A Brief Introduction to R for Python Programmers
"Speak not to me of madness, you who count from zero."
Years ago, Patrick Burns wrote The R Inferno, a guide to R for those who think they are in hell. Upon first encountering the language after two decades of using Python, I thought Burns was an optimist---after all, hell has rules.
I have since realized that R does too, and that they are no more confusing or contradictory than those of other programming languages. They only appear so because R draws on a tradition unfamiliar to those of us raised with derivatives of C. Counting from one, copying data rather than modifying it, lazy evaluation: to quote the other bard, these are not mad, just differently sane.
Welcome, then, to a universe where the strange will become familiar, and everything familiar, strange. Welcome, thrice welcome, to R.
- Create an account on rstudio.cloud, then create a new project and start typing.
- Install R. We recommend that you do not use conda, Brew, or other platform-specific package managers to do this, as they sometimes only install part of what you need.
- Install RStudio.
- In the RStudio console,
install.packages("tidyverse")to install the tidyverse libraries. We will install others as we go along, but we're going to need this soon.
Please see BUILD.md for a description of how to rebuild this lesson and why it is designed the way it is.