Of course, there are bound to be duplicate emails, dead emails, and people who picked up Stan, joined the list, and never came back. But still, that’s a lot of people who’ve expressed interest! It’s been an amazing ride that’s only going to get better as we learn more and continue to improve Stan’s speed and functionality.
What’s it good for?
If I do say so myself, our users list is a great source of practical applied data analysis advice both general and Stan-specific; topics range from installation help to advanced statistical computing, with visualization and Bayesian statistical theory and practice in between. I can’t even begin to enumerate how much I’ve learned reading it.
Will I get yelled at?
No, you won’t. We respect all of our users and try to be very friendly and helpful by answering all relevant statistical and computational questions that get posted. So don’t worry that you’re going to ask a “stupid” question and get scolded; I’m gently corrected on our list all the time.
As with all lists, we appreciate users putting in some work ahead of time in trying to formulate a question in a form we can answer (the biggest problem we face is not getting enough clues to answer a question). I often find the process of carefully formulating a query leads me to the answer myself—the list makes an excellent rubber ducky.
It’s a community
We’re happy to see that more users are answering each others’ questions these days, because the developers only have so much time in the day (though we are adding developers at the same rate as users—we’re over 20 now and always happy to take code contributions).
Check it out yourself
The full record is available online and you don’t even need to join to read it. If you’d like to check it out, see:
There’s also the developer’s list, which is where we discuss the software side of Stan internals; that one’s read only unless you request permission to join the development discussion.