This is the question that Hadley Wickham recently set out to discovering by asking frequent R and plyr users how they use it in an online survey. Once a decent number of people have responded, Hadley quickly went forward and produced a short analysis of the plyr usage survey, and published it in RPubs. With his permission, I am re-posting his analysis here:
Plyr usage survey resultsThanks to everyone who took part! I recieved 124 responses in about 24 hours, which is super awesome. This document gives a quick writeup of the results.
Function usageOverall, function usage was much as I expected:
ddplyis by far the most commonly used function followed by
llply. This is reassuring because for the next iteration of
plyr, I’m planning to focus on
Other functionsI didn’t perform a formal analysis of the free text “other functions”, but common themes were:
- progress bars
CommentsAgain, no formal analysis, but the common themes were:
- You like plyr – thanks!
- Make plyr faster – this is a big motivation for the next iteration, and initial explorations are promising: I should be able to get a 10-100x speedup for many cases.
- Documentation and examples could be better – I know, but good documentation is hard!
- summarise now works sequentially (i.e. you can refer to columns you just created)
- there’s a new progress bar (thanks to Mike Lawrence) that estimates the amount of time remaining
- a new
herefunction makes it easier to use
subsetinside a function