[R] Several R vs S-Plus issues

Liaw, Andy andy_liaw at merck.com
Thu Oct 4 14:11:56 CEST 2001

> > R is open source. If you want to change something, you are 
> free to change 
> > it and you are free to contribute your changes to the community.
> Really?  You think nobody in the community would complain if 
> I went in and
> changed the behavior of "[" for character vectors?  I don't 
> really understand
> the OSS model, but I doubt that.  I think I am a "user", not 
> a "developer".

IMHO, for an OSS project, the line between "user" and "developer" tend to be
very fuzzy.  Many contributions to the code came from people who *are*
users.  They added features or fixed bugs because they want/need to for
themselves, and feel it might be useful for others.

No one can/will stop you from modifying the behavior of "[" for character
vectors in R for your own use.  Whether your modification will be accepted
by the R community at large is an entirely different matter.
> 3) Feature and compatibility requests go to r-devel, to which 
> I am just now
>    subscribed.  Separate messages, I suppose.  These would be:
>    - LETTERS[c(NA,2)] in S is c("","B"), but in R is c("NA","B")

My vote is for this to be called a bug.  The S behavior is consistent.  R

>    Philippe Grosjean (phgrosje at ulb.ac.be) suggested I make a 
> project of
>    collecting all such differences, but frankly that's too 
> big a job for me.
>    I am, after all, supposed to be working!

And what do you think all those who put their time and effort into
writing/fixing/maintaining R are doing?  AFAIK not a single one of them gets
a penny for the work they put into R.
> I have the greatest respect for Peter and all the others who 
> work so hard at
> this project.  I'm obviously having some trouble understanding the
> communication model, but I'll get it eventually.  Peace.
> 			     -- David Brahm (a215020 at agate.fmr.com)

Just my $0.02...

Andy I. Liaw, PhD
Biometrics Research          Phone: (732) 594-0820
Merck & Co., Inc.              Fax: (732) 594-1565
P.O. Box 2000, RY70-38            Rahway, NJ 07065
mailto:andy_liaw at merck.com

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