[Rd] [rd] sage <--> r integration

Friedrich.Leisch at r-project.org Friedrich.Leisch at r-project.org
Fri Apr 18 13:59:37 CEST 2008

>>>>> On Thu, 17 Apr 2008 09:05:56 -0700,
>>>>> Rob Goedman (RG) wrote:

  > Mike,
  > I'm also surprised so few reactions have been forthcoming. I saw  
  > William's email shortly after Jan's email about Sage.

There is a priovate mailing list for all R Google SoC mentors and
parts were discussed there.

  > Having been involved in the Ryacas project (R to Yacas - Yet Another  
  > Computer Algebra System - with Gabor, Soren and Ayal), I  believe in  
  > the tremendous benefits of such an integration and have,  over the  
  > last couple of days, been studying Sage and its notebook interface to  
  > better understand how it could be used as an alternative/complement to  
  > the current Mac R.app (having occasionally helped out Simon on the Mac  
  > R GUI - R.app).

  > I am a firm believer in Python, and have worked on Python/ 
  > Django/"Python on Embedded systems for biometrics" for well over 2  
  > years now. I do believe this is also a major benefit of Sage. And  
  > projects such as Google's App Engine provide further support.

  >  From Willliam's email I take it the best route right now is to try to  
  > bring this project the attention of the GSoC mentors.

Sorry, it is not a problem of "not enough attention". The problem is,
that the R Foundation was assigned four slots by Google, and we have
much more projects than 4, and cannot even fund all projects by R core
members. If things stay the way they are only two of the four will be
mentored by members of the core team, so it's not like we take all
slots for us.

If we fund the R-Sage project, I have to take somebody else his
slot away. The decision is not "do we fund R-Sage or not", but
which 4 of the 20+ applications do we choose.

The decisions which projects to fund were based on factors like:

1) Quality of the student application, i.e., how much work of the
   student went into preparing the application, did he read into code
   or textbooks that can help, how much email exchange with the
   prospective mentor etc (most important)
2) How important is the project for R?
3) How much did the mentor contribute to R in the past?

Number 3) looks like we don't like outsiders, but that is not the
point. If we want to participate again next year, our number of slots
will also be based on how successfull we are this year. And for
mentors we know well it is easier to guess if they can meet their
goals than for people unknown to us.

This is of particular importance for writing interfaces between
systems, where knowledge of R internals can be crucial. It is not like
that I do not think that the project can be done by the people
proposing it, but there are no means for me to assess in the limited
time we have whether they can do it or not.

I would love to assign slots to every projects that looks good, but
Google gave us only four, so somebody has to be disappointed.

But allmost all of R got created without any external funding, so I
don't see why this should be stop for the project. It won't be me
doing it, but I would be very excited to see it happen!


Prof. Dr. Friedrich Leisch 

Institut für Statistik                          Tel: (+49 89) 2180 3165
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität                  Fax: (+49 89) 2180 5308
Ludwigstraße 33
D-80539 München                     http://www.statistik.lmu.de/~leisch
   Journal Computational Statistics --- http://www.springer.com/180 
          Münchner R Kurse --- http://www.statistik.lmu.de/R

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