Wednesday, January 7, 2009

R in the NY Times

I've detailed, R, that wonderful piece of statistical software in a previous post, but an article in today's NY Times gives some nice additional background to the whole project. Check it out if you want to know "the rest of the story." There's also a delightfully snarky quote from a spokesperson for SAS, the chief commercial rival to R.
“I think it addresses a niche market for high-end data analysts that want free, readily available code," said Anne H. Milley, director of technology product marketing at SAS. She adds, “We have customers who build engines for aircraft. I am happy they are not using freeware when I get on a jet.”
Because everyone knows that commercial software is always reliable. Personally, I don't care what software an engineer uses to design a jet. Just as long as the software and the engineer both know what they're doing. The same goes for the software (a mix of commercial, open source, and free closed-source programs) I use in my own research--I'm not a complete open source zealot (all my FEA analyses are on commercial software, because I still haven't found an open source alternative that doesn't require a computer science degree), but if I can get the job done for free, the price is right!

Thanks to Denim and Tweed for pointing me towards this link.


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Anonymous said...

I work for SAS marketing and want everyone to know that we don't hate R nor do we hate open source. Anne Milley, the source of the SAS quote in the Times, offers a fuller response in her blog post at