[S] S Poetry Announcement

Patrick Burns (pburns@pburns.seanet.com)
Fri, 15 May 1998 18:33:39 +0000

This is to announce the availability of my book "S Poetry". There
is a general description, then how to get it, then a more detailed
description. (This message is essentially a copy of what is at the
web site.)


The book is geared towards those who are programming in S. However,
there are a couple parts that can be of use to others.

The glossary explains words that involve computing and statistics
as well as S. It can be useful to someone who knows one subject,
but not the other. Also it is useful to those who know both subjects,
but for whom English is not a native language. Emphasis is put on
words that have more than one meaning.

The first chapter, called "Essentials", gives a grounding in the
language that might be of interest even to those who don't envision
themselves programming.

In addition, there is a collection of S functions and other objects.
These offer functionality that may be of interest even if you don't
care about the book.

Getting It

The web site is http://www.seanet.com/~pburns/Spoetry/.
There should be another site in the UK, but it is not operable because
of technical difficulties. Hopefully it will get off the ground in
the near future. I plan to keep the book continuously available,
but the particular site is definitely subject to change.

You can get the following in pdf format:

S Poetry (whole book which includes the glossary, 439 pages, 1M)

The glossary (38 pages, 180K)

Adobe Acrobat reads "pdf" files. If you don't have it, you can get
it free. See http://www.adobe.com/acrobat/.

A shar file of S functions, help files and objects that goes with
the book is:

poetry.shar (250K)

The sizes of files are given only approximately.

You are free to get these files, make a hard-copy if you like, but
you are not allowed to sell it. If you do print it out, please print
double-sided if possible -- I'd like to be responsible for the death
of a few less trees.

Chapter Descriptions

A synopsis of each chapter follows.

1. Essentials

Introduction to the basics of the language, and some indication of
why they are important. Includes a full description of subscripting.

2. Poetics

An attempt to convey an understanding of good style in S (and

3. Ecology

How to interact with S peacefully. This includes test suites, source
code control, and time and memory monitoring.

4. Vocabulary

The functions that are most important to know.

5. Choppy Water

Spots that are particularly confusing when programming in S.

6. Debugging

The title pretty much says it, how to debug in S. Has suggestions
on what to include when asking questions on S-news.

7. Unix for S Programmers

Handy things to know about Unix if that is your operating system.

8. C for S Programmers

Writing C code that is called by S. A token nod is given to Fortran.

9. S for S Programmers

Everything you are afraid to ask about S.

10. Numbers

Examples of functions dealing with numbers. Includes functions for:
changing the base of numbers (integers only), working with rational
numbers, computing the polygamma functions, computing the digamma
function (complex numbers allowed), and using continued fractions.

11. Character

Examples of handling character data. Includes a simple (but powerful)
interface to the Perl language, and a function to justify a vector of
character strings.

12. Arrays

A little on how to work with multidimensional arrays.

13. Formulas

Using formulas in S. The major example here is a suite of functions
for mathematical graphs.

14. Functions

Examples of functions that concern other functions. Functionality
includes: numerical integration in the complex plane, creating functions
that perform Lagrange interpolation, a simple (but effective) genetic
algorithm, and creating functions that optimize a function written
in C or Fortran.

15. Large Computations

A few words on doing computations that consume either a lot of time
or memory.

S Functionality

The collection of functions has those described above in chapters 10
through 14. It also contains functionality from the earlier chapters.
Some highlights are: functions for source code control, writing test
suites, and time profiling.

Pat Burns

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