Posting solution or example for solving a common question that I see on the web?

I wondered whether there is a point in posting a solution for a question that was never asked :slight_smile:


  • There is a topic that I frequently see as a question/topic discussed on the web, and I didn't see a great solution for it thus far.
  • I do have a pretty simple (set of) solutions, that I am using, and I think it may be useful for some people although I did not see a question on the topic that was asked, when I tried to use some key words that I expect to appear in a question on that topic.

Is there still a point to take the time to write and post the issue and the solution that I'm using, pro and cons, which may help people that work around the problem differently? The main motivation is to share something that I think may be useful to people, with the risk of embarrassing myself if there is an obvious way to handle this case and I am the only one that sees it at as an issue :slight_smile: I am also curios to see if there is a simpler solution, in case that it is indeed something that people encounter.

Do think it makes any sense Ito post something like that? to be clear, it would require some of my time to write a comprehensive description of the issue and my solution, and it is not that I am bored :), but if indeed it may help enough people in the community that encounter the problem then it may worth it.

In case that you think that it does worth writing and posting something like that, what will be a good place to post it that people will actually see / read it? if most people miss that, then clearly there is no point in posting it.

BTW, a completely different question about the mechanism of posting --- is there a way for me to see how my post looks like, post formatting, before I actually post it? I only see a button to create a topic but no "preview"



I think that the best place for this kind of thing would be on a personal blog. A lot of R users utilize their blogs in order to demonstrate ways that people can solve common problems. In terms of how to get people to read it, I think it comes down to what you name the article and what you enter as the html slug that will make up the url. You should checkout blogdown for creating a blog all through R. The reference will show you how to create it, host it, and make it your own.

Also, in terms of getting more people to see your post, you can reach out to more visible people in the R community to share your post. I know David Robinson has offered to share first time blog posts from R users to help their posts get more exposure

As far as this goes, whenever you are creating a topic or a post, you should see the rendered output on the righthand side of the box in which you are typing your post. If you do not see it, there should be a button in the bottom right of the posting box that says "show preview"

EDIT: Don't take this as your can't post your question and your own answer, if you want to do that then you are certainly welcome to, those are just my opinions on the best place to post it


Also, if there are already questions posted about this, you could also contribute your answer to an existing post whether it be here or elsewhere

If you redact your post as a question following our guides, then it wouldn't be different to any other topic and you should choose the category accordingly to the specific topic, but if you want to make a more step by step guide for solving a common and relatively complex issue then you should post here #meta:faq (this is no longer the case, a possible new category is in discussion)

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I believe that this is more reserved for FAQ related to the community in general and not about specific R problems. For example, how to create a reprex and how to share data are community FAQs but something like how to properly use the gather function is not.

I would reach out to @EconomiCurtis before trying to post anything in the Guides & FAQs category to discuss whether your topic belongs there or not

Curtis put there my guide on setting shiny/rstudio server on a Raspberry Pi and that is not about the community in general, but also is not something that feets on a regular answer.

Yes, I saw that shortly after my reply and had forgotten about that one. I am not sure whether there is a clear line on what should be added, but I would say that I think any user who would like to contribute with a community FAQ should reach out to Curtis to discuss whether it is a fit for that or if it better suited as a blog post or a regular Q&A post.

And I would also say that your FAQ is excellent and not something that typically can be addressed in a simple Q&A and is related to RStudio's professional products so may be more appropriate than some other FAQ type posts... if that logic makes sense. But I will defer to @EconomiCurtis on what the best approach is for that category.

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This situation was discussed here too, and I think it was the reason for creating that sub category

Yes, I was thinking of trying to track those down, but I can’t really remember where I saw it, just that that when I was looking for solutions I saw many proposal solutions that worked but were over complicated in my opinion.

Sorry, to clarify, I meant places outside of this site, for example StackOverflow, etc. I tried to look for a question on that topic here by using some key words that I believe would appear in a discussion on the topic, and didn’t find any — but that doesn’t mean that they do not exist, of course.

That said, my solusion does have at least one drawback that I cannot remember whether the other solution(s) had, so I am curious about other ways to solve it that may be even simpler and better.


I feel like your question has been interpreted two ways, and I'll reply to each

1. In terms of questions and own solutions for broad RStudio topics

That is, in terms of posting to shiny, tidyverse, RStudio IDE, R Admins etc, I think this is a perfectly fine idea. For example, Stack Overflow has an explicit policy on such things

Can I answer my own question?

