[R-SIG-Finance] Lisp as a Base for a Statistical Computing System

Dirk Eddelbuettel edd at debian.org
Wed Jan 26 16:51:23 CET 2011

On 26 January 2011 at 10:28, Andrew Piskorski wrote:
| On Tue, Jan 25, 2011 at 11:17:45AM -0500, Dominick Samperi wrote:
| Subject: Re: [R-SIG-Finance] R to common lisp translator
| > The paper by Ross Ihaka and Duncan Temple Lang titled "Back to the
| > Future: Lisp as a Base for a Statistical Computing System" discusses
| > building a new foundation for R on top of Common Lisp, but I don't know
| > if any work is being done in this direction.
| Btw, when I read that paper a few years ago, it was interesting, but
| it also sounded a lot like its authors largely picked their solution
| (Lisp) first, and then thought about how to justify it.  Lisp probably
| WOULD be a pretty good base for building a next-generation R-like
| tool, but their discussion of possible alternatives seemed quite
| cursory, as did their "Backward's compatibility?" section.
|   http://lambda-the-ultimate.org/node/3726
| If I had both the time (a lot of time!) and a real mandate to do R&D
| on something like that, I'd also look into LuaJIT, Erlang, and SciDB,
| and think hard about what R problems I really want to solve and what I
| could learn about solving them from those other tools.  However,
| despite these criticisms, I do hope that Ihaka and Lang proceed
| further with their ideas, and look forward to reading more about it.
| Of course, this is all pretty much off topic...
| For the original poster who sparked this thread:  Trying to speed up
| your R code by auto-translating it to Lisp is a crazy, totally
| impractical idea.  You are confusing someone's brief dead-end R&D
| exploration with something you could actually use for real.  Profile
| your R code and figure out what is really slowing it down, then
| proceed from there.  There isn't any magic Lisp bullet to solve things
| for you.

Well put.  I don't often feel the need for an old-fashioned AOL-style 'me
too' but this is one of those cases.

R gives you more analytical fire power than any other tool we know, and it
also gives you well-tested means to accelerate your code.  I gave a few
tutorials on introducing HPC with R that illustrate a some of those means.
Reimplementing in another language nobody on the street uses is not one of


| -- 
| Andrew Piskorski <atp at piskorski.com>
| http://www.piskorski.com/
| _______________________________________________
| R-SIG-Finance at r-project.org mailing list
| https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-sig-finance
| -- Subscriber-posting only. If you want to post, subscribe first.
| -- Also note that this is not the r-help list where general R questions should go.

Dirk Eddelbuettel | edd at debian.org | http://dirk.eddelbuettel.com

More information about the R-SIG-Finance mailing list