A competition to recommend “relevant” R packages – and the future of R
Update: the competition was
/> * * *
What is the competition about?
href="http://www.drewconway.com/zia/?p=2415">Drew Conway and
href="http://www.johnmyleswhite.com/notebook/2010/10/07/build-a-recommendation-system-for-r-packages/">John Myles Whyte have collected data from (52) R users about the packages they have installed. The data is now
href="http://github.com/johnmyleswhite/r_recommendation_system">available on github for download and the contest will be run on the
For more details,
href="http://www.dataists.com/2010/10/using-data-tools-to-find-data-tools-the-yo-dawg-of-data-hacking/">head over to dataists.
And for fun, here is the dependency graph for R packages they have assembled so far:
style="float:right; font-size:10px; width:247px; border:1px">A graphical visualization of packages’ “suggestion” relationships. Affectionately referred to as the
href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster" >R Flying Spaghetti Monster. More info below.
A tiny bit more on R bloggers virality
/> Since I started getting involved in the
href="http://www.r-bloggers.com/">R bloggers community, I can recall two major discussion that have attracted more then two bloggers writing about them.
The first one was people in the R community arguing against Dr. AnnMaria De Mars post “The Next Big Thing”, where she wrote that “R is an epic fail.” (my response to it then was the post “
href="http://www.r-statistics.com/2010/04/r-the-next-big-thing-and-statistics-in-the-cloud/">“The next big thing”, R, and Statistics in the cloud“)
/> The second one was tackling the question “Is R “that bad” that it should be rewritten from scratch?”. Many responses went to the post by Ross Ihaka who was arguing for the need to rewrite R from scratch (a very wide spectrum of replies to that can be viewed on the
href="http://stackoverflow.com/questions/3706990/is-r-that-bad-that-it-should-be-rewritten-from-scratch">stackoverflow discussion I started on the topic.)
And in the past few days I noticed a
href="http://www.drewconway.com/zia/?p=2415"> of a
href="http://www.johnmyleswhite.com/notebook/2010/10/07/build-a-recommendation-system-for-r-packages/">of posts, all promoting the post at “
This leads me to three simple statements:
/> 1) I think it is beautiful that the R community has advocates that defend R’s role in the future of statistics
/> 2) I think it is important that the R community has so many (smart) people (beyond the amazing R core team) who reflects on how R is doing, and of the challenges that the R language and environment will face in the future.
/> 3) I think it is a fascinating thing that the R community is a community of researchers who have the skills to research themselves. Each community of a discipline can use it’s skill on itself – psychologists may psychoanalyze themselves, WordPress bloggers may write about WordPress, and R users can plan studies and analyse data about themselves – this potential is only beginning to be untapped – and I am excited to see where it might lead in the years to come.
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