Re: R-alpha: Recycling

Martyn Plummer (plummer@iarc.fr)
Tue, 25 Feb 1997 18:24:21 +0100 (MET)


Date: Tue, 25 Feb 1997 18:24:21 +0100 (MET)
From: Martyn Plummer <plummer@iarc.fr>
To: r-testers@stat.math.ethz.ch
Subject: Re: R-alpha: Recycling


On 25-Feb-97 thomas@biostat.washington.edu wrote:
>On Tue, 25 Feb 1997, Z. Todd Taylor wrote:
>> 
>> Maybe the right approach is to invent a "pedantic" option or a
>> "lint" option that, when activated, makes the R interpreter very
>> picky and loud-mouthed about things like recycled or strechy
>> vectors, partial name matching, and other horrors that also
>> happen to be very useful.  Once things are debugged, the option
>> could be turned off.  This seems better to me than reverting to
>> bondage-and-discipline in the language itself.
>> 
>
>Definitely.
>
>Thomas Lumley

I agree too. I did originally ask for an S compatibility mode which
explicitly allowed stretchy vectors, but on further reflection, and after
listening to everyone's arguments, I've changed my mind.  The easy to
use features of S are probably responsible for the popularity of the
language today.  The fact that they are easy to abuse is of interest
only to a minority of S users (this list isn't very representative,
I'm sure). Being high handed about stretchy vectors, recycling etc would
only discourage people from switching to R, despite its many excellent
features (much faster and, er, cheaper).

Speaking of cost, I do wonder about the legal implications of pursuing
99.9% compatibility with S. Mathsoft have exclusive rights to the S
source, but do they really have *no* rights to the language itself?

Martyn
----------------------------------
E-Mail: Martyn Plummer <plummer@iarc.fr>
Date: 25-Feb-97
Time: 18:50:24

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