[Rd] [R] Semantics of sequences in R

Wacek Kusnierczyk Waclaw.Marcin.Kusnierczyk at idi.ntnu.no
Tue Feb 24 11:31:13 CET 2009

Dimitris Rizopoulos wrote:
> in my opinion the point of the whole discussion could be summarized by
> the question, what is a design flaw? This is totally subjective, and
> it happens almost everywhere in life. Take human languages as an
> example and in particular, English. I do not know the history of the
> English language but I can guess at some point some people decided
> that the past tense for "give" should be "gave" and not "gived"
> according to the standard rule, possibly because they thought it has
> better acoustic.
> Is this a design flaw of English? Some might argue yes, maybe they
> would think "gived" does not have a that bad acoustic or they could
> have come up with another possibility than "gave". Does this confuse
> new users of English? Of course it does -- I had to spent many hours
> learning the past tense and past particle of the irregular verbs.
> Should it be changed? Then almost all existing code (i.e., English
> texts) should be rewritten, which I think demonstrates why some people
> are a bit reluctant in design changes.
> To close I'd like to share with you a Greek saying (maybe also a
> saying in other parts of the world) that goes, for every rule there is
> an exception. The important thing, in my opinion, is that these
> exceptions are documented.

all this is true;  however, programming languages are not natural
languages, there are substantial differences, and conclusions valid for
natural languages are not necessarily valid for programming languages.


More information about the R-devel mailing list