[R] # of users of R, and biological examples of the use of R

Martin Maechler maechler at stat.math.ethz.ch
Tue Jun 20 18:41:39 CEST 2000

>>>>> "Ramon" == Ramon Diaz-Uriarte <rdiazuri at students.wisc.edu> writes:

    Ramon> Dear All, With a colleague we are writing a paper where we show
    Ramon> how R is a very nice tool to deal with some issues in the
    Ramon> analyses of data in evolutionary biology.  For the intro, I
    Ramon> wonder if

    Ramon> 1) Anybody has any rough idea of how many people might be using
    Ramon> R or how many people have downloaded R, or similar (I am aware
    Ramon> answering this question might require divinatory powers...).

Without having such powers, I can report how the mailing lists look like :

    % cat r-announce r-help r-devel |sort|uniq|wc -l
	(w/o sort|uniq  it's 1140);  
	r-help alone has 635

which indicates that 911 different e-mail addresses are subscribed to
the R mailing lists (very few of these are mailing lists; 
		     however, also quite a few will be pointing to the same

Now, the mailing lists probably contain almost no undergraduate students,
and these *are* using R at least in many of the courses...

Further, graduate students and scientific staff in many organizations use R,
but only the more "aficionados" among them are subscribed to an R list.
[factor of 3 ?]

Other guesses?

[Then what would "uses R" mean at all?
 o  >= 1 hour per week ?
 o  (one of) your major tool(s) for statistical data analysis?
 o  ??

{Now some musings, don't take me too seriously: I'm tired, it's hot, ....}

At one moment in time I had dreamed of putting a "feature" into R which
`registered' a user automatically when using R for the first time
(by sending an e-mail to some "R counter" on the internet);
but even if for a good purpose, it feels too much like "Big Brother" 
and "Virus/Worm"like behavior.. (and looks painful for me as MS-ignorant
 to work on a home Win-PC which only occasionally connects to the Net).

Linux has (had) an optional Linux Users counter, via nice web interface;
however I think it had never reached a state where it counted more than a
tiny fraction of users....

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