Wishlist - Give R a name that shows up in search engines...

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Wishlist - Give R a name that shows up in search engines...

Tim Brown-6
Hi everyone,

I know this is a long shot but I just wanted to throw it out
there.  I have lately been using R a lot and have found that it is
basically impossible to find any code help or answers via google
searching because the name "R" is simply not explicit enough. For
every other popular program or programming language a simple search
with the name of the program and your problem brings up something
pretty close to the answer, its usually just a matter of phrasing it
so the results you are looking come up in your search (e.g. "find
length of array, Matlab").  Try a similar web search for R and you
will learn nothing -- Why? because the letter "R" is on almost every
web page on the planet.

I'm not just whining here, I think this is a really serious problem.
On the web, "findability" is perhaps the single most important
feature of any product or program. The unique beauty of the Web
anyone who solves any problem can post the answer almost anywhere
want, a search engines will index it and serve it up to someone
looking for a solution to that problem. Of course it doesn't quite
work like that but its pretty close if you trying to find out how to
program something in most languages and programs. You can't do this
in R because its name is not unique enough, and that seriously
hampers the ability of both new and expert users to accomplish things
quickly.  I realize that there is the R-project website and so on,
but the decentralized nature of the web assures that not not everyone
will post their answers there and people such as me who search google
first rather than going straight to a single site will have a hard
time finding answers.

So seriously, has there ever been any discussion about renaming R so
that people's hard work on making this kick-butt program can be
shared and searched with the same facility that other programs enjoy.
It could be something as simple as "R plus" ;) just anything that
makes it unique enough that R program pages aren't indexed with 100
billion pages that happen to have a single R on them for some reason.

Cheers,

Tim

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Re: Wishlist - Give R a name that shows up in search engines...

Gabor Grothendieck
Note that just entering R into google will get you to the R home
page and looking for R plus some other phrase actually does
work quite often.  One can also try r-project or r-project.org
plus the phrase.

On 3/6/06, Tim Brown <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi everyone,
>
> I know this is a long shot but I just wanted to throw it out
> there.  I have lately been using R a lot and have found that it is
> basically impossible to find any code help or answers via google
> searching because the name "R" is simply not explicit enough. For
> every other popular program or programming language a simple search
> with the name of the program and your problem brings up something
> pretty close to the answer, its usually just a matter of phrasing it
> so the results you are looking come up in your search (e.g. "find
> length of array, Matlab").  Try a similar web search for R and you
> will learn nothing -- Why? because the letter "R" is on almost every
> web page on the planet.
>
> I'm not just whining here, I think this is a really serious problem.
> On the web, "findability" is perhaps the single most important
> feature of any product or program. The unique beauty of the Web
> anyone who solves any problem can post the answer almost anywhere
> want, a search engines will index it and serve it up to someone
> looking for a solution to that problem. Of course it doesn't quite
> work like that but its pretty close if you trying to find out how to
> program something in most languages and programs. You can't do this
> in R because its name is not unique enough, and that seriously
> hampers the ability of both new and expert users to accomplish things
> quickly.  I realize that there is the R-project website and so on,
> but the decentralized nature of the web assures that not not everyone
> will post their answers there and people such as me who search google
> first rather than going straight to a single site will have a hard
> time finding answers.
>
> So seriously, has there ever been any discussion about renaming R so
> that people's hard work on making this kick-butt program can be
> shared and searched with the same facility that other programs enjoy.
> It could be something as simple as "R plus" ;) just anything that
> makes it unique enough that R program pages aren't indexed with 100
> billion pages that happen to have a single R on them for some reason.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Tim
>
> ______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel
>

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Re: Wishlist - Give R a name that shows up in search engines...

jgentry
In reply to this post by Tim Brown-6
> so the results you are looking come up in your search (e.g. "find
> length of array, Matlab").  Try a similar web search for R and you
> will learn nothing -- Why? because the letter "R" is on almost every
> web page on the planet.

FWIW using Teoma (I've been (probably unwisely) boycotting Google of
late), the search 'find length of vector R' points to mostly responses
about the R language.  Also FWIW it appears the same is not true of
Google.  Although I'm too lazy to try more than this one example (as I
didn't intend it to be a search engine comparison) I wonder if something
like "R" might not just be very Google-friendly while not being bad in
various other search engines.

