[OS X TeX] R, paradigm to bring into the LaTeX world?

Fernando Pereira fcnpereira at mac.com
Mon Oct 23 02:25:23 CEST 2006

On Oct 22, 2006, at 10:06 AM, Claus Gerhardt wrote:

> Latex requires a certain amount of learning, but given the results  
> I consider the user's efforts minimal. To have special commands or  
> formatting instructions available when I need them, I have a small  
> collection of templates containing these commands and I assume that  
> anyone else has a similar collection.
> Nobody is forced to use Latex, and as far as I am concerned these  
> occasional cravings for a Latex light are unfounded, and I would  
> hope that they will come to end for good.

I think you misunderstood Denis's comments. He wasn't looking for  
anything "light". R is a powerful statistical computing language  
system, used by highly technical people in many fields. Effective use  
of R requires substantial learning, and many R users have extensive  
collections of scripts to support their research. What R has is an  
integrated front-end which excellent documentation and optional  
package access. For example, if I want to find about functions for  
ridge regression, I can enter "ridge" on R.app's search box and after  
one click I get the documentation for the "lm.ridge" function in the  
MASS optional package. This level of integration makes R users more  
efficient. Ideally, the functionality of TexShop, some of TCOBrowser,  
and some of i-Installer would be combined in a system that can search  
for and install optional packages. I'm not suggesting that this is  
easy to do. The tools already available are wonderful and a credit to  
the skill and generosity of their authors. But in think that R is  
another worthy open source effort that deserves study for the level  
of integration they have been able to achieve.

-- F

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