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Re^3: [OT] Python vs R

by sundialsvc4 (Abbot)
on May 31, 2017 at 17:03 UTC ( #1191739=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^2: [OT] Python vs R
in thread [OT] Python vs R

“No, it isn’t,” he said, with a very-patient smile.

Python and R are two entirely different tools, meant for entirely different purposes.   Python is a general-purpose programming language.   R is a special-purpose language designed expressly for statistics work.   R is most-commonly found being invoked within the context of traditional statistics packages such as SAS or SPSS, but it sometimes also is used to create entire statistical workflows.

On the one hand, R allows the statistical researcher to construct programs, instead of being limited [only ...] to the predefined, options-laden “bricks” of a traditional stats engine.   (This is something that statisticians have ordinarily not been able to do.)   On the other hand, the capacity of R is limited.   Most of its processing is done in-memory, whereas most “bricks” use files (“data sets”) for input and output.   So, you have to use other means to “boil down” the mass of data before feeding a slice of it to R.   But the programmability of R can then save you many, many otherwise-cumbersome steps.   (As one colleague quipped, “This is a helluva lot better than Another Brick in the Wall.”)

One common way to integrate the two types of tools, as I have noted, is to use R to “create a brick.”   The R source-code appears in-line with the rest of it, or in an included file.

Python might take the place of the “bricks” of a traditional package, because it works much more easily with files and has the raw-capacity that R (by design) does not..   Python also has a powerful implementation of LISP-style lists.   The two tools are therefore complementary, and are often used together.

If R is not yet in your field of experience-languages ... and it may well not be ... then you ought to be able to find a researcher in your company that feels the opposite.   The two of you should then team-up so that each of you is working in your respective field of expertise.

- - -

Now, may I gently remind you all ... you can go ahead and pile-on a hundred thousand down-votes if that’s how you get your jollies, but ... in this case, I do absolutely know what I am talking about, because I have done this.   I served a group of statistical researchers, for the better part of a year, who were doing precisely this task, in fact using precisely these tools:   SPSS, R, and Python.   They were the R experts (but I learn fast ...), and I filled in the gaps to build-out and then document the total workflow process.   Everything that I have said here, therefore, comes from personal professional experience.   The data volumes that we were dealing with were 21 major datasets with about 13 million records each.

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Re^4: [OT] Python vs R
by eyepopslikeamosquito (Bishop) on May 31, 2017 at 21:37 UTC

    Python also has a powerful implementation of LISP-style lists
    This is the second time, since your second coming, you've drawn attention to the amazing similarities between Python and LISP. You've been asked before to elaborate on this. I'd be interested to learn why you feel Python is more LISP-like than, say, Perl.

    Note that in this Python mailing list thread the author retracted a similar casual claim to yours:

    I hereby once and for ever more retract my casual suggestion that Lisp had or may have had any direct influence on Python. I was clearly in error, in part having specifically mis-remembered some statements I read long ago by Guido, which in retrospect I find I had completely backwards.

      > > Python also has a powerful implementation of LISP-style lists

      Of course this is BS

      Python "lists" are exactly like Perl "arrays" , ie an implementation as a vector of pointers.

      But Lisp lists are linked lists, like emulated in Higher Order Perl. I.e. every element has additional to a value a pointer (link) to its successor element. This makes referencing a higher index very expensive because you have to traverse the whole list, but has other advantages (splitting is trivial).

      So these "lists" are fundamentally different data structures only sharing similar names!

      But ...

      ... I wonder why you guys spend time arguing against the PerlTrump who combines kindergarten knowledge with a ridiculously huge ego ? ? ?

      Just compose one "hall of shame" thread listing and linking his worst 20- 100 nonsense statements and keep referencing it in your replies.

      The regulars know him already and the newbees will quickly grasp his abysmal wisdom from this master thread.

      Why wasting energy?

      See also:

      Cheers Rolf
      (addicted to the Perl Programming Language and ☆☆☆☆ :)
      Je suis Charlie!

      ) Python (well numpy) has indeed an "array" class as a wrapper around C arrays only allowing elements of same type and size, something we could emulate with pack and substr

Re^4: [OT] Python vs R
by Your Mother (Bishop) on May 31, 2017 at 17:13 UTC
    Now, may I gently remind you all ... in this case, I do absolutely know what I am talking about, because I have done this.

    I shall forcefully remind you that your Perl is atrocious and if you hadn't posted a semi-competent piece of code today, first I can remember, I would say your Perl is non-existent. Yet you have frequently expressed your belief that you are an expert in Perl and all kinds of programming tasks for which none of us here has ever seen a hint of evidence. The 800lb salt crystals being taken with your fresh claims of expertise are well deserved.

Re^4: [OT] Python vs R
by Anonymous Monk on May 31, 2017 at 18:35 UTC
    I! See! That! Python! And! R! Are! Very! Different! But! You're! Still! Missing! The! Point!

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