[R] Macros versus functions

Murray Jorgensen maj at stats.waikato.ac.nz
Fri Nov 8 01:31:01 CET 2002

Thanks, but now you've got me worried. I have an idea that it must have 
been a vague memory of this article that inspired the question! Time for 
a brain scan soon!

Murray Jorgensen

Huntsinger, Reid wrote:
> A nice article by Thomas Lumley on a sort of macro facility for
> R appeared in the R Newsletter a few issues ago: 
> http://cran.r-project.org/doc/Rnews/Rnews_2001-3.pdf
> Reid Huntsinger
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Murray Jorgensen [mailto:maj at stats.waikato.ac.nz]
> Sent: Thursday, November 07, 2002 4:14 PM
> To: R-help
> Subject: [R] Macros versus functions
> R is a function-oriented language and functions have the advantage that 
> they control unintended side effects of computations on the workspace. 
> Still, there are times when I am using R when I want to make a large 
> number of changes to the worksheet repeatedly and where the easiest way 
>   seems to be to keep pasting in the same chunk of code, or to put it on 
> a file and use source("filename"). So effectively R does have macros as 
> well as functions.
> Question: is the use of macros in this way 'bad practice' to be 
> deprecated, and if so why? (If I decide that it is bad practice I will 
> probably go on being bad, but I will try not to pass on bad habits to my 
> students!)
> Murray

Dr Murray Jorgensen      http://www.stats.waikato.ac.nz/Staff/maj.html
Department of Statistics, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand
Email: maj at waikato.ac.nz                                Fax 7 838 4155
Phone  +64 7 838 4773 wk    +64 7 849 6486 home     Mobile 021 395 862

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