[R] Scripting capabilities for R

Marc Feldesman feldesmanm at pdx.edu
Wed May 30 01:31:20 CEST 2001

I'm in the final week of teaching a course to beginners using R and 
S-Plus.  Since I forbade the students from using the "point-and-click" 
interface in S-Plus, they've become reasonably proficient at using the 
command line in both programs.

Students really like the speed and ease-of-use of R for the vast majority 
of their projects.  I think they'd switch to R completely if they could get:

1)  trellis graphics (I've encouraged them to try grid and lattice).
2)  the full complement of multiple comparisons capabilities found in 
Splus' multicomp.
3)  the more comprehensive discriminant analysis routines in S-Plus 2000 
and 6.0 - the ones with all the inferential testing as well as the 
classification results (they use the MASS routines now.  The S-Plus version 
has more options to study the separations themselves).

4)  Scripting capabilities.

Of these 4, their priority is for R to have S-Plus scripting capability.  I 
realize that they can get this using Emacs with ESS, but I found it 
sufficiently daunting to teach rank beginners how to use R/S-Plus 
proficiently in 10 weeks that teaching them how to use Emacs/ESS at the 
same time scares the bejesus out of me.

I haven't seen any mention of this as a development priority.  Is any of 
this on anyone's "to do" list?

Thanks for such an incredibly robust program.  Keep up the great work.

Dr. Marc R. Feldesman
Professor and Chairman
Anthropology Department
Portland State University
1721 SW Broadway
Portland, Oregon 97201
email:  feldesmanm at pdx.edu
phone:  503-725-3081
fax:    503-725-3905
PGP Key Available On Request

"Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society.
If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people
for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of
power."   P.J. O'Rourke

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