[R] style question: returning multiple arguments - structure orlist

A.J. Rossini rossini at blindglobe.net
Sun Jul 29 20:44:37 CEST 2001

>>>>> "f" == fharrell  <fharrell at virginia.edu> writes:

    f> One thing that I have learned is a mistake is to try to "ease"
    f> the students into S by having them spend the first 2-3 weeks of
    f> the course using only the S-Plus graphical user interface.
    f> From now on I'm going directly to the command line.

On a similar but completely different note -- our computer orientation
for new grad students gives it to them "hard"; it's a 2-3 hour session
(negotiating time for this coming year), which for the last few, has
discussed using S-PLUS and LaTeX via XEmacs.  This is the first time
that some of them have used a command line interface, nearly solidly,
for 3 hours

Sure, there are much simpler methods, but if they learn the harder
(and more powerful) approach, there will be no need to fall back.  And
those who just can't get it (there are always a few), can back down to
pico for editing, LyX/TeXmacs for WP'ing, or even revert to Windows or
similar click-and-destruct interfaces; there is no need to "train" for
those, esp given the prolific business for tools under Microsoft, of
"how-to" books.

They won't learn everything in a quick session, but we have ended up
with a fair number of students who go into their first fall quarter
thinking that the right way to run S is "xemacs -f S", and never look
back.  Also, using AUC-TeX to write/generate/print LaTeX documents is
fairly natural, with a few hints (esp with x-symbol's MS-eqn editor
style point-and-click "table of symbols", for equation writing).

Student backgrounds have changed (i.e. more computer usage, less
command line familiarity), even during the very few years that I've
run this session...

The session isn't a complete success, but we do get a good number of
people thinking about the value of power vs. ease of use for tools.


A.J. Rossini				Rsrch. Asst. Prof. of Biostatistics
U. of Washington Biostatistics		rossini at u.washington.edu	
FHCRC/SCHARP/HIV Vaccine Trials Net	rossini at scharp.org
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