R featured in New York Times article

January 7, 2009
By

(This article was first published on Thinking inside the box , and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

Today's New York Times carries a decent article about R. Predictably, this lead to one (short), two (longest), three (short) threads on the main R mailing list. One aspect merits further highlighting. The reporter asked whether R would pose a threat to SAS:
"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."

That's silly on so many levels. A concise and rather appropriate follow-up came in early from Frank Harrell, a long-time S and R advocate:

This is great to see. It's interesting that SAS Institute feels that non-peer-reviewed software with hidden implementations of analytic methods that cannot be reproduced by others should be trusted when building aircraft engines.

Achim already added this (and two more posts from the aforementioned threads) to the fortunes package that collects such choice quotes.

R in Finance (the topic of our upcoming conference) gets mentioned as well. Now, as editor of the Finance task view, I find that second half of

The financial services community has demonstrated a particular affinity for R; dozens of packages exist for derivatives analysis alone.
to be a little off the mark. But that's minor as the article is broadly sympathetic, and mostly "gets it" where it matters. Recommended.

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