‘S Poetry’ and ‘The R Inferno’: Hardcopies on Sale

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Patrick Burns' informative and entertaining books for R programmers, 'S Poetry' and 'The R Inferno', which have long been available as free downloads, are now available in an attractive hardcover format from Lulu Press and are on 25% sale through the end of January (use discount code LULUBOOKUK305).

'S Poetry', although written more than a dozen years ago for S-PLUS, remains an excellent 439-page resource for the beginning R user — especially the Essentials chapter. For those new to programming code, there's useful advice encoded in the form of “capricious rules” like:

  • Whenever a group of at least three similar lines of code occurs more than once, a function shall be written to perform the task; and
  • No variable shall be named tmp.

It's also sprinkled with some wonderful literary references and quotes, if you'd like to catch up on your classic poetry.

'The R Inferno' is a 126-page manual for R developers with lots of useful tricks and tips for reducing memory usage, improving performance, and avoiding errors in computational analysis. In the style of Dante's Inferno, each chapter (or Circle) is devoted to the “sins” of programming in the R language ('falling into the floating point trap', 'failing to vectorize') … and how to absolve oneself from such sins. Best of all, it's illuminated with some classic Botticelli artworks. 

Portfolio Probe: Physical books of “The R Inferno” and “S Poetry”

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