Articles by richierocks

Qatar R User Group

September 15, 2015 | richierocks

Microsoft have announced new funding for R User Groups (Python and Hadoop too), so now seems as good a time as any for me to stop procrastinating and set up a Qatar R User Group. If you live anywhere near Doha, and are interested in coming along to a (probably ... [Read more...]

R packages with unlimited licenses

August 26, 2015 | richierocks

I had an interesting email today saying that developers at the writer’s company wanted to use one of my packages, but weren’t allowed because it was under an unlimited license. I release quite a few of my packages under an unlimited licence, at least for toy projects and ... [Read more...]

The state of assertions in R

July 3, 2015 | richierocks

“Assertion” is computer-science jargon for a run-time check on your code. In R , this typically means function argument checks (“did they pass a numeric vector rather than a character vector into your function?”), and data quality checks (“does the date-of-birth column contain values in the past?”). The four packages R ... [Read more...]

From cats to zombies, Wednesday at useR2015

July 1, 2015 | richierocks

The morning opened with someone who I was too bleary eyed to work out who it was. Possibly the dean of the University of Aalborg. Anyway, he said that this is the largest ever useR conference, and the first ever in a Nordic country. Take that, Norway! Also, considering that ... [Read more...]

Many package updates on CRAN

February 4, 2015 | richierocks

Over the last week or two I’ve been pushing all my packages to CRAN. pathological (for working with file paths), runittotestthat (for converting RUnit tests to testthat tests), and rebus (formerly regex, for building regular expressions in a human readable way) all make their CRAN debuts. assertive, for run-time ... [Read more...]

How do you get things into base-R?

January 15, 2015 | richierocks

A couple of months ago I spotted that the examples for the paste function weren’t very good, and actually, there were quite a few functions that new users of R are likely to encounter, that weren’t well explained. I’ve now managed to get some updated examples into ... [Read more...]

Update on improving examples in base-R

December 24, 2014 | richierocks

Last month I was ranting about the state of some of the examples in base-R, particularly the paste function. Martin Maechler has now kindly taken my suggested examples and added them into R. Hopefully this will reduce the number of newbie questions about “how do I join these strings together”. ... [Read more...]

Improving base-R examples

November 25, 2014 | richierocks

Earlier today I saw the hundred bazillionth question about how to use the paste function. My initial response was “take a look at example(paste) to see how it works”. Then I looked at example(paste), and it turns out that it’s not very good at all. There isn’... [Read more...]

Regular expressions for everyone else

September 25, 2014 | richierocks

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 ... [Read more...]

Fearsome Engines Part 3: Which one should you use?

October 13, 2013 | richierocks

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 ... [Read more...]
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