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

Gabor Grothendieck ggrothendieck at gmail.com
Fri Jan 19 19:29:56 CET 2007

On 1/19/07, Dominick Samperi <dsamperi at decisionsynergy.com> wrote:
> Kimpel, Mark William wrote:
> > I have 3 years of experience with R and have an interest in becoming a
> > better programmer so that I might someday be able to contribute
> > packages. Other than R, my only experience was taking Lisp from Daniel
> > Friedman in the 1970's. I would like to learn either C or C++ for
> > several reasons:
> >
> > To gain a better concept of object oriented programming so that I can
> > begin to use S4 methods in R.
> >
> > To perhaps speed up some things I do repeatedly in R
> >
> > To be able to contribute a package someday.
> >
> If you decide to use C++ with R you should check out the documentation
> that comes with the package RcppTemplate, and the sample code that
> comes with that package. In my experience C++ (or C or FORTRAN) is
> needed for many compute intensive tasks, and the R framework provides
> a nice front-end with its extensive collection of visualization and
> statistical analysis tools.

Actually I have found the opposite. I have never found C/C++ to be necessary.
I have always been able to optimize the R code itself to get it to run
sufficiently fast for my purposes.

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