[Rd] Re: [R] Hmisc and Design libraries

David James David James <dj@research.bell-labs.com>
Thu, 5 Apr 2001 12:15:45 -0400 (EDT)

Great news!  

Having spent a significant amount of time porting/mantaining some 
packages on S4/Splus 5.x and R, I'm interested in your experience 
as you port Hmisc and Design; I'd like to know of your progress in 
order to help improve available R/Splus portability tools both at the C and 
the S language code.   These tools include the package SLanguage written 
by John Chambers, and the C macros ported to R by Duncan Temple Lang, 
Brian Ripley, Saikat DebRoy (and others?) in "Rdefines.h";  the core macros 
are mainly those in Appendix A of the green book (Chambers, "Programming 
with Data"), but you'll probably need to write additional ones, as I have 
done for my own packages. [BTW, Rdefines.h needs to be updated in R 1.2.2 
(and previous 1.2.x?) -- details will follow when I submit a bug report on 

Notice that by portability we/I typically mean "from Splus -> R", but
more and more we may start seeing "R->Splus" as well.

Should we think of forming an R/Splus portability SIG (Special Interest Group)?


David A. James
Statistics Research, Room 2C-253            Phone:  (908) 582-3082       
Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies              Fax:    (908) 582-3340
Murray Hill, NJ 09794-0636
> Date: Thu, 05 Apr 2001 10:31:42 -0400
> From: Frank E Harrell Jr <fharrell@virginia.edu>
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> To: rhelp <r-help@stat.math.ethz.ch>
> Subject: [R] Hmisc and Design libraries
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> After several nice and informative discussions with Bill Venables,
> Duncan Temple Lang, Tony Rossini, Martin Maechler, and Robert
> Gentleman, I am pleased to announce that I am becoming an R user
> and have begun porting the Hmisc and Design libraries to R. 
> I have been very impressed with the maturity of R and with its 
> logical design, particularly its online documentation setup and
> the way packages are downloaded and installed, not to mention the
> scoping rules and other fundamentals.  Another factor that has
> influenced me is the excellent book "Rebel Code" by Glyn Moody
> which chronicles the open source movement and Linux.  I wish
> to especially thank Bill Venables for his friendly wisdom.
> My guess is that porting the libraries can be largely
> accomplished in the next 4 months (there are about
> 350 functions), especially if any experienced R programmers
> who want to use the libraries would like to help.  I am
> in the process of setting up an ssh-accessed CVS repository
> for each library so that functions can be checked in and
> out.  Anyone wanting to help will of course get plenty
> of acknowledgement.  I have already debugged about 1/4
> of the Hmisc library under R.
> Descriptions of functions in my libraries may be found
> at http://hesweb1.med.virginia.edu/biostat/s/splus.html
> As I will be maintaining the libraries for S-Plus (both
> Windows and Linux/Unix versions, S version 3 and 4
> languages) and for R, I would appreciate learning how
> other users who do the same set up their directories
> to facilitate distributing libraries for both R and
> S-Plus in a way that is also consistent with CVS.  In
> other words, I would like to be able to construct
> distributions suitable for CRAN without making it too
> hard to run Unix/Linux shell scripts that also create
> S-Plus distributions.  I am using a single code base
> for all platforms except for Fortran and C code
> where I allow for single precision objects in S-Plus.
> As I am now Microsoft-free (one of my colleagues creates
> Microsoft Windows files for S-Plus; I have found that
> Linux is amazingly more reliable and powerful than
> Windows.  I have set up a web page at
> http://hesweb1.med.virginia.edu/biostat/s/linux.setup.html
> to help Windows users set up Linux) I am honestly not 
> motivated to do special work to make a Windows distribution
> for R.  If a Windows R user who has suitable Fortran and
> C compilers wishes to periodically create a Windows
> distribution once the libraries work under R on
> Linux/Unix that would be great.
> I am very glad to join the talented R community, and look
> forward to collaborating with other users.
> Sincerely,
> Frank Harrell
> -- 
> Frank E Harrell Jr              Prof. of Biostatistics & Statistics
> Div. of Biostatistics & Epidem. Dept. of Health Evaluation Sciences
> U. Virginia School of Medicine  http://hesweb1.med.virginia.edu/biostat
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