From: Peter Flom <flom_at_ndri.org>

Date: Wed 04 Jan 2006 - 01:49:47 EST

R-help@stat.math.ethz.ch mailing list

https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help PLEASE do read the posting guide! http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html Received on Wed Jan 04 03:41:45 2006

Date: Wed 04 Jan 2006 - 01:49:47 EST

>>> "John Fox" <jfox@mcmaster.ca> 1/3/2006 9:35 am >>> as always,

raises some excellent points. I have some responses, interspersed

<<<<

It's not reasonable to argue with someone's experience -- that is, if
people

tell me that they found R harder to learn than SAS, say, then I believe
them

-- but that's not my experience in teaching relatively inexperienced
students to use statistical software. A few points:

*>>>
*

A lot of this probably has to do with what you learned first. I
learned SAS long

before I learned R. Had it been reversed, I would probably find SAS
hard.

<<<

(1) Casual and initial use of statistical software is easier through a
**GUI,
**

so it's not reasonable, for example, to compare learning to use SPSS
via its

GUI to learning R via commands.

*>>>
*

True, but I was comparing SAS and R, and this originally started with STATA and R, and all 3 of those are command driven.

<<<<

(4) Not everyone has the same experience and thinks in the same way.
I've

used many different statistical packages and computing environments,
and

have learned quite a few programming languages (most of which I can no
longer use). Of these, I found APL and R the easiest to learn, and
Lisp

(Lisp-Stat) the hardest. Sometimes, though, it's worth expending the
effort

to learn something that's difficult -- I feel that I got a lot out of
learning to program in Lisp, for example.

*>>>>
*

This is, I think, a big part of it. I think that R would be a lot
easier to learn for

someone who has learned some other computer language. I have not.

I agree that learning something difficult can often be worth it.

Peter

R-help@stat.math.ethz.ch mailing list

https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help PLEASE do read the posting guide! http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html Received on Wed Jan 04 03:41:45 2006

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