point, 
but the main thing to realize is that there really is no good technical 
reason why there have to be 6 decision points between arriving at the 
home page and getting an installable package.

Take a look at how, say, getfirefox.com works.  The download button is 
the biggest thing on the home page, impossible to miss.  The site 
detects what platform you're on, and sets up the button to download that 
platform's latest version.  No doubt they're using a CDN or mirror 
system on the back end, but detection of geographical location is done 
automatically based on client IP, not bothering the user.

I think that's the earlier poster's main point: this can be a one-click 
process.  Why make the human tell the computer things it already knows?

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