From: Leif Kirschenbaum <leif_at_reflectivity.com>

Date: Fri 06 Jan 2006 - 14:02:09 EST

Leif Kirschenbaum, Ph.D.

Senior Yield Engineer

Reflectivity

leif@reflectivity.com

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 Fri Jan 06 14:56:26 2006

Date: Fri 06 Jan 2006 - 14:02:09 EST

Data manipulation:

All SAS data is in 2-dimensional datasets, which was very frustrating after having used variables, arrays, and matrices in BASIC, APL, FORTRAN, C, Pascal, and LabVIEW. SAS allows you to access only 1 row of a dataset at a time which was terribly horribly incomprehensibly frustrating. There were so many many problems I had to solve where I had to work around this SAS paradigm.
In R, I can access all the elements of a matrix/dataframe at once, and I can use >2 dimensional matrices. In fact, the limitations of SAS I had ingrained from 7.5 years has sometimes made me forget how I can do something so easily in R, like be able to know when a value in a column of a dataframe changes:
DF$marker <- DF[1:(nrow(DF)-1),icol] != DF[2:nrow(DF),icol]
This was hard to do in SAS...and even after years it was sometimes buggy, keeping variable values from previous iterations of a SAS program.
One very nice advantage with SAS is that after data is saved in libraries, there is a GUI showing all the libraries and the datasets inside the libraries with sizes and dates. While we can save Rdata objects in an external file, the base package doesn't seem to have the same capabilities as SAS.

Graphics:

SAS graphics were quite mediocre, and generating customized labels was cumbersome. Porting code from one Windows platform to another produced unpredictable and sometimes unworkable results.
It has been easier in R: I anticipate that I will be able to port R Windows code to *NIX and generate the same graphics.

Batch commands:

I am working on porting some of my R code to our *NIX server to generate reports and graphs on a scheduled basis. Although a few at IBM did this with SAS, I would have found doing this fairly daunting.

*-Leif
*

Leif Kirschenbaum, Ph.D.

Senior Yield Engineer

Reflectivity

leif@reflectivity.com

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 Fri Jan 06 14:56:26 2006

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