[R] Problems in Recommending R

Andrew Choens andy.choens at gmail.com
Thu Feb 12 16:56:33 CET 2009

I agree with those who would like to see the R-Project's site redone.
If/when it is redone, I think there should be more emphasis on providing
links / access to useful materials for new users. I find it interesting
that this discussion has been very focused on the technologies that
should be used, rather than on the content should be provided. Although
I think it is important to assess the relevant technologies that exist
and choose a framework that will work well with R, I think there should
also be some thought / discussion on the layout and content of any new

In that spirit, I would like to make a suggestion / request.

Currently, the website has a page dedicated to manuals:

This is a good page and the manuals are very very helpful. However,
there are a lot of good resources that are not (to the best of my
knowledge) listed on the r-project's site. A few examples would include:
        *  Quick-R - http://www.statmethods.net/ 
        *  The R Inferno - www.burns-stat.com/pages/Tutor/R_inferno.pdf
        *  Rseek.org

There are others, but these are the three that I have found to be _most_
useful to me as a relatively new R user. I believe any redesigned site
should really try to present more resources to new R users. Before I
learned about Rseek (on this list), I wasted epic amounts of time trying
to Google for R related information. Although it is possible to use
Google to answer R related questions, it's not as easy as search for how
to do something in perl or python.

I think a new r-project site should include a page / wiki focused on
informing new users about the myriad or resources that exist. This
certainly won't eliminate all of the repetitive questions on the list,
but I think it could help. I suggest a wiki format, because an open wiki
would enable the R community to update the information and provide links
to new resources as the become available and let the web-team focus on
improving and maintaining the site. Others may disagree with me
regarding an open wiki, but I want to keep my comment focused on the
idea of helping new users find useful material, and not get side tracked
in a discussion about wikis or other technologies. There are others here
far more knowledgeable about web-design than I am, I just know that
there could be more done to present information to new users.

That's my 10 cents.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.
        -- Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States

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