[R] The hidden costs of GPL software?

Michael Grant mwgrant2001 at yahoo.com
Thu Nov 18 12:24:01 CET 2004

Hmmmm, interesting thread and minds will not be
changed but regarding GUIs...I thought S (aka R) was a
PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE with a statistical and numerical
slant, and not a statistics application. ;O)  

Certainly there is an important place for GUIs but I
believe that it is very much overemphasized in modern
computer culture. My experience and bias--and I
started in the 1960's-- is that except for 'trivial'
uses, GUIs are a detriment to any reasonably complex
CREATIVE computational task. They are adequate for the
simple, common task. But even then, typing a command
or two is not overly taxing--- particularly when
compared to navigating layer upon layer of submenus as
is some times needed. If I need to, I will add a
little syntactical sugaring when coding and move on. 

GUIs encourage a passive approach to using computers
when solving problems. In addition, it is regretable
that a lot of people in the 'workplace' will carry out
incomplete and/or incorrect quantitative work because
of the real or perceived limitations of the particular
(GUI) apps they are using. There is no inclination to
go beyond the menu and even then many menu items
gather 'electronic dust'.

Finally, there are times for many of us when work
'goes home' at the end of the day. That just comes
with the territory. I (and most others) can not afford
the luxury of S-plus, Statistica, SPSS, etc. at home.
So in a sense there is a very real 'loss of
productivity' cost associated with using commercial
software. Now that does bring us around to supporting
R doesn't it? (Mea culpa. And I resolve to do better!)
What value does one put on the vitality of the R

Best regards,
Michael Grant, Ph.D. 

* The requirements for creating packages are on
target,  and have the desired impact on both the
quality and breadth of R. 

--- Philippe Grosjean <phgrosjean at sciviews.org> wrote:

> Hello,
> In the latest 'Scientific Computing World' magazine
> (issue 78, p. 22), there
> is a review on free statistical software by Felix
> Grant ...2.)

More information about the R-help mailing list