R at Wikimania

August 8, 2011

(This article was first published on Back Side Smack » R Stuff, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

Wikimania 2011 came to a close yesterday. For those of you unfamiliar with Wikimania it may be described as UseR for Wikipedia, Wikimedia and MediaWiki all rolled into one. The conference brings together staff, volunteer editors, volunteer developers and users of MediaWiki projects. Of specific interest to R Bloggers readers may be the sessions on using R in MediaWiki installations. You may not know but there is an extension to the MediaWiki software allowing the interpretation of R code inline in a MediaWiki page. Similar to SWeave, you can write example code, process output and even generate graphs all within the parsed MediaWiki text.

On Friday Juha Villman presented his experience integrating R into a Finnish social advocacy wiki called Opasnet. On Opasnet users build models, upload data and scrutinize policy research by governments–all with (for the most part) Free software.

Beyond the research presented at Wikimania, I ran into several developers and editors who were interested in adopting R for a variety of use cases from building better price indices to Linguistics. The two communities share a great deal of goals and passions and it is heartening to see connection being made.

Edit: sudo rm repetition

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