It is pretty simple:
as a seasoned R programmer, cannot read Tidy code, as it calls numerous Tidyverse functions that I don't know
He doesn't speaks tidyverse...
From my point of view, that they are not mutually unintelligible is false statement. Of course you can use functions from the tidyverse and from base R simultaneously, the difference is that inside the tidyverse, the functions are consistently named, while base R is a jungle. I am not particularly a fan of snake_case, but if all functions in R were snake_case, I would probably be in (and here, my issue with camel_case is that _ translates to <- in ESS, wich is my daily choice). Maybe he doesn't like snake_case? . I keep struggling with that as I barely use Sys.time, once every few months. And I have to guess, as it could be sys.time, Sys.time, sys.Time, sysTime... etcetera, and my memory is small. Inside the Tidyverse, if it exists, that I don;t know, I actually know beforehand that it would be sys_time. Isn't that a big step forward?
This is more like a smaller version of the legendary editors wars based in individual choices (BTW we agree emacs won, don't we? )
I have little experience with Tidyverse, is growing as I am learning shiny, and it is very nice, I can see myself using it on daily basis soon. The point is that there is change, as paradigm, but it is not unintelligible. The reason, as he explicitly says, is that he does not know about those functions. And we, humans, tends to dislike the unknown.
I am a strong supporter of what the great Rocky Balboa told to the public after his combat in Moscow, defeating Ivan Drago, that is Everybody can change. But some people may not want to do it.
He took a very opinionated way to compare python and R, and highlight R-base vs Tidyverse differences (without explicit mentions of why or how), while at the end of the day, the disruption between python 2.7 and 3 is by far more challenging. You can live in R with both Tidyverse and base r, interactively in the same session, but I don't think you can do it in python (so the actual looser is python)
It is funny that most of the reactions in GitHub or twitter has been focused on this dichotomy, while the post was actually R vs Python... I reckon I will fill an issue in GitHub soon about his misinterpretations....