Re: [R] Awk and Vilno

From: Tim Churches <tchur_at_optushome.com.au>
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2007 07:12:22 +1000

Rogerio Porto wrote:
> Hey,
>

>> What we should really compare is the four situations:
>> R alone
>> R + awk
>> R + vilno
>> R + awk + vilno
>> and maybe "R + SAS Data step"
>> and see what scripts are more  elegant (read 'short and understandable')

I don't think that short and understandable necessarily go hand-in-hand. Sometimes longer scripts which are more explicit and use less tricky syntax shortcuts are much easier to understand a year or two later. Ease and speed of script writing (taking into account learning curve and time taken to consult scripting language documentation) are important, as is the ability to re-visit scripts or examine someone else's script and be able to work out what it does and how it works is vital, and speed of execution also counts with large datasets. Also ubiquity of the tool, whether it is freely available on many platforms, either pre-installed or in an easy-to-install form are also considerations.

> what do you guys think of creating a R-wiki page for syntax
> comparisons among the various options to enhance R use?
>
> I already have two sugestions:
>
> 1) syntax examples for using R and other tools to manipulate
> and analyze large datasets (with a concise description of the
> datasets);
>
> 2) syntax examples for using R and other tools (or R alone) to clean
> and prepare datasets (simple and very small datasets, for didatic
> purposes).

The ability of the tools to scale to large or very large datasets is also a consideration, as is their speed when dealing with such large data.

> I think this could be interesting for R users and to promote other
> software tools, since it seems there is a lot of R users that use
> other tools also.
>
> Besides that, questions on those two above subjects are prevalent
> at this list. Thus a wiki page seems to be the right place to discuss
> and teach this to other users.
>
> What do you think?

Yes, happy to contribute R + Python examples to such wiki pages. Please post the URL.

Tim C



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