Regardless I realize that more esoteric searches likely won't have the
same R-centric responses as was the case here.

> quickly.  I realize that there is the R-project website and so on,
> but the decentralized nature of the web assures that not not everyone
> will post their answers there and people such as me who search google
> first rather than going straight to a single site will have a hard
> time finding answers.

I've found that putting r-project as a search string is not very limiting
as the bulk of stuff like you're looking for ends up in these mailing
lists.  Also a lot of other sites with R based info/help tend to link to
r-project anyways (and thus should get picked up).  Not perfect but not as
dire a situation as you make it sound, IMO.

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Re: Wishlist - Give R a name that shows up in search engines...

Duncan Murdoch
In reply to this post by Tim Brown-6
On 3/6/2006 4:09 PM, Tim Brown wrote:
> Hi everyone,
>
> I know this is a long shot but I just wanted to throw it out
> there.  I have lately been using R a lot and have found that it is
> basically impossible to find any code help or answers via google
> searching because the name "R" is simply not explicit enough.

That hasn't been my experience.  Could you post some examples of your
searches?

For example, "find length of array in R" turns up R-specific answers in
4th and 9th positions on the first page of results.  Using "find length
of array, R Project" turns up 6 out of 10 hits referencing R.

Duncan Murdoch


  For

> every other popular program or programming language a simple search
> with the name of the program and your problem brings up something
> pretty close to the answer, its usually just a matter of phrasing it
> so the results you are looking come up in your search (e.g. "find
> length of array, Matlab").  Try a similar web search for R and you
> will learn nothing -- Why? because the letter "R" is on almost every
> web page on the planet.
>
> I'm not just whining here, I think this is a really serious problem.
> On the web, "findability" is perhaps the single most important
> feature of any product or program. The unique beauty of the Web
> anyone who solves any problem can post the answer almost anywhere
> want, a search engines will index it and serve it up to someone
> looking for a solution to that problem. Of course it doesn't quite
> work like that but its pretty close if you trying to find out how to
> program something in most languages and programs. You can't do this
> in R because its name is not unique enough, and that seriously
> hampers the ability of both new and expert users to accomplish things
> quickly.  I realize that there is the R-project website and so on,
> but the decentralized nature of the web assures that not not everyone
> will post their answers there and people such as me who search google
> first rather than going straight to a single site will have a hard
> time finding answers.
>
> So seriously, has there ever been any discussion about renaming R so
> that people's hard work on making this kick-butt program can be
> shared and searched with the same facility that other programs enjoy.
> It could be something as simple as "R plus" ;) just anything that
> makes it unique enough that R program pages aren't indexed with 100
> billion pages that happen to have a single R on them for some reason.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Tim
>
> ______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel

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Re: Wishlist - Give R a name that shows up in search engines...

Martin Maechler
>>>>> "Duncan" == Duncan Murdoch <[hidden email]>
>>>>>     on Mon, 06 Mar 2006 19:21:50 -0500 writes:

    Duncan> On 3/6/2006 4:09 PM, Tim Brown wrote:
    >> Hi everyone,
    >>
    >> I know this is a long shot but I just wanted to throw it
    >> out there.  I have lately been using R a lot and have
    >> found that it is basically impossible to find any code
    >> help or answers via google searching because the name "R"
    >> is simply not explicit enough.

    Duncan> That hasn't been my experience.  Could you post some
    Duncan> examples of your searches?

    Duncan> For example, "find length of array in R" turns up
    Duncan> R-specific answers in 4th and 9th positions on the
    Duncan> first page of results.  Using "find length of array,
    Duncan> R Project" turns up 6 out of 10 hits referencing R.

in which google?  The one in the US, in Europe, in China, or ... ?

As we probably all know the censorship differs from place to
place .. and it seems one has no way to circumvent
Big-Brother Google's decisions anymore.

Sorry, but I couldn't refrain; I had been very disappointed by these news.

