[R] two questions for R beginners

Liviu Andronic landronimirc at gmail.com
Thu Feb 25 21:17:30 CET 2010

On 2/25/10, Patrick Burns <pburns at pburns.seanet.com> wrote:
> * What were your biggest misconceptions or
>  stumbling blocks to getting up and running
>  with R?
>  * What documents helped you the most in this
>  initial phase?
>  I especially want to hear from people who are
>  lazy and impatient.
I'm quite resilient so I don't think I got to the point of
frustration, but getting up to speed was a lengthy process. The
biggest stumbler was getting onto the console, and not knowing what to
do next. (My first encounter with stats was SPSS, so it was similar to
getting onto a UNIX virtual console after a life-long experience with
point-and-click windows: it's not very reassuring to know that there
are man pages.) I stayed in the what-do-I-do-next state of mind for
about 6-12 months (I learned R myself, and my professors were quite
reticent when I first introduced them to R).

Of particular help to making progress were JGR (arguments suggestions,
editor with syntax highlighting, object browser, etc.), Rcmdr (quick
access to examples for performing specific tasks, etc.) and Sweave +
LyX (for easy results transfer and report creation, without the burden
of learning LaTeX). For graphics, playwith latticist and rggobi come
in very handy. From the documentation, right now I can recall Quick-R
and "R for SAS and SPSS users". And of course, RSiteSearch (also via
the sos package), Rseek and the vignettes are a must.


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