R as a general-purpose language for creating DSLs

October 6, 2014

(This article was first published on Revolutions, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

As a computer scientist, RStudio's Joe Cheng has some great insights into the R language and how it compares with other programming language. In the interview with DataScience.LA below, he notes that while R is often thought about as a domain-specific language (or DSL), the combination of a functional language with deferred evaluation of functional arguments actually makes it a great general-purpose language for implementing a statistical DSL.


Also of interest in the video is Joe's description of the genesis of Shiny at useR! two years ago (the idea of a reactive framework for R literally came as an inspiration in his sleep!), and some of the technical underpinnings of the Shiny system which are generally useful for connecting Java and R.

Also check out these other recent DataScience.LA interviews with other members of the R community, including Heather Turner, Romain Francois, and Dirk Eddelbuettel.

DataScience.LA: A conversation with Joe Cheng at useR! 2014


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