Vectorising scalar functions in R

A constant problem in R is the fact that, despite being a vectorised language (operations apply most efficiently to entire vectors at once, not to each element in turn) a lot of functions are not, in fact, vectorised. Even in base R, things like URLencode and URLdecode only apply to…

Why Boston?

Context: for those not aware, about 3 weeks ago I moved to the lovely (albeit shockingly warm) city of Boston, Massachusetts. I've already found somewhere to live, got my bills set up, identified the best local watering hole, etc, and am generally starting to fit in. Some day, with luck…

It's like watching a remote control car repeatedly run itself into a wall

So says Molly when shown R. My preferred analogy for using it is "it's like trying to do keyhole surgery in mittens", but hers is nice too.…

Devlog, <2014-09-01

Short, because I've been moving: Patched the GitHub .gitignore for R to include .Rproj files - everyone uses RStudio, we may as well make the most if it. Started work on a thorny encoding/null-based problem around our request logs, involving embedded NULLs - probably worth documenting once I'm done…

Devlog, 2014-08-23

Spent a lot of time with devs. But it was a house party, so it prrrobably doesn't count. Finished off the rewrite of averageimage - currently negotiating its release on CRAN. Wrote a whole set of unit tests for WikipediR and spent some time looking in horror at Wikidata and…

Devlog: 2014-08-19:2014-08-21

Having missed a couple of days: 1. Merged several ua-parser patches, refining the regexes. 2. Rewrote meanit, my image composition library, to be less full of fail. The use of functional rather than object-oriented code here has halved the codebase and improved speed substantially. 3. Finished my circadian rhythms codebase…

Devlog, 2014-08-18

Stealing the idea from Yuvi: 1. Got +2 on tobie's ua-parser, which is good because it means I can push directly and also close patches, and this is, well, our standard UA parser ;p. 2. WikipediR 1.0.1 is out - few user-facing differences except fewer tyops in the…

Tab-clearing

Some bookmarks I'm getting rid of by noting down here: Hemmingway is an app (for desktop on both Mac and Windows, although sadly not on Linux) that acts as a simple text editor that highlights various classes of writing no-nos, such as incredibly long sentences that just go on forever…

"Fuck that, I'd rather be funny"

After my WM presentation, I was concerned I'd been funny rather than useful. My friend Adam wrote up a long schpiel on the subject. This is that schpiel. Smart people of a certain bent use humor as a shield. In one sense, we've been trained to do so since early…

Python: now in RStudio

There's a common joke in the R community, which is to end any advice you give with something along the lines of: ...and if you vectorise wherever possible, rely on primitive functions as much as you're able, and pay close attention to memory limits and non-primitive objects, you'll be going…