Why use plyr?

[This article was first published on Revolutions, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers]. (You can report issue about the content on this page here)
Want to share your content on R-bloggers? click here if you have a blog, or here if you don't.

The “apply” family of functions in R (apply, sapply, lapply) is a very powerful suite of tools for iterating through structures of data and returning the combined results of each iteration. But with great power comes great responsibility (or something like that): these functions can sometimes be frustratingly difficult to get working exactly as you intended, especially for newcomers to R.

That’s where the functions from Hadley Wickham’s plyr package come in: they create a unified interface for iterating over data in R with a consistent syntax for specifying what the inputs are, and what the outputs should be. 

JD Long captures both the frustration that come with mis-applying apply and the joy of overcoming it with plyr in this 5-minute video. Be sure to check the associated blog post for the background and comments.


 Cerebral Mastication: Struggling with apply() in R

To leave a comment for the author, please follow the link and comment on their blog: Revolutions.

R-bloggers.com offers daily e-mail updates about R news and tutorials about learning R and many other topics. Click here if you're looking to post or find an R/data-science job.
Want to share your content on R-bloggers? click here if you have a blog, or here if you don't.

Never miss an update!
Subscribe to R-bloggers to receive
e-mails with the latest R posts.
(You will not see this message again.)

Click here to close (This popup will not appear again)