I disagree with almost everything in this blog post. Specifically,
R’s native data structures are seriously lacking: we talking about lists, and vectors with very limited element types (boolean, int, double, complex, string, “raw”), to which you can tag on metadata. Almost all of R’s “native” data structures is conventions about this metdata. This is indeed “stable”, but seriously constraining when it comes to writing organized, performant code.
Non-standard evaluation (basically, functions getting a bit of a context) was a very appealing idea when introduced originally, but it turns out not to compose well, and make efficient compilation impossible.
In theory, R is eminently suitable for functional programming (a lot of parts were inspired by the Lisp family). But in practice, higher order functions and closures in native R code almost always imply a huge sacrifice in performance, so they are not used. People usually end up coding Fortran/C++ instead and calling it from R.
All of these points are of course well known. R users just work around them — this may be a reasonable choice when R has other advantages for some application.
I not sure this is desirable, or why it should happen. I am surprised that someone who considers himself a “professional programmer” calls the command line “bullshittery”, but it summarizes the attitude nicely.
Open source communities thrive when they have contributors who not merely users. If people are reluctant to get their hands dirty, I am not sure people will be inclined to tailor the software they write to their needs.
I think that Julia coders should write packages that they find useful and are proud of.