[R] Confusing concept of vector and matrix in R

Barry Rowlingson b.rowlingson at lancaster.ac.uk
Tue Mar 30 11:04:33 CEST 2010

On Tue, Mar 30, 2010 at 2:42 AM, Rolf Turner <r.turner at auckland.ac.nz> wrote:

> Well then, why don't you go away and design and build your own statistics and
> data analysis language/package to replace R?  You can then make whatever
> design decisions you like, and you won't have to live with the design decisions
> made by such silly and inept people as John Chambers and Rick Becker and their ilk.

 Aah, argument by (ironic) reference to learned authority!

 Even Einstein was wrong ("God does not play dice"). He was also
right, thought he was wrong, and then we've discovered he may have
been right all along (The Cosmological Constant, Dark Energy etc).

 How many of us have _never_ interfaced our foreheads with the
keyboard when something breaks because we didn't put ",drop=FALSE" in
a matrix subscript?

 There is no doubt that R plays fast and loose with many concepts of
type and structure that Computer Scientists would turn their nose up
at. I would love to go away and redesign it, but I'd just end up with
python. Truth is that R's statistical power is what makes it great
because of the vast wealth of CRAN, not the R language per se with its
"features" that so fluster my comp-sci friends. And many a beginner.

We work round them by bashing our heads on the keyboards, typing
",drop=FALSE", and vowing never to do it again. And writing more unit


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