[R] Newbie question: what are the advantages?
john_hendrickx at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 27 10:03:30 CET 2001
I'm fairly new to R as well. I've found it has a much wider range of
statistical options than SPSS, which in my opinion is fairly limited
in this area. I especially like the flexibility in specifying models
and adding and removing terms. On the other hand, fairly basic things
like a table of percentages can be quite a hassle. The output is also
rather sparse, I've figured out how to add "value labels" but still
don't know how to add "variable labels".
But if you're interested in a comparison of R with Stata, another
statistical package, browse the Statalist archive for the last few
days at http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/statalist/. Several people there
felt that Stata and R complemented each other and even proposed a
As someone else mentioned, there are some good introductory texts to
R in the "Contributed" section of Cran. I found "Kickstarting R" to
be quite useful, it shows how to do the elementary stuff like tables
and descriptive statistics. Be sure to check out the other texts as
--- hzi <hzi at uol.com.br> wrote:
> Hi -
> I´m a medical graduate student. I´m totally new to R, although
> I had heard of S before. I read it was GNU free software, and since
> I also use Linux, I decide to check it out.
> But I have some doubts regarding R: how does using R differ
> from using software packages, like SPSS (which is the one I´m used
> to)? What are the advantages of using R when compared? Is
> flexibility an issue? What about the learning curve? Is it
> something that is awfully hard to learn? And the documentation
> seems to be rather sparse, unless you´re willling to buy a book
> (no, I´m not some "cheap" person, I´m a student from Brazil -
> things are not so cheap for me...which is one of the reasons free
> software is attractive to me).
> Thank you,
> Best regards to all.
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