[R] vsize and nsize

Z. Todd Taylor Todd.Taylor at pnl.gov
Mon May 17 17:07:03 CEST 1999

Tony Long <tdlong at uci.edu> wrote:

> 	I agree that R is not "designed" for large calculations.  On the
> other hand it is nice to have one statistical package to use for all
> calculations.  I mostly deal with Drosophila and DNA, as such I  am an
> amateur statistician and would like to avoid learning a number of
> statistical languages.  With a big Linux box, I can often power through
> things.  In the past I have found it frustrating to do a bunch of stuff in
> SAS only to hit a snag and then have to write (time consuming) "C" code to
> finish the job.  So although not designed for large calculations, R is so
> flexible and logical that it is very attractive to use it for such...I
> think that many other people may be similarly attracted to the language.  I
> would appreciate dialog, as I think that much more may have been
> accomplished in R than was intended by the founders.

R's poor handling of large datasets is half the reason I have
not moved more of my work from S(plus) to R (the other half
being the absence of trellis).  I love its lexical closures, but
they're not worth the memory penalty if you have huge datasets.

Maybe someday R will get something akin to Perl's 'tie'
mechanism that would allow practical analysis of huge
datasets.  Maybe that's not possible.

Z. Todd Taylor
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Todd.Taylor at pnl.gov
Why does cleave mean both separate and adhere?
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