29 November 2017

Barbarians at the Gate

Long time reader well knows that my view of R is its capability as a stat command language is the Goldilocks point, but surely not as a programming language. Ugh!! to the latter. "Real" coders want little to nothing to do with it. With the rise of C++ interface packages, I predicted that ever more "coding" in R would cede to C/C++, and R would develop into a better SAS/SPSS/BMDP (if you know the last, your old).

Well, another data point today:
1250 user packages is staggering. We can use the progression of CRAN itself compiled by Henrik in a series of posts and emails to the main development mailing list. A decade ago CRAN itself did not have 1250 packages, and here we are approaching 12k with Rcpp at 10% and growing steadily. Amazeballs.

This is actually a good thing, IMO. Let the bare knuckle coders do the dirty work, and the rest of us can get along with analysis. Even if, in the dawn of the Orange Julius Caesar dictatorship, policy will be driven by whim and conspiracy theory and self-dealing we can still try to get "facts" to the public.

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