[R] On Reproducible Code

Jim Lemon jim at bitwrit.com.au
Fri Jul 27 11:21:36 CEST 2012

On 07/26/2012 01:50 AM, David L Carlson wrote:
> We often refer requesters to the Posting Guide and chide them for not
> reading it.
> I hesitate to sound too optimistic, but there might be some advantage in
> making the statement more prominent and adding a reproducible example using
> dput().
The reponses to some requests for help do seem to get a volley of the 
"reproducible code" answers. Some, such as:

I can't get the answer. PLEASE HELP!!!

probably deserve it, but others appear to emerge from the overheated 
brain of the frustrated noob. With a wonderfully informative name like 
"dput", it is rather challenging to guess that this function is the way 
to calm the affronted guru with an example of your problem. I am 
particularly amused by the phrase "reproducible code", which sounds 
perilously close to the definition of a virus. Perhaps the neglected 
little message at the bottom of each email (which seems to reproduce 
itself) might be easier for the uninitiated to understand if it read:

Please include the R code that is causing the problem _and_ enough data 
(see the "dput" function) for someone else to run the code and get the 
same problem.

I can remember when I didn't know that there was a "dput" function.


More information about the R-help mailing list