Blog Archives

Regular expressions for everyone else

September 25, 2014
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Regular expressions for everyone else

Regular expressions are an amazing tool for working with character data, but they are also painful to read and write.  Even after years of working with them, I struggle to remember the syntax for negative lookahead, or which way round the start and end anchor symbols go. Consequently, I’ve created the regex package for human

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Finally, a use for rapply

July 15, 2014
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Finally, a use for rapply

Tagged: r, rapply, recursive, stats

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Automatically convert RUnit tests to testthat tests

May 12, 2014
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Automatically convert RUnit tests to testthat tests

There’s a new version of my assertive package, for sanity-checking code, on its way to CRAN. The release has been delayed a while, since my previous attempt at an upload met with an error that was only generated on the CRAN machine, but not on my own. The problem lay with some code designed to

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Introducing the pathological package for manipulating paths, files and directories

April 28, 2014
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Introducing the pathological package for manipulating paths, files and directories

I was recently hunting for a function that will strip the extension from a file – changing foo.png to foo, and so forth. I was knitting a report, and wanted to replace the file extension of the input with the extension of the the output file. (knitr handles this automatically in most cases but I

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Fearsome Engines Part 3: Which one should you use?

October 13, 2013
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Fearsome Engines Part 3: Which one should you use?

There are lots of R engines emerging! I’ve interviewed members of each of the teams involved in these projects. In part 1 of this series, we covered the motivation of each project. Part 2 looked at the technical achievements and new features. This part tries to determine which projects are suitable for which users. Compatibility

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Fearsome Engines Part 2: Innovations and new features

October 13, 2013
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Fearsome Engines Part 2: Innovations and new features

There are lots of R engines emerging! I’ve interviewed members of each of the teams involved in these projects. In part 1 of this series, we covered the motivation of each project. This part looks at the technical achievements and new features. Many of the innovations are performance improvements, reflecting the primary goal of several

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Webcast on Writing Great R Code

September 19, 2013
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Webcast on Writing Great R Code

While I’m promoting things, you might also want to know that I’m doing a webcast on how to write great R code next Wednesday. It’s at 6pm British Summer Time or 10am Pacific Daylight Time. the big problem with being a data scientist is that you have to be a statistician and a programmer, which

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O’Reilly R ebooks half price – today only

September 19, 2013
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O’Reilly R ebooks half price – today only

Including my hot-off-the-press Learning R. Buy two copies! http://oreil.ly/1eRrhP1 Tagged: book, deal, oreilly, r, special offer

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Fearsome Engines, Part 1

September 7, 2013
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Fearsome Engines, Part 1

Back in June I discovered pqR, Radford Neal’s fork of R designed to improve performance. Then in July, I heard about Tibco’s TERR, a C++ rewrite of the R engine suitable for the enterprise. At this point it dawned on me that R might end up like SQL, with many different implementations of a common

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The tenure of Doctor Who incarnations

August 3, 2013
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The tenure of Doctor Who incarnations

With a new actor being announced tomorrow, it got me pondering about the good Doctor. Specifically, who is the longest serving doctor? IMDB has the data: Let’s plot it to see how it changes over time. There was a definite shift after Tom Baker towards a shorter term as the doctor. In terms of screen

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