b.rowlingson at lancaster.ac.uk
Thu May 14 13:05:30 CEST 2009
> As a beginner, I agree .... the for loop is much clearer to me.
[Warning: Contains mostly philosophy]
To me, the world and how I interact with it is procedural. When I want
to break six eggs I do 'get six eggs, repeat "break egg" until all
eggs broken'. I don't apply an instance of the break egg function over
a range of eggs. My world is not functional (just like me, some might
say...). Neither do I send a 'break yourself' message to each egg - my
world is not object-oriented.
That does not mean that these paradigms are not good ways of writing
computer programs - they are brilliant ways of writing computer
programs. But they build on procedural concepts, and we don't teach
children to run before they can walk.
So when someone says 'how do I do this a thousand times?' on R-help,
I'll assume their knowledge level is that of a beginner, and try to
map the solution to their world view.
Computer scientists will write their beautiful manuscripts, but how
many people who come to R because they want to do a t-test or fit a
GLM will read them? That's the R-help audience now.
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