Re: S-FAQ [was 'Votes etc']

Charles Roosen (
Mon, 19 Jan 1998 13:55:59 -0800

(automatic mailing list "fronter")
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Regarding the S-news FAQ, I have indeed been remiss in my tending to it, and
would be glad to have someone else take it on. In my defense, it was in
much poorer shape when I took it on. I did do about two rounds of
expansions, and I have done semi-annual factual updates.

The reasons I've neglected it, in order of importance are:

1) It's been a very busy 18 months here, and I haven't had any time for it.
Sadly, the same has been true of rolling out dissertation research as papers
and the like. That's the downside of a commercial position. (Or at least
of my commercial position.)

2) The Texinfo format makes it awkward to do significant changes to the
document. In particular, all topics are referenced in numerical order (i.e.
the tags for cross-referencing are "1", "2", "3"), so it's not possible to
add a new topic in the middle of the document without updating all of the
cross references to reflect the new numbering.

3) We've had long periods of our telnet being restricted due to firewall
installations, after which it took me awhile to get to downloading and
installing the one-time-password software to get into ETHZ. While this
wasn't an insurmountable problem it did make the effort of getting to the
documents big enough that it got put off.

My recommendation would be that someone with the interest take it over. If
they are comfortable with texinfo already, then they just need to reindex
with a more extensible scheme. Otherwise, they may wish to work in a more
accessible format.

The other benefit of someone outside MathSoft taking it on is that it would
be maintained by a neutral party. The FAQ has taken on more of a marketing
tone under me, and I've excluded mention of things such as R.

So who wants to volunteer? :)


Charles Roosen, PhD 1700 Westlake Ave N, Suite 500
Senior Statistician Seattle, WA 98109
Data Analysis Products Division (206) 283-8802 x254
MathSoft email:

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