Re: [R] R is GNU S, not C.... [was "how to get or store ....."]

From: Xiaofan Li <>
Date: Wed 07 Dec 2005 - 02:13:08 EST

I consistently use ";" at every end of my R code and have found it much more neat than those sentences without an end; for "<-" and "=", if I were the author I would rather take the first representation as a sign of passing-by-reference while the latter by value.

Xiaofan Li
DAMTP, University of Cambridge, CB3 0WA, UK Tel +44 7886 614030, Email

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Sent: 06 December 2005 14:16
To: rHelp
Subject: Re: [R] R is GNU S, not C.... [was "how to get or store ....."]

Martin Maechler a écrit :

> please, please, these trailing ";" are *so* ugly.
> This is GNU S, not C (or matlab) !
> but I'll be happy already if you could drop these ugly empty
> statements at the end of your lines...

May I disagree ?
I find missing ";" at end of lines *so* ugly. Ugly/not ugly depends on our observer's eyes.  From my programmer point of view, I prefer to mark clearly the end of the lines.
In many languages, it's safer to do it this way, and I thank the R developers to permit it.
(in my opinion, it should even be mandatory). (By the way, marking the end of lines with a unique symbol makes also the job easier for the following treatment.) And yes, I'm also a C programmer ;-)

 > {and I have another chain of argments why "<-" is so more  > expressive than "="

Why "<-" seems better than "=" is also quite mysterious for me. There was a discussion about this point recently I think. I believe in 99% of cases it's more for historical reason (and perhaps also for some "snob" reasons).

I am not at all a 20 years experienced R programmer, but I have written several hundreds of R lines those 6 last months, and until today didn't get any problem using "=" instead of "<-".

But I'll read your chain of arguments with interest. mailing list PLEASE do read the posting guide! mailing list PLEASE do read the posting guide! Received on Wed Dec 07 02:49:48 2005

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