aRrgh: a newcomer's (angry) guide to R


63 bookmarks. First posted by joshkunz october 2015.


Every once in a while, this document catches the wind.

Since I first wrote it, I have become less convinced of the fairness, importance, and sophistication of many of the criticisms I’ve leveled.

I’ve become quite productive in R. I’ve also spent some time as a maintainer of a popular open-source tool and learned how it feels to be the target of abuse from Internet Randos. (I survived, but it wasn’t motivating.)

I’ve long intended to reconsider my arguments and tone but engaging with my own embarrassing writing was never the most interesting way to spend a weekend.

I’m grateful to the R community for their labors. I use R and benefit from R and I apologize for the lack of empathy I show here. I’m leaving the rest of the document unchanged for the moment in hopes that the technical content is useful to new users but I expect to revise it soon and remove many of the “good parts.”

R is fine. (Do use the tidyverse.)
programming  guide  tutorial  r  statistics 
10 weeks ago by dicewitch
Companion to R Inferno, discussed at HN [1]. Kevin Ushley, whose .RProfile [2] I forked mine from, is a co-author. Some of the points are valid and fixed by using Hadley Wickham's experimental `strict` library, but the language is not strict by default, and loading `strict` at startup currently crashes RStudio.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17305878
[2] https://github.com/kevinushey/etc/blob/master/dotfiles/.Rprofile
[3] https://github.com/hadley/strict
r  programming 
june 2018 by phnk
The goal of the document is to describe R’s data types and structures while offering enough help with the syntax to get a programmer coming from another, saner language into a more comfortable place.
data.science 
june 2018 by chris.leaman
Since I first wrote it, I have become less convinced of the fairness, importance, and sophistication of many of the criticisms I’ve leveled.
programming  r  blog  opinion 
june 2018 by masukomi
R is a shockingly dreadful language for an exceptionally useful data analysis environment. The more you learn about the R language, the worse it will feel. The development environment suffers from literally decades of accretion of stupid hacks from a community containing, to a first-order approximation, zero software engineers.1 R makes me want to kick things almost every time I use it.
programming  statistics 
june 2018 by andyhuey
An introduction to R
r  programming  tutorials 
may 2018 by angusm
RT : I'm really enjoying this sassy introduction to R
from twitter
july 2017 by joegermuska
The documentation is inanely bad. I can’t explain it. aRrgh is my attempt to explain the language to myself. aRrgh exists as a living document and will continue to grow – it is not complete, but it got to a point where it seemed like it was probably useful so I decided to toss it on the web. It should be correct and it’s a bug if it isn’t. Please email me or file issues on Github.
analytics  documentation  productivity 
june 2017 by janpeuker
A newcomer's (angry) guide to R.
R  programming 
july 2016 by nornagon
"R is a shockingly dreadful language for an exceptionally useful data analysis environment." (via )
tutorial  r  from twitter_favs
may 2016 by sharon_howard
A newcomer's (angry) guide to R.
data-science  r 
october 2015 by marionzualo
R is a shockingly dreadful language for an exceptionally useful data analysis environment. The more you learn about the R language, the worse it will feel. The development environment suffers from literally decades of accretion of stupid hacks from a community containing, to a first-order approximation, zero software engineers. R makes me want to kick things almost every time I use it.

But there are a lot of great tools that are built in R. ggplot2 is first-in-class and Bioconductor packages are often essential. Sometimes there’s aught to do but grin and bear (though never without a side of piss and moan).

The documentation is inanely bad. I can’t explain it. aRrgh is my attempt to explain the language to myself. aRrgh exists as a living document and will continue to grow – it is not complete, but it got to a point where it seemed like it was probably useful so I decided to toss it on the web. It should be correct and it’s a bug if it isn’t. Please email me or file issues on Github.
guide  programming  r  statistics  tutorial 
october 2015 by bezthomas
aRrgh: a newcomer's (angry) guide to R (see also
Evaluating the Design of the R Language )
from twitter_favs
october 2015 by skchrko
R is a shockingly dreadful language for an exceptionally useful data analysis environment. The more you learn about the R language, the worse it will feel. The development environment suffers from literally decades of accretion of stupid hacks from a community containing, to a first-order approximation, zero software engineers. R makes me want to kick things almost every time I use it.
devtools 
october 2015 by aitor
‘The more you learn about the R language, the worse it will feel.’ Can confirm.
programming  r  statistics 
october 2015 by threedaymonk
A newcomer's (angry) guide to R.
october 2015 by flobosg
The documentation is inanely bad. I can’t explain it. aRrgh is my attempt to explain the language to myself. aRrgh exists as a living document and will continue to grow – it is not complete, but it got to a point where it seemed like it was probably useful so I decided to toss it on the web. It should be correct and it’s a bug if it isn’t. Please email me or file issues on Github.
programming  tutorial  statistics 
october 2015 by ElliotJH
R is a shockingly dreadful language for an exceptionally useful data analysis environment. The more you learn about the R language, the worse it will feel. The development environment suffers from literally decades of accretion of stupid hacks from a community containing, to a first-order approximation, zero software engineers. R makes me want to kick things almost every time I use it.

The documentation is inanely bad. I can’t explain it. aRrgh is my attempt to explain the language to myself.
r  statistics  programming  tutorial  documentation 
october 2015 by ssorc
aRrgh: a newcomer’s (angry) guide to R Tim Smith <arrgh@tim-smith.us>, @biotimylated with Kevin Ushey <kevinushey@gmail.com>, @kevin_ushey Introduction R is a shockingly dreadful…
october 2015 by martinbalfanz