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

Themis Matsoukas matsoukas at psu.edu
Mon Oct 23 14:32:51 CEST 2006

On Oct 22, 2006, at 8:25 PM, Fernando Pereira wrote:

> 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.

I am not familiar with R but I offer the example of Mathematica as  
yet another package with very steep learning curve but with excellent  
integration  of documentation. Just the other day I wanted to use  
\atop in a latex document, so I had to google it to figure its  
syntax. Sure, I got the answer within 5 hits, but I would really like  
is a functionality in texshop (or similar front end) where you could  
type ?\atop, as in Mathematica,  and you'd get a man page for it.  
Without such organization, the proliferation of packages will soon  
reach a point (if it hasn't already) whereby the benefit of added  
functionality is overshadowed by the effort to find what you need and  
figure how to use it.


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