Wayback and related questions (was: RE: I have corrected a dead link ...)

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Wayback and related questions (was: RE: I have corrected a dead link ...)

S Ellison-2
Appreciated that this is something of a 'private discussion in the open', but the issues here seem to be relevant to almost any website cited as a reference. As such, package authors may find themselves falling foul of some policy we haven't heard of.
So ...
> There may be one small problem:  IIUC, the wayback machine is a
> +- private endeavor and really great and phantastic but it does
> need (US? tax deductible) donations, https://archive.org/donate/, to
> continue thriving.
> This makes me hesitate a bit to link to it within the "base R"
> documentation.

Why, exactly? The donors have paid for the site to be available with minimal restrictions precisely so that people can use it. Were there terms of use that prevent you?

Also, on GitHub's GNU ethical repository rating...
I _can_ see it as reasonable for sites aspiring to be GNU projects to subscribe to the principles Stallman aspires to; but I cannot see it as sensible for them to refuse to reference sites that do not wish to make the same claims. If the R project cannot use or reference any site that uses non-open code, including minified javascript - which appears to be the principle issue for GitHub - I suspect that you will be obliged to discontinue links to almost every journal, university, charity, government and research establishment site currently in existence as soon as GNU get round to assessing them.  I personally have great difficulty seeing that as sensible.

But that's a personal opinion. If these really are serious issues, somebody needs to work up a consistent policy for R projects; otherwise we'll all be walking on eggshells.

S Ellison


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Re: Wayback and related questions (was: RE: I have corrected a dead link ...)

Thomas Levine-4
> If the R project cannot use or reference any site that uses non-open
> code, including minified javascript - which appears to be the
> principle issue for GitHub - I suspect that you will be obliged to
> discontinue links to almost every journal, university, charity,
> government and research establishment site currently in existence as
> soon as GNU get round to assessing them.  I personally have great
> difficulty seeing that as sensible.

The policy that you suggest would indeed be completely stupid.
Fortunately, a reasonable policy that vaguely matches the current
practices is likely to affect hardly any documentation files.

I don't have a strong opinion as to whether publishing characteristics
of references should be a consideration during the composition of R
documentation files, and I trust the R developers to decide well.

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