R-beta: R and S: Differences to a person who has used neither

Peter Dalgaard BSA p.dalgaard at kubism.ku.dk
Tue Jul 1 11:13:37 CEST 1997

Ross & <ihaka at stat.auckland.ac.nz> writes:

> Brent Hutto writes:
>  > 
>  > Can someone outline the differences between R and, say, S-plus that 
>  > would be obvious to a person just starting out programming? If I 
>  > stick to R will I be missing out on some "once you see it you've just 
>  > gotta have it" features? Any guidance available is much appreciated.
> If there are obvious differences, let us know and we do what we can to
> move R in the S direction. 

Well, actually some of the differences are definite improvements,
particularly the lexical scoping in R makes for considerably neater
programming of code that "computes on the language". I conjecture that
the main reason we see so few incompatibilities with S code in this
respect is that the S way of doing things is so awkward that nobody
has been using it...

The things that you *will* be missing in R are more likely to be
specific statistical analyses, like unbalanced mixed models (we really
don't have these, do we?). One might hope that code for such things
get contributed over time. Actually, a lot of the code in S-plus stems
from contributed functions on Statlib, and can be ported without too
much trouble.

   O__  ---- Peter Dalgaard             Blegdamsvej 3  
  c/ /'_ --- Dept. of Biostatistics     2200 Cph. N   
 (*) \(*) -- University of Copenhagen   Denmark      Ph: (+45) 35327918
~~~~~~~~~~ - (p.dalgaard at biostat.ku.dk)             FAX: (+45) 35327907
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