[R] hard to believe speed difference

Michael Camann mac24 at humboldt.edu
Thu Aug 8 18:16:26 CEST 2002

Forgive me if I'm adding to this thread a bit late, but I've just returned
to town.  Also, apologies in advance to those who might take offense that
this post is not specifically a help related response.

Like many of us on this list (I presume), I've been writing computer code
for twenty-five years or so in a wide variety of languages.  I started
using S-Plus in 1991 and switched to R when I took my present job in 1997.
The point of this is that despite a decade or so of S/R experience, I've
only recently, within the last couple of years, begun to write R code that
makes efficient use of the language, particularly with regard to
eliminating loops.  Old habits die hard, especially coding paradigms that
are efficient solutions in many environments but not in R.

Perhaps when the Intro to R undergoes it's next modification cycle it
might be useful to say something about this *prominantly*.  Of course,
I'll be the first to admit that it might be there already-- part of the
problem is that those of us with extensive coding experience probably just
apply what we know works in other environments to our R code, where it
also works, albeit less efficiently, and cruise the manual(s) only when we
need to solve a syntax problem, locate a function argument, etc.  Perhaps
an rlint() function or something similar is in order....

--Mike C.

Michael A. Camann                                  Voice: 707-826-3676
Associate Professor of Zoology                       Fax: 707-826-3201
Institute for Forest Canopy Research     Email: mac24 at axe.humboldt.edu
Department of Biology                            ifcr at axe.humboldt.edu
Humboldt State University
Arcata, CA 95521


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