Spark's Work

Collection of "Why R is terrible" articles

In this post, I will make a collection of Internet articles on "why R is terrible" for obvious reasons.

I have been using R since late 2017, and the first draft of my first ever academic paper in 2019 was based on an R package. However, the R package has been on hiatus and not regularly maintained since 2020. It was later replaced by Julia which is also covered in the final version of my paper that got published.

There are good reasons behind: something just felt off about the R language. At first, I thought it was my problem (e.g. being a somewhat novice R user, not much programming experience). However, the professional advices from experienced programmers (e.g. at LeXtudio) align with my feelings. In short,

R is just a garbage language.

There you go, I said it. To be clear, this is only my personal opinion and mine alone. It is also only a statement about the language itself, and nothing about the users of the language. Further, I am still open to collaboration in R with people who prefer using R. However, when I do have a choice, I avoid R without a second thought.

For me, the biggest deal breaker is speed. Besides, many functions and packages lack proper and user-friendly documentation. The language can also be buggy at times and tends to give unhelpful error messages. Worse, it sometimes never gives error messages when it actually should. It is impossible to know if your results are correct when you are not sure if the language is reliable. In fact, from now on, I prefer to think of R as the "GLM language", since it is likely the only task that I may still use R for.

Instead of me arguing against using the R language, I will make the following collection of Internet articles that do so better than I ever will. This list will be updated, because I believe more and more people will get frustrated with the language, vent on the Internet, and move on to better alternatives, just as I have done so in the past two years (this post was first written in June 2022).