We’ve just launched a beta/preview of a new website for the R community, inside-R.org. The site is sponsored by Revolution Analytics (who funded its development and maintenance), but it’s designed for anyone who uses or has in an interest in the R Project generally.
So, you might ask, why another community site for R, when there’s already several R resources around the web? There’s the r-help mailing list, the R Project website, the R tag on Stackoverflow, the #rstats tag on Twitter, crantastic.org, r-bloggers.com and various other sites including this humble blog. But that’s actually kinda the point — information about R today is scattered all about the Web, and we wanted to create a single portal where you can find pointers to all the best, new information about R from around the Web.
The idea is that the home-page of inside-R.org will be editorially managed to review all of the best R sites on a daily basis, and float the best content to the top. That’s what I’ve been trying to do for the last couple of years with the Revolutions blog (and that’s what you see on the inside-R.org homepage today), but as we roll out more features this will be more of a crowdsourced affair at inside-R.org. Soon, you’ll be able to create an account on inside-R.org and recommend to other R community members information you find valuable, and even create your own content, too. Look for some exciting new features over the coming months.
There’s already one new, and I think pretty cool feature on the site: “Get R“, a one-click process for downloading R for your computer. R is distributed through the CRAN network of mirrors, but especially for someone who’s new to R is can be a tricky process to find the right link on r-project.org, select a CRAN mirror, and choose the right platform. “Get R” automatically detects what kind of computer you’re browsing with and from where, so it can choose the right platform and closest mirror for you. (Of course, you can change the defaults if you wish). For most users, this makes downloading R a 1-click process instead of a 7-click process. You can also download Revolution R Community from the same page, if you prefer.
And to further promote R around the Web, you can even add a badge, such as this one:
to your own blog or website, so that others can have easy access to downloading R.
So, keep an eye out for updates to the site over the next few months. You can keep up-to-date with news about inside-R.org by following @inside_R on Twitter (and of course I’ll report major updates here, too).