[R] opinion - sharing problem data and other stuff.

Sarah Goslee sarah.goslee at gmail.com
Wed Aug 13 23:50:16 CEST 2014

Hi John,

People do sometimes link to external data and code, though I'm not
sure I've seen any in that particular format.

But, two things to consider.

A. I'm lazy. If the problem is fully-formed in the email, I'm more
likely to try to solve it than if I have to go download something and
figure out what's in it. (Even leaving aside the potential issues with
downloading random things.)

B. A *small* reproducible example is usually a good thing. There are
not that many cases where the whole big dataset is necessary. Further,
the exercise of creating a small reproducible example is often enough
to solve the problem, without ever needed to bother R-help at all.

Granted, I'm also likely to skip posts to the list with enormous
dput() data dumps too. I'm a big fan of the "small" part.


On Wed, Aug 13, 2014 at 5:41 PM, John McKown
<john.archie.mckown at gmail.com> wrote:
> This is just a thought that has occurred to me. I don't know if it is
> an "Oh, WOW!" or an "Are you KIDDING?!?" type thought. So I thought
> I'd ask here.
> I use github for a few things. Nothing great, but maybe nice. Anyway,
> one feature of GitHub is the GIST feature. What I am used to github
> being for is a project consisting of many complete files. A gist can
> contain many files, but is really for a set of snippets. Such as code
> sequences. Or maybe the output from a dput().
> If I have a "big" problem where I think that having all the data and
> my attempted solutions available, I think it would be far kinder of me
> to put a _good_ synopsis of the problem here on the list. And a
> clickable URL to the gist I have created for the problem. That would
> decrease the bandwidth on the email server. And save space on it. And,
> lets face it, in many cases only a few people are going to really look
> at any given problem "in depth", so why have a huge email go out to
> the entire community?
> My idea may not be useful, I really am not sure. But my motive is
> trying to keep everybody's inbox from overflowing. And make it easier
> to supply really good data, but only to those who are interested.
> Thanks for any feedback.
Sarah Goslee

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