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

From: Dirk Eddelbuettel <>
Date: Fri 19 Jan 2007 - 14:46:43 GMT


Great question. As Gabor said, if it is "just for R", there is no point in learning C or C++. However, learning new programming paradigms is very useful in and by itself, and being able to extend R with C, C++ or Fortran is extremely useful for R.

I would suggest what I jokingly call 'C+' -- use C++, ignore many of the advanced features for the next little while, and treat it as a 'better C'. There is no cost in terms of R extensibility. Concentrate on the first third or so of Stroustrup's book as well as others. There are also many tutorials out there on the net.

Lastly, if it is "just" for learning other OO paradigms, Python and Ruby are both excellent, widely used and well documented on the net. I speak neither very well but have been meaning to learn either or both better for longer than I'd care to admit in public.

Cheers, Dirk

Hell, there are no rules here - we're trying to accomplish something. 
                                                  -- Thomas A. Edison

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