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

From: P Ehlers <ehlers_at_math.ucalgary.ca>
Date: Wed 07 Dec 2005 - 02:35:07 EST

vincent@7d4.com wrote:

> 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.
>

Well, I'll have to disagree a bit. While I don't care so much about trailing ";" (as long as it does not become mandatory), I don't like the use of "=" for assignment and that's definitely NOT for "snob" reasons, whatever those are. I just think code is *much* easier to read if assignment is distinguished from argument settings.

Peter Ehlers



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