[R] R for various ports of linux

Marc Schwartz MSchwartz at medanalytics.com
Wed Nov 5 23:21:57 CET 2003

On Wed, 2003-11-05 at 15:07, Nathan Leon Pace, MD, MStat wrote:
> To all:
> I currently download the R binaries for Redhat 7.x Linux.
> There is considerable turmoil in the vendors of Linux. Redhat 
> apparently is changing it's business model to paid versions.
> This might motivate my department to use a different vendor of Linux.
> Is there anything predictable about which vendors/versions of Linux 
> will have R binaries in the future?
> Thanks,
> Nathan
> PS I looked at CRAN and didn't immediately find any info about the 
> future.

At the risk of raising the spectre of a heated discussion, you can
always download the source code for R and compile it locally, which is
what I have been doing for some time. 

That approach also avails you of the updated R-Patched versions, as
opposed to waiting for the next formal release binary version for bug

There is a considerable amount of turmoil right now in the commercial
Linux arena and much energy is being expended in the debate. Given the
acquisition of SUSE by Novell/Ximian (with a notable investment by IBM)
this week, that has thrown much of the commercial Linux world market
into a frenzy. You can read Slashdot or other forums to gain a sense of
the spectrum of opinions on this deal.

That activity has prompted some to speculate on when Mandrake will be
acquired given their fragile financial state.

Combine this all with RH's change in direction with the Enterprise arm
of products versus Fedora Core 1 (which went to release today), that has
further aggravated the debate regarding the cost of paid support,
community based distros versus commercial, etc. Fedora Core will be RH's
free community based distro moving forward. If you want/need paid
support from RH, then RHEL is your option there.

Needless to say, Debian is very much still there as well.

Each end-user organization will need to assess its own needs and which
distro meets those needs. It is clear that the commercial entities are
looking to find ways to remain financially viable, while still
attempting to gain market share and evolve.  

Time will tell where it all goes. That time interval will more than
likely be measured in years, not weeks or months.


Marc Schwartz

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