Martin Maechler



    Duncan>   For
    >> every other popular program or programming language a
    >> simple search with the name of the program and your
    >> problem brings up something pretty close to the answer,
    >> its usually just a matter of phrasing it so the results
    >> you are looking come up in your search (e.g. "find length
    >> of array, Matlab").  Try a similar web search for R and
    >> you will learn nothing -- Why? because the letter "R" is
    >> on almost every web page on the planet.
    >>
    >> I'm not just whining here, I think this is a really
    >> serious problem.  On the web, "findability" is perhaps
    >> the single most important feature of any product or
    >> program. The unique beauty of the Web anyone who solves
    >> any problem can post the answer almost anywhere want, a
    >> search engines will index it and serve it up to someone
    >> looking for a solution to that problem. Of course it
    >> doesn't quite work like that but its pretty close if you
    >> trying to find out how to program something in most
    >> languages and programs. You can't do this in R because
    >> its name is not unique enough, and that seriously hampers
    >> the ability of both new and expert users to accomplish
    >> things quickly.  I realize that there is the R-project
    >> website and so on, but the decentralized nature of the
    >> web assures that not not everyone will post their answers
    >> there and people such as me who search google first
    >> rather than going straight to a single site will have a
    >> hard time finding answers.
    >>
    >> So seriously, has there ever been any discussion about
    >> renaming R so that people's hard work on making this
    >> kick-butt program can be shared and searched with the
    >> same facility that other programs enjoy.  It could be
    >> something as simple as "R plus" ;) just anything that
    >> makes it unique enough that R program pages aren't
    >> indexed with 100 billion pages that happen to have a
    >> single R on them for some reason.
    >>
    >> Cheers,
    >>
    >> Tim
    >>
    >> ______________________________________________
    >> [hidden email] mailing list
    >> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel

    Duncan> ______________________________________________
    Duncan> [hidden email] mailing list
    Duncan> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel

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Re: Wishlist - Give R a name that shows up in search engines...

Hin-Tak Leung-2
In reply to this post by Tim Brown-6
Hi,

I have given up on "R" with any topic on Google quite some time
ago (because bits from fragmented postscript/pdf files show up,
for example) - but using "r-devel" with topic normally gives me
enough. YMMV.

HTL

Tim Brown wrote:

> Hi everyone,
>
> I know this is a long shot but I just wanted to throw it out
> there.  I have lately been using R a lot and have found that it is
> basically impossible to find any code help or answers via google
> searching because the name "R" is simply not explicit enough. For
> every other popular program or programming language a simple search
> with the name of the program and your problem brings up something
> pretty close to the answer, its usually just a matter of phrasing it
> so the results you are looking come up in your search (e.g. "find
> length of array, Matlab").  Try a similar web search for R and you
> will learn nothing -- Why? because the letter "R" is on almost every
> web page on the planet.
>
> I'm not just whining here, I think this is a really serious problem.
> On the web, "findability" is perhaps the single most important
> feature of any product or program. The unique beauty of the Web
> anyone who solves any problem can post the answer almost anywhere
> want, a search engines will index it and serve it up to someone
> looking for a solution to that problem. Of course it doesn't quite
> work like that but its pretty close if you trying to find out how to
> program something in most languages and programs. You can't do this
> in R because its name is not unique enough, and that seriously
> hampers the ability of both new and expert users to accomplish things
> quickly.  I realize that there is the R-project website and so on,
> but the decentralized nature of the web assures that not not everyone
> will post their answers there and people such as me who search google
> first rather than going straight to a single site will have a hard
> time finding answers.
>
> So seriously, has there ever been any discussion about renaming R so
> that people's hard work on making this kick-butt program can be
> shared and searched with the same facility that other programs enjoy.
> It could be something as simple as "R plus" ;) just anything that
> makes it unique enough that R program pages aren't indexed with 100
> billion pages that happen to have a single R on them for some reason.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Tim
>
> ______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel

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Re: Wishlist - Give R a name that shows up in search engines...

Dirk Eddelbuettel

On 7 March 2006 at 10:55, Hin-Tak Leung wrote:
| I have given up on "R" with any topic on Google quite some time
| ago (because bits from fragmented postscript/pdf files show up,
| for example) - but using "r-devel" with topic normally gives me
| enough. YMMV.

Nobody seems to have mentioned the RSiteSearch() function which automagically
restrict the search to domains relevant to the contect of "our" use of the
letter R. I quite like that as I tend to have an R prompt open when I am
puzzled by R questions ...

Dirk

--
Hell, there are no rules here - we're trying to accomplish something.
                                                  -- Thomas A. Edison

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