[R] anti-R vitriol

Gabor Grothendieck ggrothendieck at myway.com
Tue Jun 29 21:40:19 CEST 2004

Barry Rowlingson <B.Rowlingson <at> lancaster.ac.uk> writes:

: A colleague is receiving some data from another person. That person 
: reads the data in SAS and it takes 30s and uses 64k RAM. That person 
: then tries to read the data in R and it takes 10 minutes and uses a 
: gigabyte of RAM. Person then goes on to say:
:    It's not that I think SAS is such great software,
:    it's not.  But I really hate badly designed
:    software.  R is designed by committee.  Worse,
:    it's designed by a committee of statisticians.
:    They tend to confuse numerical analysis with
:    computer science and don't have any idea about
:    software development at all.  The result is R.
:    I do hope [your colleague] won't have to waste time doing
:    [this analysis] in an outdated and poorly designed piece
:    of software like R.
: Would any of the "committee" like to respond to this? Or shall we just 
: slap our collective forehead and wonder how someone could get such a view?

Does he have to repeatedly read in different large datasets or is this 
just a one time requirement?  In the latter case, he could read in the 
data, save it (using the save command), and then just load it (using
the load command) in subsequent sessions.  He would only have to wait 
10 minutes the first time.  If he has that much data its probably a 
large project and a one time hit of 10 minutes versus several days, 
weeks or months of work seems negligible.

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