[R] creating an equivalent of r-help on r.stackexchange.com ? (was: Re: Should there be an R-beginners list?)

Liviu Andronic landronimirc at gmail.com
Wed Feb 5 07:32:44 CET 2014

Dear all,

On Sun, Feb 2, 2014 at 10:49 PM, Liviu Andronic <landronimirc at gmail.com> wrote:
> It seems that StackOverflow is officially proposing user-generated
> content for download/mirroring:
> http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2014/01/stack-exchange-cc-data-now-hosted-by-the-internet-archive/?cb=1
> "All community-contributed content on Stack Exchange is licensed under
> the Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0 license. " And it is currently being
> mirrored at least at the Internet Archive:
> https://archive.org/details/stackexchange
> So, in principle, it would be possible/desirable to:
> - spin the 'r' tag from StackOverflow and propose an r.stackexchange.com at
> http://area51.stackexchange.com/categories/8/technology . Such a SE
> site would be similar to http://mathematica.stackexchange.com/
As Duncan suggested earlier, tying R Core to StackExchange may or may
not be a good idea as it would make it somewhat dependent on external
corporate interests. (Personally I see both advantages and

So in the end my proposal is not necessarily for r-help to go to SE,
but more for R to have its own Q&A forum/wiki for helping R users.
This could perfectly take the form of setting up its own open-source
https://github.com/ialbert/biostar-central Q&A interface (a SE-like
web interface) on R Core's servers. In this case the website would
look like the following: http://www.biostars.org/ .


> - involve R Core to give blessing for using the R logo, if necessary.
> This would be similar to what Ubuntu does with AskUbuntu:
> http://meta.askubuntu.com/questions/5444/is-ask-ubuntu-official-ubuntu
> - set a mirror on r-project.org for all the user content that is
> produced by r.stackexchange.com , and thus allow R Core to keep the
> info publicly available at all times. The mirroring on Internet
> Archive would still hold.
>> 2.  I think an interface like StackOverflow is better than the mailing list
>> interface, and will eventually win out.  R-help needs to do nothing, once
>> someone puts together something like StackOverflow that attracts most of the
>> people who give good answers, R-help will just fade away.
> The advantages for such a move are countless (especially wrt to
> efficiently organizing R-related knowledge and directing users to
> appropriate sources of info), so I won't go into that. I would only
> note that most 'r-sig-*' MLs would become obsolete in such a setup,
> and would be replaced by the much more efficient tagging system of the
> SE Q&A web interface (for example, all posts appropriate for r-sig-gui
> would simply be tagged with 'gui'; no need for duplicated efforts of
> monitoring multiple mailing lists).
> Opinions?
> Liviu
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