[Rd] C vs. C++ as learning and development tool for R

Dirk Eddelbuettel edd at debian.org
Fri Jan 19 15:46:43 CET 2007


Great question. As Gabor said, if it is "just for R", there is no point in
learning C or C++. However, learning new programming paradigms is very useful
in and by itself, and being able to extend R with C, C++ or Fortran is
extremely useful for R.

I would suggest what I jokingly call 'C+' -- use C++, ignore many of the
advanced features for the next little while, and treat it as a 'better
C'.  There is no cost in terms of R extensibility.  Concentrate on the first
third or so of Stroustrup's book as well as others. There are also many
tutorials out there on the net.

Lastly, if it is "just" for learning other OO paradigms, Python and Ruby are
both excellent, widely used and well documented on the net. I speak neither
very well but have been meaning to learn either or both better for longer
than I'd care to admit in public.

Cheers, Dirk

Hell, there are no rules here - we're trying to accomplish something. 
                                                  -- Thomas A. Edison

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