On Monday, October 22, 2012 7:21:54 AM UTC+2, Ray Koopman wrote: > On Oct 21, 11:32 am, dkw <dwinsem...@comcast.net> wrote: > > > > > ... so the "learning curve" for R being more shallow > > > (in the correct interpretation of that term) ... > > > > Thank you. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who thinks > > the current popular usage is wrong.
Depends on how tall the edifice to be learned is. Trying to get to the top of the Empire State Building on a steep incline might be difficult. So I think popular usage implies a very tall knowledge edifice.
I think the knowledge edifice of R is high, Empire State Building high. But I suspect that part of the problem is the fact that one tends to forget commands and tricks that one doesn't use often, so forcing a certain amount of relearning everytime a fairly uncommon problem comes along. Certainly students without a programming background struggle with R, in my experience. R is also quite terse in its output unless one exlicitly knows how to elicit a greater range of output. Contrast this with the "Superior paper spewing system" known as SPSS.
Menu driven programs are not always so easy as "Push Button X" implies. Think, in SPSS, of the different data layouts needed for repeated measures ANOVA and factorial ANOVA, or think of the data "weight" command needed to do cross tabs. But many menu driven programs also provide extensive help that really makes them easier for students.
The are a number of different menu interfaces that can be used with R (R commander, R Studio, even one where R runs under Excel), so if you want a menu driven interface it is available.