[R] Time for Usenet R Group?

Marc R. Feldesman feldesmanm at pdx.edu
Fri May 30 17:00:32 CEST 2003

At 07:17 AM 5/30/2003, Mike Prager wrote:
 >I probably shouldn't suggest this, because I can't volunteer to implement
 >it.  However, I bring it up in the hopes that if (1) others agree and (2)
 >the R core group think it a good idea that a suitable volunteer will come
 >I am finding that the flood of R email messages is becoming difficult to
 >deal with, even using filters, etc., in my email client.  Would we be
 >better served by establishing a Usenet newsgroup?  Would that be practical
 >or impractical?  Would it create problems for the maintainers of R?

I agree with you on the "flood" of messages lately.  Often this flood 
accompanies a new release, but this flood has continued unabated for longer 
than I would have imagined.  The good news is that R is becoming more 
popular and this (hopefully) attracts more developers, which results in 
more libraries, etc.  The bad news is that with more users come more questions.

The problem I see with a Usenet group is that unless it is moderated, the 
ratio of noise to signal is quite high and flame wars erupt, spam bots 
scour for new email addresses to plague and the war merely 
escalates.  There are two problems with moderation:  1) someone has to 
moderate the group; 2) someone has to inform users of inappropriate posts - 
maybe; and 3) the message delay would be intolerable to those accustomed to 
the near instant feedback we are privileged to get with the superb list we 
have now.  One alternative to a Usenet newsgroup would be something along 
the lines of SourceForge's discussion boards.  At least this requires the 
project to be registered and the group be accessible via a web-interface.

Personally, I don't find it a huge burden to go through and filter messages 
by topics that interest me at the moment.  I move all the other R related 
posts to my own archive and, if I need something not personally archived, I 
have other sources to get them from.

Have you considered getting the messages in digest form?

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