[Rd] C vs. C++ as learning and development tool for R

From: Kimpel, Mark William <mkimpel_at_iupui.edu>
Date: Fri 19 Jan 2007 - 08:55:30 GMT

I have 3 years of experience with R and have an interest in becoming a better programmer so that I might someday be able to contribute packages. Other than R, my only experience was taking Lisp from Daniel Friedman in the 1970's. I would like to learn either C or C++ for several reasons:

To gain a better concept of object oriented programming so that I can begin to use S4 methods in R.

To perhaps speed up some things I do repeatedly in R

To be able to contribute a package someday.  

I have been doing some reading and from what I can tell R is more compatible with C, but C++ has much greater capabilities for OO programming.  

I have just started reading The C++ Programming Language: Special Edition by Bjarne Stroustrup
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/results.asp?ATH=Bjarne+Stro ustrup&z=y> , he recommends first learning C++ and then then C if necessary, but as a developer of C++, he is probably biased.  

I would greatly appreciate the advice of the R developers and package contributors on this subject. "C" or "C++"?  



Mark W. Kimpel MD    

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