[Rd] I've written a big review of R. Can I get some feedback?

Ben Bolker bbo|ker @end|ng |rom gm@||@com
Mon Apr 11 23:41:23 CEST 2022

   Yes, although I would say that the vast majority of the observations 
here, while true, are thoroughly baked in, through some combination of 
backward compatibility and R-core stubbornness [many of them may indeed 
have been discussed on this list over the years].

    I would say that *documentation* patches (e.g., relating to your 
comments about  the lack of examples for some basic functions) are most 
likely to succeed. Adding a few lines to the documentation here and 
there that will help out new users would have a big marginal value.

   There may be a few edge cases where R does something silently that 
you can successfully argue should *always* be an error, and introduce a 
patch to make it so (e.g. the upcoming change in R 4.2.0 that "Calling 
&& or || with either argument of length greater than one now gives a 
warning (which it is intended will become an error)".

   Some of the issues can be worked around with add-on packages that 
implement the desired functionality (again, it is entirely reasonable to 
argue that the design of the base language should be fixed, but it's not 
going to be ...)

    Ben Bolker

On 4/11/22 4:51 PM, Toby Hocking wrote:
> You could take some of your observations and turn them into patches that
> would help improve R. (discussion of such patches is one function of this
> email list)
> On Sun, Apr 10, 2022 at 9:05 AM Stephen H. Dawson, DSL via R-devel <
> r-devel using r-project.org> wrote:
>> Hi Reece,
>> Thanks for the article. What specific feedback do you seek for your
>> writing?
>> Kindest Regards,
>> *Stephen Dawson, DSL*
>> /Executive Strategy Consultant/
>> Business & Technology
>> +1 (865) 804-3454
>> http://www.shdawson.com
>> On 4/9/22 15:52, Reece Goding wrote:
>>> Hello,
>>> For a while, I've been working on writing a very big review of R. I've
>> finally finished my final proofread of it. Can I get some feedback? This
>> seems the most appropriate place to ask. It's linked below.
>>> https://github.com/ReeceGoding/Frustration-One-Year-With-R
>>> If you think you've seen it before, that will be because it found some
>> popularity on Hacker News before I was done proofreading it. The reception
>> seems largely positive so far.
>>> Thanks,
>>> Reece Goding
>>> ______________________________________________
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>>> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel
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Dr. Benjamin Bolker
Professor, Mathematics & Statistics and Biology, McMaster University
Director, School of Computational Science and Engineering
(Acting) Graduate chair, Mathematics & Statistics

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