Re: [R] questions on some operators in R

From: Joshua Wiley <jwiley.psych_at_gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 18 Jun 2010 16:07:34 -0700

On Fri, Jun 18, 2010 at 2:15 PM, Horace Tso <Horace.Tso_at_pgn.com> wrote:
> 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.

I certainly appreciate the desire to save keystrokes particularly for common tasks. But I wonder, if '=' is the only assignment operator, what is used for formal argument matching?

I find being able to distinguish the two makes code clearer (besides that assignment within a function becomes more tedious), and, at least for me, I have less assignment statements than argument matching. It also seems like a great deal of work to change such a fundamental function for the relatively slight potential gain.

As a side note, for me it is less keystrokes because using a shortcut, with two keystrokes, I can get ' <- ' which is the assignment plus the space before and after it, which I would add for readability anyways (although I suppose liking spaces in code may just be personal taste).

>
> H
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Erik Iverson [mailto:eriki_at_ccbr.umn.edu]
> 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.  :)
>
> ______________________________________________
> R-help_at_r-project.org mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
>

-- 
Joshua Wiley
Ph.D. Student
Health Psychology
University of California, Los Angeles

______________________________________________
R-help_at_r-project.org mailing list
https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
Received on Fri 18 Jun 2010 - 23:09:56 GMT

Archive maintained by Robert King, hosted by the discipline of statistics at the University of Newcastle, Australia.
Archive generated by hypermail 2.2.0, at Fri 18 Jun 2010 - 23:10:34 GMT.

Mailing list information is available at https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help. Please read the posting guide before posting to the list.

list of date sections of archive