R questions on StackOverflow

R is notoriously hard to learn, but there was just an effort [1] [2] to populate the programming question-and-answer website StackOverflow with content for the R language.

Amusingly, one of the most useful intro questions is: How to search for “R” materials?

Mike Driscoll (who organized an in-person conference event to get this bootstrapped) pointed out that in many ways StackOverflow is a nicer forum for help than a mailing list.  (i.e. the impressive but hard-to-approach R-help.)  It’s more organized, easier to browse, and repetition and wrong answers can get downvoted.  (And more thoughts from John Cook.)

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5 Responses to R questions on StackOverflow

  1. kabbalistic says:

    Very amusing opinion

  2. Hi Brendan, your readers might like to know that there is another R flashmob today (Tues, Sept 8, 2009)


  3. Monica says:


    I am a beginner in R and microarrays. I am making the pre-analyses of my results and I would like to make the “Background correction” of the signals. For this process I need a RGList that reads the “Nimblegen Intensity Text Files”, however, I received just the .xys format and the .ngd, .ndf, ncd, and .pos files.

    1. I have read that Background correction is a very important step before normalization, for Nemblegen there is a exception?
    2. How can I ask for the “Nimblegen Intensity Text Files” (in the core facility they say that they do not know this files) or even to crete them?
    3. There is another way to correct the background?



  4. Hi Monica, I don’t know the answer to your question, or anything about microarrays. You should ask in a better forum where you might find someone who can help — for example, StackOverflow or CrossValidated or something.