Getting started in R – other people on why R?

Why use R?

For inside-r, it’s because R is free, a language, a system with great graphics capabilities, a flexible toolkit, access to the cutting-edge, and a vibrant and supportive user community.

For Kevin Goulding, the reasons also include that the freeness ensures he can always use R (no licence expiry worries), the information is great, it works well with LaTeX, there is always more than one way to accomplish something …

For monkeysuncle, the reasons also include that training researchers on free R rather than expensive licensed software ensures their continuing ability to use the skills they learn (even if there is no money for licences), plus: R is used by most academic statisticians – benefitting from their innovation and attention; it is platform independent; the help resources are unrivalled; it is easier to teach writing code than menu button clicking …

For Alasdair Sanderson, the reasons also include that it is a mature, widely used, frequently updated, free and open-source application.

For Joshua Ulrich, the reasons also include that R allows you to integrate with other languages (C/C++, JavaPython) and enables you to interact with many data sources: ODBC-compliant databases (Excel, Access) and other statistical packages (SASStataSPSSMinitab).

A quick overview in the NYT quotes one of the co-creators of R on the ethos of R:

“R is a real demonstration of the power of collaboration, and I don’t think you could construct something like this any other way,” Mr. Ihaka said.

And here is a long list of praise for R.

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