[R] [S] S-PLUS 8 beta program [repost]

A.J. Rossini blindglobe at gmail.com
Fri Mar 31 23:28:51 CEST 2006

On 3/31/06, eugene dalt <eugenedalt at yahoo.com> wrote:
> In addition, I think people should always explore ways
> to repackage exclusive S-Plus facilities and libraries
> into R. By rewritting them or using GPL loopholes.

Licenses are important.  They state for the author, precisely what the
author intends.  Just because it's not really what the author might
want, is a different story.

The GPL has no loopholes.  It does precisely what it is supposed to
do, which it to provide free-as-in-speech software, which maintains
that freedom.  Read it; love it; use it :-).  I do.

Take BioConductor, which isn't GPL (it would've been by my choice,
which is what I argued for when we released it the first time).  The
intent was for others to use it, and not be forced to "share" the
changes.  I went along with that, fully aware of what I was going to
be contributing to.

> It seems to me that Insightful is very good at
> protecting whatever they "create" and the same time
> feels very comfortable taking R stuff to keep they
> clients happy. In essence they are selling free stuff.

Packaging is worth something.  It's why folks pay for Linux distributions.

I'm very happy that Insightful packages up "free stuff".

I wish they'd do it better and add incredible amounts of value to
S-PLUS, so that it could truly compete with R.

There are some really nice facilities that R doesn't have, and
probably will never have. But it's still missing key features.

And I'm happy that they are finally listening to comments (I can't
claim to be the only one that suggested this over 7 years ago -- I
also can't claim to be a user (again), until my new job; but it's nice
that it took them less than a decade).


blindglobe at gmail.com
Muttenz, Switzerland.
"Commit early,commit often, and commit in a repository from which we can easily
roll-back your mistakes" (AJR, 4Jan05).

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