Hi Aaron,

On Sunday 23 November 2014 10:35:24 Aaron Batty wrote:
> Piggybacking on Meik's feedback comments, I though I'd let you guys know
> what's going on in my undergraduate stats class, where we're using RKWard.

thanks for your detailed feedback. But it's growing over my head. Posting to 
the list is a great way to get my attention, but a terrible way to track 
issues that will need some time to resolve.

Now the feature tracker is not really suitable for this type of feedback, 
either. So let's try a wiki page. Since our own wiki hosting on SF.net is 
unbearably slow for editing (I'm so much looking forward to migrating that!), 
I've set up a page at https://community.kde.org/RKWard , and copied in most of 
your mail as a start. Meik, please add your stuff, too. Feel free to 

I'm "watching" that page, so I will be aware of updates. All interested others 
are encouraged to do so, too. Forums might be a good way of tracking ideas, 
too, but the wiki simply was easiest to set up, right now.

Some comments inline:

> 2) Data import
> This is just rather confusing. You go to File or the Open... menu in the
> toolbar, and go to Import, and then there are a bunch of options. You have
> "Import Data," then a line, then "Import format," which is a submenu about
> importing data. If you use the first one, it just opens up the SPSS data
> importer, and there's no way to tell it otherwise.

Well, actually, there is a way. I sort of agree it may be a tiny bit 
unintuitive that you'd need to change the bottom-most control before clicking 
on any file name, though...

> Once they navigate to "Import text / CSV data," however, the problems
> continue, because despite the fact that we've already ostensibly told the
> software that we're working with .csv or whatever, there are a bunch of
> options where we have to tell it again. The default format is "None," and
> the options for the quick formats (which are likely all anyone will need in
> most cases, especially in a class where a teacher is providing the data
> set) are on the bottom left, looking not-very-important. This could maybe
> be fixed just by moving elements around, like putting the format selection
> settings in a dropdown menu at the top, labeled with "Please select the
> format of your data" or something. Then rename "None" to "Custom" and put
> it at the bottom of the list.

Yes, that makes a lot of sense, and is easy to do. So: done.

> 4) R Console
> It would be great if there were a way to permanently set text size there,
> or at least have a keyboard shortcut to change it. It's tiny by default,
> and the only way to get it bigger is to keep going up to "View" and
> clicking "Enlarge font" over and over. Then upon restart of RKWard, it's
> back to tiny again. This is another teaching issue more than anything. If I
> need the students to do something in R, it's very hard to demonstrate
> without bumping that way up, but it takes forever as I keep going up to
> that menu over and over until I see the students stop squinting at the
> projector screen!

Yes, it would be good, if the enlarged font size would be saved. Two notes to 
make your life easier, today:

- Use Ctrl + Scroll-wheel (or whatever the equivalent may be on Mac) to adjust 
font size _very_ quickly.
- To get saved font size (and other customizations), here's a totally 
intuitive solution (ahem): Open a script editor. Go to Settings->Configure 
Editor, and make adjustments. Quit RKWard and restart. You should now see the 
new font size in both script windows, and the console.

> A big part of this, of course, is that RKWard is running KDE, not the host
> OS, really. But this is a lot of steps for an undergrad or
> not-terribly-savvy user to complete correctly. Every time I've taught with
> RKWard, whether it be to undergrads or colleagues, everyone gets lost here.
> They can see the graphic right there in front of them. They don't
> understand why they can't just export it directly from the output (they'd
> love to just drag it out, but I point out that even SPSS doesn't do this,
> and JMP is a pain, too).

Not to say that this solves, everything, but dragging out graphics (to file 
browser, or openoffice) works just fine, here. What are the symptoms on Mac, 
when you try to do so?
- Do you see a drag symbol / mouse pointer at all?
- Does the drag symbol disappear when leaving the RKWard window?
- Does the target refuse to accept the drop?

> Last comment about the outputs is one that has already come up here before:
> The tables are, by and large, very ugly. There needs to be more of a margin
> inside cells, and it would be nice if there were borders by default. Also,
> many of them have far, far too many decimal places. The contingency
> table/crosstabs are the worst for this. If any of the values need decimal
> places, they all get them. So even though most of the cells are actually
> just counts/sums, they all have approximately one million zeros behind
> them. It's just very hard to read.

Yes, the decimal places are downright bugs, caused by using paste(), without 
format(). I've only learned that trick, recently...

Regarding the table layout: Controlled by rkward/pages/rkward_output.css . I'm 
no good at this, so if somebody would like to suggest a better layout...

> I hope this doesn't come across as caviling. Regardless of the various
> spots and bumps and blemishes, I've become a pretty noisy evangelist for
> this project. It makes R accessible for more people, and even for me, if
> there's something that RKWard has a GUI for, that's what I use. It gets me
> most of the way to where I want to go, and then the R Console can take me
> the rest of the way. It's awesome and I love it. But I'd like it to be even
> easier to get others to love it, too.

Thanks again. There's no getting better without criticism.

But also, again: Let's try to make most of this discussion happen on the wiki 
page, above, turn other things into specific feature requests and bugs. There 
is no way to take care of all this within a few days. Discussing it in a wiki 
is no perfect safe-guard against bit rot, but discussing it via email, only, 
simply means some things _will_ be forgotten.


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