Re: [Rd] Which programming paradigm is the most used for make R packages?

From: Thomas Lumley <>
Date: Thu 04 Jan 2007 - 15:35:25 GMT

On Thu, 4 Jan 2007, Ricardo Rios wrote:
> engineering). I think , the programming paradigm most used for make R
> packages is the functional programming , but I don't know this
> statistic. I need this information in my thesis.

Then you may be in trouble. R (and S before it) are not tidily classifiable. R supports functional programming, and object-oriented programming, but most large bodies of code would not satisfy a purist in either area. S3 classes are a very weak OOP mechanism, and R code usually has too much assignment to qualify as functional programming. It is also quite possible to write old-fashioned purely imperative code in R [a Real Programmer can write Fortran in any language], and some people do this.

So, in order to find out what is most widely used you need some way to take a probability sample of R programs, and then some criteria for classifying them. All you can get from this list is information on what R supports, and a convenience sample of opinions on how programming should be done, which won't be sufficient if this really is an important issue in your thesis.

If you were willing to take published packages as representative then CRAN and Bioconductor are available for sampling....


Thomas Lumley			Assoc. Professor, Biostatistics	University of Washington, Seattle

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