Yes! Stack Exchange has always explicitly encouraged users to answer their own questions.....

However, RStudio Community's use of discourse may not be the best tool for such things. This discussion forum format often encourages long threads that make it hard to find the specific bit of information that'll be useful to you. A blog post, or a Stack Overflow self-answer, is perhaps a better option.
We're also intentionally trying not to crowd out all the great R community blog aggregators that already exist.

I am exploring good ways to link community to published content (for example, perhaps for comment sections on rpubs, or content), but this would be very far down the line.

2. In terms of Guides & FAQs,

I'd agree with the sentiment here Is this community the right place to post useful tricks, not strictly R-related?.

If you think it fits well into an RStudio Community FAQ, let's open the topic-thread, and possibly create an FAQ wiki page.

Thanks. I wanted to open a blog in general for quite a while, to post solutions/opinions on various points and widely discussed topics, not just related to R. I am actually a scientist in computer science, specializing at the area of concurrent systems and programming; in fact I encounter R for the first time when I needed to collect and analyze information of a huge and complex concurrent system, and used it since then mostly for tracking and analyze finance data of my investments, and also to generate nice charts for my papers.
I just never got to the process of creating a blog, but thought that just posting this single message here will have less of an overhead and reach to the people that are most likely to care about these topics.

Also, in terms of getting more people to see your post, you can reach out to more visible people in the R community to share your post. I know David Robinson has offered to share first time blog posts from R users to help their posts get more exposure

i am not sure what you mean by “reaching out”. Is there a way to write private messages to people ? As you can probably see from my question about the preview, I’m new to features provided by this website... :confused:

Thanks much for your help

There is! on RStudio Community, click on a user and you'll be lead to their profile page where you're able to send a direct message.

For this quote, though, David Robinson meant; send him an email or send a PM via twitter.

Yes, I saw this post and answer(s) also, but my topic is very R (not (just) RStudio) related. At the very high level is how to combine and present discrete data on a continuous axis that is required for representing other , continuous data. But this is just my generalization of the actual question that I often saw: how to eliminate gaps on a continue time scale, e.g when you have data points for every day but only from 9:30am-4pm, and you want to show a curve of the data over months and eliminate the gaps between the days, while still keeping the right scale within each day (I.e. gals within the day time region that is presented should be visible). This is especially relevant for trading data where the stock market hours are less than a 3rd of the day. So it is really only relevant for R and R charting (maybe only in ggplot, though; that’s the only library I’m using fir charting, sometimes wrapped with a plotly object). It has nothing to do with RStudio, though.

Heh, I’m not using Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp or any kind of social network tool/infrastructure. Note my username :slight_smile:

(I have nothing to hide, just don’t like all of these deep learning mechanisms cross referencing and link anything that I say or any service/app that use (and requires registration) to a single person(me), with my name, email, and sometimes also address..).

I’ll find a way to reach him, though. Didn’t know about personal messages; thanks much for telling me about them.

Yep, that’s crossed my mind after posting my question. I can ask whether anyone know of a better solution for... And then basically post the issue, my so,union, etc.
it would end up being a pretty long post though, as I do want to show some code snippets and what they generate (graphically), so people can visually see what’s the result of my so,union and whether they have something that generates something similar and is either simpler, or looks better. But I can make that description clearly separate from the question, so people that never encountered or dealt with the problem wouldn’t proceed reading...

Glad to see that this suggestion is backed up by other people as well. I will still need a good place to post it, though, but I think that maybe ggplot may actually be the right place I assume that if by any chance the topic happened to be of high interest, then there is someone that can pull this post into another category as well (e.g. FAQ). I’m not sure if a post can appear in multiple categories, but at least it could be quoted, or moved to general, I believe.

On the topic of possibly related post where it may fit, there is thi following, very generic list, with lots of tips and tricks that people suggest:

I just thought that it may be too generic and scattered, and hence that is unlikely that someone that encounter the problem and solution I suggest will find it there. There are tons of responses and discussions there of very useful tricks and techniques, and I like this post as something as a place to occasionally suit and see if there are new tricks and mechanisms that I may find useful, but I rarely find an answer to a question that I have there.

I marked my question as solved, but apparently you can only choose one response as the solution (one cancels the other), so I chose one --- even though the solution is really a combination of responses so hopefully people know to read more than what is marked as "the solution"

If I'm missing an option to mark multiple responses as a solution, please enlighten me, otherwise I leave it as is.

Thanks much everyone for all of your help!

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