[R] SAS or R software

Jose A. Hernandez jahernan at umn.edu
Tue Nov 23 18:33:26 CET 2004

Hi Neela,

Just my ¢2 regarding the R vs. SAS issue. I started to use SAS since my 
undergraduate studies in 1993, and I am now a migrating to R user, and I 
hope not to ever go back to SAS.

My comments are:

- SAS is huge it takes over 1GB of space of my PC while R takes just 
over 100 MB, this days that may not be an important issue, but I'd 
consider this in your analysis.

- One of the things that bother me the most about SAS was their "system 
update" protocol, it was a mess (at least last time I tried downloading 
the updates, like 2 years ago). R has a great community and I love the 
update.packages() function.

- Regarding the large datasets discussion, I've had some experience 
working with mixed models on large dataset, and both programs end up 
taking a lot of time or crashing.

- The learning curve for a non-stats non-programmer guy was steeper for 
SAS, but again SAS was my first. However, R still does not come so 
naturally to me when I am coding, I have to look at my old codes, 
manuals and google. If I ever end up teaching applied stats I'll teach 
using R.


... migrating to R ... and one of this days to linux

Jose A. Hernandez
Ph.D. Candidate
Precision Agriculture Center

Department of Soil, Water, and Climate
University of Minnesota
1991 Upper Buford Circle
St. Paul, MN 55108

Ph. (612) 625-0445, Fax. (612) 625-2208

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