[Rd] Regression stars

Uwe Ligges ligges at statistik.tu-dortmund.de
Tue Feb 12 15:20:08 CET 2013

On 12.02.2013 14:54, Ben Bolker wrote:
> Duncan Murdoch <murdoch.duncan <at> gmail.com> writes:
>    [snip]
>> Regarding stringsAsFactors:  I'm not going to defend keeping it as is,
>> I'll let the people who like it defend it.
>    Would someone (anyone) like to come forward and give us a defense
> of stringsAsFactors=TRUE -- even someone who doesn't personally like
> it but would like to play devil's advocate?

I will have to change all my scripts, my teaching examples, my book, and 
lots of code examples for research and particularly consulting jobs.

Personally, I think having stringsAsFactors=TRUE is not too bad for 
read.table() but less useful for data.frame().

And since you ask for the devil's advocate already, related to the 
subject line: Removing stars is horrible for consulting: With all those 
people from biology, medicine and other fields who even ask us questions 
in term of significance stars that are obviously very common for them. 
Many of them will certainly ask us for the stars, and ask us to switch 
to another software product once they do not get it from R. They may not 
be interested in being taught about the advantages or disadvantages of 
p-values or stars.

There are different use cases of R, and I want to keep stars for 
consulting tasks where things have to be delivered within minutes. I am 
happy with or without for teaching, where I have the time and can easily 
talk about the sense and nonsense of p-values.


>> What I will likely do is
>> make a few changes so that character vectors are automatically changed
>> to factors in modelling functions, so that operating with
>> stringsAsFactors=FALSE doesn't trigger silly warnings.
>> Duncan Murdoch
>   [apologies for snipping context: "gmane made me do it"]
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