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Programming Stats Math Open Source Python

R Throwdown Challenge 185

theodp (442580) writes "'R beats Python!' screams the headline at Prof. Norm Matloff's Mad (Data) Scientist blog. 'R beats Julia! Anyone else wanna challenge R?' Not that he has anything against Python, Matloff adds, but he just doesn't believe that Python or Julia will become 'the new R' anytime soon, or ever. Why? 'R is written by statisticians, for statisticians,' explains Matloff. 'It matters. An Argentinian chef, say, who wants to make Japanese sushi may get all the ingredients right, but likely it just won't work out quite the same. Similarly, a Pythonista could certainly cook up some code for some statistical procedure by reading a statistics book, but it wouldn't be quite same. It would likely be missing some things of interest to the practicing statistician. And R is Statistically Correct.'"
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R Throwdown Challenge

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  • by smittyoneeach ( 243267 ) * on Sunday May 25, 2014 @08:30AM (#47086779) Homepage Journal
    Nothing with a name that verbose can possibly be any good.
  • And R is Statistically Correct.

    I don't see any margin of error. This claim is scientifically worthless.

  • by kav2k ( 1545689 ) on Sunday May 25, 2014 @09:03AM (#47086861)

    A joke I've read recently [twitter.com]:

    I'm not sure if "R is written by statisticians, for statisticians" is a good thing e.g. "stadiums are built by footballers, for footballers"

  • by Gaygirlie ( 1657131 ) <gaygirlie@[ ]mail.com ['hot' in gap]> on Sunday May 25, 2014 @09:59AM (#47086995) Homepage

    my friend uses julia, and every few weeks complains about some bug.

    He should tell Julia to wear protection and be more careful with who she spends time with so as not to catch so many bugs.

  • by TheRealHocusLocus ( 2319802 ) on Sunday May 25, 2014 @10:27AM (#47087105)

    "Arrrr.... fix yar name 'R' while you may, maties!!"

    I may not have the belly for Deep Statistics but I do know abut Internet Search noise levels. I remember trying to do research on WebDAV (believe me, there is such a thing) only to discover that folks discussing it invariably refer to it as 'dav'. Because saying "Distributed Authoring [and] Versioning" out loud makes you spit out your toothpick. Any attempt to search 'webdav' yielded only the sterile official pages, and attempts to search on 'dav' with other keywords brought up conversations from the community of Disabled American Veterans who also use the term in casual conversation, and have said an awful lot over the years. They occupied 'dav' first.

    Now you may think you can pull off a 'C' where Google seems to pick off relevant results if you combine it with any computery term, but it was not always so. It has taken an incredible saturation of C, and perhaps some special coded cases on Google's part, for this to come about.

    The success of Perl is due in some part to the ability of confused people to obtain help and advice about it merely by searching on its unique spelling.

    So the best way to push this R language is with a refit of the name. Go with the pirate theme, it will sell many more T-shirts than those of silly camels and pearls. But stake out a bit of Keyword Real Estate that presently has a relatively low population density.

    Google search result estimate counts, descending order,
    r --- 2,730,000,000
    ar --- 656,000,000
    arr --- 24,400,000
    arrrrrrrr --- 3,060,000
    arrrr --- 876,000
    aarr --- 638,000
    arrr --- 536,000
    arrrrr --- 405,000
    aaarrrrr --- 267,000
    arrrrrr --- 205,000
    arrrrrrr --- 129,000
    aarrr --- 107,000
    aarrrr --- 107,000
    aaarrr --- 56,600
    aaarrr --- 56,600
    arrrrrrrrr --- 52,400

    Adding arrrs is not enough since talking like a pirate is typically accomplished with a single 'a', so ar+ space is pretty well populated up to ar{5}, it looks like best ratio is around a{3}r{3}. But even choosing the less-optimum and easier to type a{2}r{3} by using 'aarrr' instead of 'r' you have improved the signal to noise ratio by a factor of twenty-five thousand.

    Push the name change firmly and decisively. This means that if anyone mentions 'R' there should be immediate responses that ask, "What AARRR you talking about?" This will inject the proper searchable term into the discussion while it reminds the poster of the name change.

    For an interesting 9 minute lecture that might help sell you on this idea, listen here [upenn.edu].

  • by FatdogHaiku ( 978357 ) on Sunday May 25, 2014 @11:07AM (#47087263)
    Is this the programming language of Pirates?
    Is this the programming language for Pirates?
    Is this the language for programming Pirates?

Heuristics are bug ridden by definition. If they didn't have bugs, then they'd be algorithms.