[R] A comment about R:
Rau, Roland
Rau at demogr.mpg.de
Tue Jan 3 11:08:00 CET 2006
> -----Original Message-----
> From: r-help-bounces at stat.math.ethz.ch
> [mailto:r-help-bounces at stat.math.ethz.ch] On Behalf Of Gabor
> Grothendieck
> Sent: Monday, January 02, 2006 4:59 PM
> To: Philippe Grosjean
> Cc: Kort, Eric; Kjetil Halvorsen; R-help at stat.math.ethz.ch
> Subject: Re: [R] A comment about R:
>
>
> Probably what is needed is for someone familiar with both Stata and R
> to create a lexicon in the vein of the Octave to R lexicon
>
> http://cran.r-project.org/doc/contrib/R-and-octave-2.txt
>
> to make it easier for Stata users to understand R. Ditto for
> SAS and SPSS.
>
>
IMO this is a very good proposal but I think that the main problem is
not the "translation" of one function in SPSS/Stata/SAS to the
equivalent in R.
Remembering my first contact with R after using SPSS for some years (and
having some experience with Stata and SAS) was that your mental
framework is different. You think in "SPSS-terms" (i.e. you expect that
data are automatically a rectangular matrix, functions operate on
columns of this matrix, you have always only one dataset available,
...). This is why "jumping" from SPSS to Stata is relatively easy. But
to jump from any of the three to R is much more difficult.
This mental barrier is also the main obstacle for me now when I try to
encourage the use of R to other people who have a similar background as
I had.
What can be done about it? I guess the only answer is investing time
from the user which implies that R will probably never become the
language of choice for "casual users". But popularity is probably not
the main goal of the R-Project (it would be rather a nice side-effect).
Just a few thoughts ...
Best,
Roland
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