[R] recommended combo of apps for new user?

John Kane jrkrideau at yahoo.ca
Sun Aug 19 01:44:57 CEST 2007

I'm just starting to get a grasp on how R works so
don't take my words too seriously but have a look at 
http://addictedtor.free.fr/graphiques/ for some idea
of what R can do for publication quality graphics.  It
is always possible that you might need another
graphics package as well but I think it unlikely.  

About the data bases I don't know really however you
might want to have a look at Frank Harrell's Hmic
package for things like labels. It also includes SAS
and SPSS import funtions as does the foreign package. 

I'd say you definately need a code editor. I'm on
Windows and happy with Tinn-R but for Linux something
like http://ess.r-project.org/ seems to be

If you have not already found it 
Bob Muenchen's R for SAS and SPSS Users
http://oit.utk.edu/scc/RforSAS&SPSSusers.pdf may be
very helpful. 

--- Martin Brown <mjb2000 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi there,
> I would like some advice, not so much about how to
> use R, but about software
> that I need to complement R.  I've rooted around in
> the FAQ's and done a few
> searches on this mailing list but haven't quite
> found the perspective I
> need.
> I am an experienced data analyst in my field (forest
> ecology and ecological
> monitoring) but new to R. I am a long time user of
> SPSS and have gotten
> pretty handy with it.  However, I am frustrated with
> SPSS for several
> reasons:  There's the cost (I'm a freelancer; I pay
> for my software
> myself);  the Windows dependence (I use Kubuntu as
> my usual OS now, and
> switching back and forth is a pain); the horrible
> inefficiency when I do
> certain types of file manipulations; and the
> inability to do the kind of
> publication-quality graphs I want... I've usually
> ended up using a
> commercial graphing program (another source of
> expense and limitation).
> I'd like to switch to using R on Kubuntu, for all
> those reasons.  In
> addition I think the mathematical formality that R
> encourages might be good
> for me.
> However, reviewing the FAQ's on the R project web
> site makes me realize that
> I've been using SPSS as three kinds of software
> really:  a DBMS; a
> statistical analysis package; and a graphing
> package.  It looks like moving
> to R might involve learning three kinds of software,
> not just one.  I
> wonder:
> 1) What open-source DBMS works most seamlessly with
> R?  I have seen MySQL
> recommended but wonder if there are alternatives.  I
> sometimes need to
> handle big data files.  In fact a lot of my work
> involves exploratory and
> descriptive analyses of rather large and messy
> databases from ecological
> monitoring, rather than statistical tests per se. 
> In SPSS the data files I
> have been generating have dozens of columns and
> thousands of rows, often
> with value and variable labels helpful for
> documenting my work.
> 2) For the purpose of creating publication-quality
> graphs, do R users
> typically need to go outside of the R system? If so,
> what open-source
> programs would you all recommend?
> 3) Any other software I need to learn that would
> make my work in R more
> productive? (for example, a code editor).
> Thank you for your time,
> Martin J. Brown
> Portland, Oregon
> 	[[alternative HTML version deleted]]
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