Re: [R] questions on some operators in R

From: Horace Tso <>
Date: Fri, 18 Jun 2010 14:15:15 -0700

You still couldn't sway me into the <- camp. '=' is better for yet two more reasons,

  1. it requires one keystroke, rather than two,
  2. to type '<', one has to hold Shift then the ',' key, so it's a total of three strokes all together.

In a typical script, you have hundreds of assignment statements. Those extra keystroke translate into quite a bit more wear on your fingers.


-----Original Message-----
From: Erik Iverson [] Sent: Friday, June 18, 2010 1:23 PM
To: Greg Snow
Cc: Horace Tso; li li; r-help
Subject: Re: [R] questions on some operators in R

Greg Snow wrote:
> Your example could also be used as an argument against allowing '=' as a shortcut for <- after all if you are used to using <- (rather than =) then you will see the problem with x<-2 right off. But if we eliminate <- and only use =, then how do you do:

>> mean( x <- rnorm(100) )

> Or
>> system.time( output <- longrunningfunction(args) )

> Is
>> mean( { x=rnorm(100) } )

> Really and improvement?

Certainly not in my mind!

For me, here is certainly an undefinable aesthetic appeal to the '<-' assignment operator. The visual requirement of seeing '<-' for me is so strong, that even when running example code from this list, I must replace all assignments done with '=' to '<-' before submitting them to R! I've also noticed that there seems to be an association between using '=' for assignments and writing code with 0 spaces per line in it. Of course, I insist on fixing that before running the code, too. :) mailing list PLEASE do read the posting guide and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code. Received on Fri 18 Jun 2010 - 21:18:21 GMT

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