Pandas like features
data.pulverizer at gmail.com
Sat Nov 14 01:05:49 UTC 2020
On Friday, 13 November 2020 at 22:59:23 UTC, bachmeier wrote:
> Well, I don't want to get into a big debate about R ...
You already did so by reading something else into what I was
> I nonetheless don't agree with the conclusion that it should
> never be used.
I never said this. From the beginning I said that there are some
instances where R could be used.
> I've seen loads of R criticism, and it's almost always
> something like this. Here's one I've probably seen 50 times:
> x <- 1:10
> j <- 4
> The code returns [6 7]! It should obviously return [2 3 4 5 6
> 7]! R is trash! ...
> Another is that x[-1] drops the first element. If you come from
> another language, that might not be what you expect.
This is not what I'm talking about, but there are *many* known
issues with how R behaves, but you seen not to have selected any
of the well known ones. Here are just a few:
1. R can suddenly decide that your character (string) should
suddenly become a factor - even if you know about this it can
still difficult to tell when this occurs. That's why
2. R can suddenly decide that your selection in a matrix should
be a vector. So if you were selecting mat[, 1:n] and n == 1 you
don't get a matrix anymore, and your code will fall over. That's
why drop = TRUE/FALSE exists. Can still be a difficult bug to
find. I've seen this happen MANY times. The behaviour in Julia
mat[:, 1:n] when n == 1 is the expected one.
3. Recycling elements instead of throwing an error - loads of
bugs for this one.
4. sapply will return whatever it wants with the same argument
types. One minute a matrix and another time a list and so on.
With the SAME ARGUMENT TYPES!
5. Dates will suddenly unpredictably morph into numbers.
cat("Today is: ", Sys.Date()).
6. The flimsy and almost unusable set of OOP tools. S3, S4, "R5"
- Refererence Classes, and R6 - how many languages have that many
OOP systems? Mone of which are particularly effective.
These are just a few of the popular ones but there are MANY more.
When your code base grows, these and many other types of issues
start to have a serious impact on the stability of your
application. There are places for R, but you have to be VERY
careful where you put it.
> R was designed to be used as (1) a functional language, and (2)
> a specialized tool to quickly solve a specialized set of
> problems. It's remarkably difficult to write incorrect code if
> you're using it as it was designed to be used, which includes
> pure functions and immutable data structures.
Sounds as if you're "quoting from authority here". The flow of
what you've said here is misleading. If you said, "R is *weakly*
'functional-like' and has some convenience as a result", I might
reluctantly accept that. But R doesn't have anywhere near enough
features from functional programming to be even *used* as a
functional language. How can you have so much instability built
into a language can call it functional? R is the opposite of
functional ethos! It has obscene permissiveness on some issues
and irrational restrictiveness on others.
> Honestly, the vast majority of R critiques are not different
> from the folks that post here about how D does things wrong
> because it's different from C++ or Python or whatever language.
This is not true. I can write code in D and be pretty sure that
it does what I think it does - even before thorough testing, you
win massively just with static typing. C++ too. Even before the
new Python function type system it was still pretty robust for a
dynamic language, now you can fairly well gaurantee some things.
Julia in principle is all but a static language with
dynamic-typing "tagged on". R occupies a particular space as a
programming language, and it's a space I'm wary of, and I think
others should be careful, cognizant of it, and use it accordingly.
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