[R] should I use setRefClass() ?

From: Ben Nachtrieb <ben.nachtrieb_at_gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2011 09:20:23 -0600


Hello,

I am somewhat new to R programming and a novice C++ programmer.

I'd like to know if I should use setRefClass() to manage objects, functions, and data in a very large program I am attempting to code. See:
http://stat.ethz.ch/R-manual/R-devel/library/methods/html/refClass.html

I like the referential class structure that C++ provides and R seems to provides via setRefClass(). Mainly what I like is that I can code custom member functions that 'do stuff' inside a class.

I understand that setRefClass() kind of gets away from the way R was intended to be used. It is this 'understanding' that makes me worry about using something setRefClass(). The program that I am attempting to build is very big, complex (for me), and it needs to be efficient (from a code readability standpoint and from a speed standpoint). I will be using a lot of the built-in R stats-centric functions. Are there any pitfalls I should be aware of? Any insight or suggestions? I was thinking the setRefClass() function would provide what I like in C++, but allow me to do everything in R (rather than having C++ and R interface with each other).

Thanks for any help!

Ben

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