[R] better questions

Thomas Lumley tlumley at u.washington.edu
Tue Nov 12 16:34:12 CET 2002

On Tue, 12 Nov 2002, Grathwohl,Dominik,LAUSANNE,NRC/NT wrote:
> I would like to thank the experts for the fast and fruitful advises
> concerning my posted problem. Some would like to know
> where contr.SAS comes from. It is part of the NLME library
> and it could be found in the SASmixed library.
> However, I think it's not crucial where it comes from
> to present my problem.

I don't want particularly to single out this question, but it illustrates
a general point that might be helpful to other people on the list.

The reason that we want to know the location of contr.SAS is to be able to
see what it does.  Except for very simple questions like "What this the
name of the help command?" most of us need to try an example to work out
the answer.

This is particularly important for bug reports -- a bug report that is
reproducible is usually easy to track down and fix, one that isn't
reproducible is almost always hard to fix.   There's a very nice article
about this at

Sometimes it isn't possible for us to try an example related to your
question -- it might require your data or your computer or  your large and
complicated files or something -- but if we can, it sure helps.


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