I’ve been trying to add R to the tool bench I keep in my noodle. I’ve heard very good things about it, but my first impressions were crummy. The tutorial is weak, there’s no wiki, no IRC channel, the help list is hosted at Yahoo, the book is hundred bucks – mixed signals. And then, it’s community is full of very smart stats dudes, which is scary – they have special words for everything!
Finally I got around to reading the language reference manual. Oh boy! You can tell a lot about a language from the primitive types. In addition to the expected usual boring junk notice these: closure, promise, language, special, environment, expression, weakref. It’s the guest list for a really good party!
Great sentence: “All objects except NULL can have one or more attributes attached to them. Attributes are stored as a list where all elements are named.” You can build some really nice data structures given that, for example custom class systems. So when you want to have, oh time series, you can slip them in “The tsp attribute is used to hold parameters of time series, start, end, and frequency. This construction is mainly used to handle series with periodic substructure such as monthly or quarterly data.” Without messing with the language kernel.
Then somebody is having fun.
 “names” “class” “row.names”
 0 1
 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
 2 4 6
 0 2 0 4 0 6 0 8 0 10
Very amusing, I like a cheerful language.