[R] What is R - A Summary

Peter Dalgaard BSA p.dalgaard at biostat.ku.dk
Sat Sep 25 12:00:49 CEST 1999

John Maindonald <john.maindonald at anu.edu.au> writes:

> involved in developing R.  Contrast the R approach with 
> commercial statistical software developers.  Typically 
> they do not post details of known bugs, they fix only the 
> most blatant bugs, and they are remarkably resistant to user 
> input.  (Stata and Genstat are honourable exceptions.) 

Hm. I'm not sure this is entirely fair to the S-plus people, although
everyone has probably been cursing at them at some point in time. They
(too) are a limited manpower operation so there is simply a limit to
what they can overcome. And they *have* been putting a quite
substantial effort into solving or ameliorating some the design
problems in the S code base.

The difference between them and R is rather that in a closed-source
operation you only get a limited quality of user input, because people
cannot go in and analyze problems and tell you that there's a problem
in a particular stretch of code. Also, they have logistic problems of
distributing binary patches for N operating systems, etc.

Trying to keep the strings together in the R development does tend to
make you more forgiving about the work that people do in commercial
   O__  ---- Peter Dalgaard             Blegdamsvej 3  
  c/ /'_ --- Dept. of Biostatistics     2200 Cph. N   
 (*) \(*) -- University of Copenhagen   Denmark      Ph: (+45) 35327918
~~~~~~~~~~ - (p.dalgaard at biostat.ku.dk)             FAX: (+45) 35327907
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