[Rd] Regression stars

Hervé Pagès hpages at fhcrc.org
Tue Feb 12 19:47:31 CET 2013

On 02/12/2013 08:20 AM, peter dalgaard wrote:
> On Feb 12, 2013, at 17:05 , Brian Lee Yung Rowe wrote:
>> I thought that the default was the way it was for performance reasons. For large data.frames or repeated applications, using factors should be faster for non-trivial strings.
> I think not. Historically, it's more like "In statistics we have two kinds of variables, numerical and categorical. OK, so we have the occasional truly character-type variables like name and address, let's handle those as a special case".


Since character vectors are sooooo bad and people use them where
they should instead use a factor, I propose to go all the way and
by adding the stringsAsFactors arg to character() too. That way
people are put on the right track from the very start.


No seriously, if my variable is categorical, it's already in a factor
and that's how I pass it to data.frame(). But if I have it in a
character vector, it's because that's how I want it. It's my choice.
How could anybody ever think that having data.frame() alter his/her
data is a good thing?

Please *remove* the stringsAsFactors arg of data.frame() in R 3.0.
You'll do a big favor to your user base.



Hervé Pagès

Program in Computational Biology
Division of Public Health Sciences
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
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E-mail: hpages at fhcrc.org
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