[Rd] Which programming paradigm is the most used for make R packages?
b.rowlingson at lancaster.ac.uk
Thu Jan 4 11:52:05 CET 2007
Ross Boylan wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 03, 2007 at 11:46:16AM -0600, Ricardo Rios wrote:
>> Hi wizards, does somebody know Which programming paradigm is the most
>> used for make R packages ? Thanks in advance.
> You need to explain what you mean by the question, for example what
> paradigms you have in mind.
Judging by the R code some people in our department write, the most
used paradigm is 'bash something out that works and worry about
paradigms later'-paradigm, used in conjunction with the 'write a very
long .R file and source() it whenever you want to do
something'-paradigm. This seems related to the 'write-first' paradigm,
as opposed to the 'think-first' paradigm.
Partly this is often due to the exploratory nature of working with R.
You get a data set. You go 'okay, well, what's the mean of each
column?', and do that. Then you wonder how A depends on B. Then you
wonder how A depends on B given, ooh, C. Then you think, well, if I
split the data into old and new measurements, rescaled by the median and
offset by D, maybe something interesting appears. By now you've written
40 lines of R code and its starting to get messy...
By the end of the thesis, instead of a nice neat redistributable R
package that would look great on CRAN, there's a whole pile of R code
scattered around in various directories.
How many statistics departments still teach programming to their
undergraduates? We dropped Fortran about 10 years ago, nowadays they
maybe type a few things into a script for Matlab in their second year,
learn R at the end of year 2, and do a project perhaps with R in their
third year. But they are expected to develop their own paradigm for
working in R. I don't think the fundamentals of programming, let along
the idea of paradigms (functional/OO/whatever) is introduced.
Scary. And wandering off-topic.
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