Thomas Lumley thomas@biostat.washington.edu
Sun, 3 Jan 1999 12:44:42 -0800 (PST)

On Fri, 1 Jan 1999, Steve Oncley wrote:

> Happy 1999!
> I've been celebrating the holidays by (finally) getting to the port of our 
> S+ NetCDF routines to R, which I'm trying to make into a library.  At the 
> moment, there are two issues I'd appreciate advice on:
> 1. Is support for mode "single" data planned anytime soon in R?  A lot of
> our NetCDF files contain "single" data and having to coerce into "double"
> will increase the use of R memory drastically (and slow things down).

I don't think there's any immediate plan for genuine single precision
support.  I have written some code based on an idea of Peter Dalgaard's
to simplify porting of code that uses single precision. It uses a vector
of integers of class "single" to hold the data and defines various group
methods based on coercing back to double precision at the slightest
provocation. It's very preliminary at the moment, but you can get it at 

This obviously wouldn't solve the time or memory problems, but only a few
people have time/memory problems that would be solved by single precision
support and it appears that none of them has the substantial amount of
spare time needed to implement it.

Thomas Lumley
Assistant Professor, Biostatistics
University of Washington, Seattle

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