[R] New project: littler for GNU R

From: Jeffrey Horner <jeff.horner_at_vanderbilt.edu>
Date: Tue 26 Sep 2006 - 17:04:23 GMT

What ?


   littler - Provides hash-bang (#!) capability for R (www.r-project.org)

Why ?


   GNU R, a language and environment for statistical computing and    graphics, provides a wonderful system for 'programming with data'    as well as interactive exploratory analysis, often involving graphs.

   Sometimes, however, simple scripts are desired. While GNU R can    be used in batch mode, and while so-called 'here' documents can be    crafted, a long-standing need for a scripting front-end has often    been expressed by the R Community.

   littler (pronounced 'little R' and written 'r') aims to fill    this need.

   It can be used directly on the command-line just like, say, bc(1):

$ echo 'cat(pi^2,"\n")' | r

         9.869604

   Equivalently, commands that are to be evaluated can be given on    the command-line

$ r -e 'cat(pi^2, "\n")'

         9.869604

   But unlike bc(1), GNU R has a vast number of statistical    functions. For example, we can quickly compute a summary() and show    a stem-and-leaf plot for file sizes in a given directory via

$ ls -l /boot | awk '!/^total/ {print $5}' | \

              r -e 'fsizes <- as.integer(readLines());
                 print(summary(fsizes)); stem(fsizes)'
            Min. 1st Qu.  Median    Mean 3rd Qu.    Max.
              13     512  110100  486900  768400 4735000
         Loading required package: grDevices

           The decimal point is 6 digit(s) to the right of the |

           0 | 00000000000000000011112223
           0 | 5557778899
           1 | 112233
           1 | 5
           2 |
           2 |
           3 |
           3 |
           4 |
           4 | 7


   And, last but not least, this (somewhat unwieldy) expression can    be stored in a helper script:

$ cat examples/fsizes.r

         #!/usr/bin/env r

         fsizes <- as.integer(readLines())
         print(summary(fsizes))
         stem(fsizes)

   (where calling /usr/bin/env is a trick from Python which allows one    to forget whether r is installed in /usr/bin/r, /usr/local/bin/r,    ~/bin/r, ...)

   A few examples are provided in the source directories examples/    and tests/.

Where ?


   littler can either be downloaded from

       http://biostat.mc.vanderbilt.edu/LittleR

   accessed by anonymous SVN:

       $ svn co http://littler.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/ littler

   or (soon !) be gotten from Debian mirrors via

       $ agt-get install littler

   littler is known to build and run on Linux and OS X.

Who ?


   Copyright (C) 2006 Jeffrey Horner and Dirk Eddelbuettel

   littler is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it    under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by    the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or    (at your option) any later version.

   This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,    but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of    MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU    General Public License for more details.

   You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public    License along with this program; if not, write to the Free    Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston,    MA 02111-1307 USA    Comments are welcome, as are are suggestions, bug fixes, or patches.


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