RE: [R] R annoyances

From: Liaw, Andy <andy_liaw_at_merck.com>
Date: Fri 20 May 2005 - 06:47:57 EST


> From: Vadim Ogranovich
>
> I guess it depends on what kind of data analysis one does. R
> is designed
> and best suited for the analysis that starts with a data frame which
> fits in 1/10th of your computer RAM. R programming is then mostly
> limited to writing small convenience functions for better
> presentation,
> visualization, etc. Or alternatively one implements a new fitting
> procedure/algorithm and applies it to the data.
>
> Now things begin to look harder when you have 200G of data
> and 8G of RAM
> and still need to find "structure" in the data. You need to
> pre-process
> the data, recover from *unexpected* failures, store and retrieve
> intermediate data sets, etc. This requires qualities of a good
> general-purpose programming language. Note, we do not use R
> to program a
> system, we do data analysis so we should be considered R *users*.
> In my view, and the experience of the colleague of my
> confirms it, R has
> a long way to go to become a wrinkle-free general purpose language.
>
> To your specific question, why good (C++) programmers should not
> struggle with R? Because they have the skills to plan
> sizeable programs
> in any wrinkle-free language.

Could you please define "wrinkle-free language", or give an (some?) example?

Andy  

> Hope this makes my earier comments more clear,
> Vadim
>
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Berton Gunter [mailto:gunter.berton@gene.com]
> > Sent: Thursday, May 19, 2005 10:55 AM
> > To: Vadim Ogranovich; 'Thomas Lumley'; 'Rod Montgomery'
> > Cc: r-help@stat.math.ethz.ch
> > Subject: RE: [R] R annoyances
> >
> > Vadim et.al:
> >
> > I do not care to comment one way or the other about R's
> > "irregularities.'
> > But I am puzzled by your statement that a "good C++
> > programmer is struggling with R." Why should they not
> > struggle?! R is primarily a language for data analysis,
> > statistics, and graphics. I do not understand why someone who is a
> > C++ programmer would be expected to have the knowledge and
> > experience to
> > C++ be
> > a "data miner" and would not therefore struggle to deal with
> > the statistical and data analysis issues that are
> > deliberately at the heart of many of R's programming conventions.
> >
> > Is there something here that I am missing, or is this yet
> > another example of Frank Harrell's "instant brain surgeon"
> commentary?
> >
> > -- Bert Gunter
> > Genentech Non-Clinical Statistics
> > South San Francisco, CA
> >
> > "The business of the statistician is to catalyze the
> > scientific learning process." - George E. P. Box
> >
> >
> >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: r-help-bounces@stat.math.ethz.ch
> > > [mailto:r-help-bounces@stat.math.ethz.ch] On Behalf Of Vadim
> > > Ogranovich
> > > Sent: Thursday, May 19, 2005 10:40 AM
> > > To: Thomas Lumley; Rod Montgomery
> > > Cc: r-help@stat.math.ethz.ch
> > > Subject: RE: [R] R annoyances
> > >
> > > I think the flaw in this reasoning is that programmers are not
> > > considered users. IMO, making a better language is beneficial for
> > > users.
> > >
> > > I am now watching how a new colleague of mine, a very good C++
> > > programmer turning into a data miner, is struggling w/ many
> > > "irregularities" of R.
> > >
> > > > -----Original Message-----
> > > > From: r-help-bounces@stat.math.ethz.ch
> > > > [mailto:r-help-bounces@stat.math.ethz.ch] On Behalf Of
> > Thomas Lumley
> > > > Sent: Thursday, May 19, 2005 9:39 AM
> > > > To: Rod Montgomery
> > > > Cc: r-help@stat.math.ethz.ch
> > > > Subject: Re: [R] R annoyances
> > > >
> > > > On Thu, 19 May 2005, Rod Montgomery wrote:
> > > > > Thomas Lumley wrote:

> > > > >> This one is actually a FAQ,
> > > > >> mtx[,1,drop=FALSE]
> > > > >>
> > > > >> -thomas
> > > > >>
> > > > > I wonder whether there is, or should be, a way to set FALSE
> > > > as the default?

> > > > >
> > > >
> > > > There shouldn't be (apart from editing the code), because
> > you really
> > > > don't want something this basic to be unpredictable.
> > > >
> > > > There have been discussions at several times about whether
> > > > drop=FALSE or drop=TRUE should be the default. The decision has
> > > > always been that programmers can cope either way, but
> that users
> > > > probably don't expect mtx[,1] to be a vector, and that they
> > > > definitely don't expect mtx[1,1] to be a matrix.
> > > >
> > > > -thomas
> > > >
> > > > ______________________________________________
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> > >
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> >
> >
>
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https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help PLEASE do read the posting guide! http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html Received on Fri May 20 07:00:00 2005

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