[R] A comment about R:

Patrick Burns pburns at pburns.seanet.com
Tue Jan 3 16:31:09 CET 2006

I have had an email conversation with the author of the
technical report from which the quote was taken.  I am
formulating a comment to the report that will be posted
with the technical report.

I would be pleased if this thread continued, so I will know
better what I want to say.  Plus I should be able to reference
this thread in the comment.


Patrick Burns
patrick at burns-stat.com
+44 (0)20 8525 0696
(home of S Poetry and "A Guide for the Unwilling S User")

Rau, Roland wrote:

> > -----Original Message-----
>>From: r-help-bounces at stat.math.ethz.ch 
>>[mailto:r-help-bounces at stat.math.ethz.ch] On Behalf Of Gabor 
>>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 ...
>This mail has been sent through the MPI for Demographic Rese...{{dropped}}
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