[Rd] Julia

William Dunlap wdunlap at tibco.com
Mon Mar 5 16:53:28 CET 2012

I haven't used Julia yet, but from my quick reading
of the docs it looks like arguments to functions are
passed by reference and not by value, so functions
can change their arguments.  My recollection from when
I first started using S (in the course of a job helping
profs and grad students do statistical programming, c. 1983)
is that not having to worry about in-place algorithms changing
your data gave S a big advantage over Fortran or C.
While this feature could slow things down and increase
memory code, I felt that it made it easier to write correct
code and to use functions that others had written.
Does Julia have a const declaration or other
means of controlling or documenting that a given function
will or will not change the data passed into it?

Bill Dunlap
Spotfire, TIBCO Software
wdunlap tibco.com 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: r-devel-bounces at r-project.org [mailto:r-devel-bounces at r-project.org] On Behalf Of oliver
> Sent: Friday, March 02, 2012 5:14 PM
> To: Douglas Bates
> Cc: R-devel
> Subject: Re: [Rd] Julia
> On Thu, Mar 01, 2012 at 11:06:51AM -0600, Douglas Bates wrote:
> > My purpose in mentioning the Julia language (julialang.org) here is
> > not to start a flame war.  I find it to be a very interesting
> > development and others who read this list may want to read about it
> > too.
> [...]
> Very interesting language.
> Thank you for mentioning it here.
> Compiling from the github-sources was easy.
> Will explore it during the next days.
> Seems not to be very specific to statistics,
> but good for math in general.
> Not sure, if it might make sense to combine
> R and Julia in the long run (I mean: combining via
> providing interfaces between them, calling the one via the
> other, merging code or using libs from the one or the other
> from each side).
> Ciao,
>    Oliver
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