[R] [EXTERNAL] Re: The "--slave" option

Sicotte, Hugues, Ph.D. S|cotte@Hugue@ @end|ng |rom m@yo@edu
Thu Sep 19 15:58:01 CEST 2019

I prefer backward compatibility to PC too, but since we're on the topic,

My personal PC advocacy  is against the term blacklist always being associated with some "negatives".

A search of CRAN found several packages using this term.
I advocate using a more descriptive term, such.


Package maintainers can keep the old term, but please mark it as deprecated.
Thank you for your consideration.

Hugues Sicotte 

-----Original Message-----
From: R-help [mailto:r-help-bounces using r-project.org] On Behalf Of Rolf Turner
Sent: Wednesday, September 18, 2019 6:10 PM
To: Benjamin Lang
Cc: r-help using r-project.org
Subject: [EXTERNAL] Re: [R] The "--slave" option

On 18/09/19 6:00 PM, Benjamin Lang wrote:

> Dear R project,
> I have a very simple question:
> How, in late 2019, is there an option called "--slave" to "make R run as
> quietly as possible"?
> Let me reiterate that it is 2019, i.e. "The Future", rather than 1970 when
> R was presumably developed, based on its atrocious syntax, documentation
> and usability (I think I only need to say "NaN", "NULL", and "NA").
> This is a disgrace and it should have been addressed one or two decades
> ago. Why not just "--quiet"?
> Please do not mention "backwards compatibility".

Personally I much prefer backwards compatibility to political correctness.

> For the historically
> inclined, it does not make much of a difference whether the term evokes the
> Roman, Greek, American or modern kind of slavery for you: it is as
> disgusting as it gets.

IMHO this is a precious PC quibble, taking offence where no offence is 

If you are really concerned about literal slavery --- as everyone should 
be --- then join/contribute to an appropriate activist organisation 
(e.g. Amnesty International, which is my personal choice).


Rolf Turner

Honorary Research Fellow
Department of Statistics
University of Auckland
Phone: +64-9-373-7599 ext. 88276

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