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How not to ask a question on R-help

One great way to get help with R is by asking a question on the r-help mailing list. More often than not I have actually figured out the answer simply by typing up the question, because that made me think more clearly about what the problem really was. The people on the list are exceedingly helpful. Not all of the posters are. I’ll now start collecting some fun examples of threads which might be called “How not to ask a quesiton on R-help”. Here is the first one. Nice quote from Greg Snow:

If you show us your data/code/output as has been requested, then we may be able to tell which it is. Without that information you are expecting either R or the members of the list to read your mind. I keep making notes to my future self to use the timetravel package (not written yet, that’s why I need my future self to use it) to send a copy of the esp package (also not written yet) back in time to me so I can use it for situations like this. But so far that has not worked (maybe my future self is even more lazy than my present self, or my near future self does something to offend my far future self enough that he is unwilling to do this small favor for my current past self, darn, either way means I should probably do better on the diet/exercise).

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