[R-SIG-Mac] OSX R Gui Data editor

Byron Ellis byron.ellis at gmail.com
Tue Mar 11 18:11:10 CET 2008

I think this notion that data entry and data analysis should happen
"in the same place" arises from two different things, one cultural and
one practical. The cultural reason is the rise of the spatial
programming language in the form of the spreadsheet, which encourages
the conflating of the data entry and the analysis phase through the
spatial environment. The second is the practical fact that there's no
such thing as an efficient data interchange format aside from,
perhaps, ye olde delimited table. Take a look at InStat (it's a
GraphPad thing for those who don't know), since it was the software
originally mentioned, you can important a couple of different
delimited text files, but you couldn't talk to a database even if you
wanted to and there's a pretty harsh limit on the size of data that
can be processed (1000x26 seems awfully arbitrary in this day and age,
but so it goes).

On Tue, Mar 11, 2008 at 4:24 AM, Antony Unwin
<unwin at math.uni-augsburg.de> wrote:
> This is an interesting issue.  I don't want to discuss (or defend!)
>  R's interface, but rather the idea that statistics software should be
>  able to handle data entry as well.
>  Entering and analysing data are two different activities and I
>  encourage my students to keep them separate.  This is obviously
>  sensible for large datasets, but it also true for small ones.  If
>  data are important enough to test, they should be stored in a file
>  that can be accessed again and, as necessary, given to other people.
>  One of the strengths of R is the ease with which data can be edited,
>  amended, subsetted and manipulated in all sorts of ways.  It is also
>  a potential weakness, unless you keep careful track of your
>  analyses.  Data have often been collected at great expense and with
>  great care.  They deserve to be entered and stored carefully.
>  Why is it people want one piece of software to do everything?  Next
>  time you are in your kitchen, count how many different pieces of
>  equipment you can prepare food with.
>  Antony Unwin
>  Professor of Computer-Oriented Statistics and Data Analysis,
>  Mathematics Institute,
>  University of Augsburg,
>  86135 Augsburg, Germany
>         [[alternative HTML version deleted]]
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Byron Ellis (byron.ellis at gmail.com)
"Oook" -- The Librarian

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