R From The Year 2000

Kevin Feasel



Colin Gillespie takes us down memory lane with some old, old code:

Last week I spent some time reminiscing about my PhD and looking through some old R code. This trip down memory lane led to some of my old R scripts that amazingly still run. My R scripts were fairly simple and just created a few graphs. However now that I’ve been programming in R for a while, with hindsight (and also things have changed), my original R code could be improved.

I wrote this code around April 2000. To put this into perspective,

  • R mailing list was started in 1997
  • R version 1.0 was released in Feb 29, 2000
  • The initial release of Git was in 2005
  • Twitter started in 2006
  • StackOverflow was launched in 2008

Basically, sharing code and getting help was much more tricky than today – so cut me some slack!

It’s a good sign when an arbitrary task becomes easier to understand as a language evolves.  And I’m glad they dumped the underscore assignment operator.

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