[R] Re: R or Splus

ben@zoo.ufl.edu ben at zoo.ufl.edu
Thu Dec 7 00:14:35 CET 2000

On Wed, 6 Dec 2000 J.Brainard at uea.ac.uk wrote:

> When I had said:
> >> R can't handle files named x.  If I can use Splus, should I just do that?
> RG added:
>   >This is simply untrue. Perhaps you could read those discussions
>   >somewhat more carefully.
> There was definitely a recent message to the effect that someone was
> trying to do something with an object named 'x', and the reply came
> back that it wasn't possible -- there was a bug that prevented
> one calling an object x and using the desired function.
> Was the function glm, perhaps?
> I've overwritten that message, now, so can't quote directly.


It was a problem with data frames (not 'files') named 'x'.

I may be stating the obvious, but I think some people on this list may
have taken exception at the tone of your first message which had (whether
intentionally or not) a tone of "R doesn't work, what are you going to do
about it?"  No-one gets paid to develop R, they don't care whether you use
R or not; most people who have used R have (I would guess) had a very good

  It may be that you got stuck with an old version, but the kinds of
problems you described sounded odd indeed, as though there was something
else wrong.  The more detail you can give about the version you are using
(see ?bug.report) and what you tried to do, with simple examples that
other people can run if possible, the more likely you are to get help.

> G.Janacek at uea.ac.uk said:
> > UEA runs both  R and Splus. The Splus license in on the Unix boxes.
> >The version of R os  I am told a buggy one and the current one is
> >better.
> I think this explains a lot about my situation.  It's version 0.90.1 of R
> on DEC alphas I've been trying to use.  And I was misinformed
> when told we didn't have Splus any more (arrrrrrrrrgggg)
> However... I could become an R convert if I'm told it's
> a) mind-bogglingly simple to install on Win Nt
>    there are firm limits to my geek credentials

  It's really very simple -- there's an installer that takes just a few
mouse clicks.  I've done it in ten minutes, and I'm not much of an NT

> b) can handle cluster analysis with 2000 records (mclust, preferred,
>    although I'd take kmeans if nec'y).  Splus 5.0 on the
>    Manchester Cray has been falling over on this, much to my great
>    annoyance, no matter how large a workspace I give mclust, hclust
>    or kmeans, etc.

  There is an mclust package on CRAN
(http://cran.r-project.org/src/contrib/PACKAGES.html#mclust), I don't have
any idea what the memory limitations are.  Do you know enough about the
clustering algorithm (I don't) to know if this kind of analysis would
involve mindbogglingly large matrices that would choke any system?

S+Spatialstats is not the ARCview interface, but a variety of functions
for spatial analysis.  Much of the functionality can probably be gotten by
cobbling together freely available packages (splancs, the spatial package
from Venables and Ripley, sgeostat, etc.) or written from scratch, but it
does provide some extra functionality.

> I guess you mean the Arc-S+ links?  The 8 or 9 functions they
> were flogging about 5 years ago or so for 800 quid or so?
> (That's $ 11000 or so to the Yanks).

  Order of magnitude problem in the currency conversion here?

> What I'm saying is, it really may be a waste of money to get the
> Spatial modules.

Take a look before you decide this:

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