Installing MatLab vs Installing R

(This article was first published on Deciphering life: One bit at a time :: R, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

Installing MatLab vs Installing R

I retweeted this a few days ago:

And as I have started the process of installing MatLab on my own machine because I want to translate a published MatLab package into R, I am reminded of how painful the process can be.

As Andrew noted above, often times a university will have a site license for MatLab, and the license server will be local, and your installation must just contact the license server to know it is legit and run. However, if the server crashes (which they seem to be prone to in my experience), then you can't run MatLab at all.

Installing MatLab

At my university, the process for even getting and installing a copy of MatLab is rather tedious.

  • Prove you are someone who is in a position to be allowed to install it
  • Receive email with license file and further instructions
  • Open an IT ticket to have an account created at MathWorks
  • Login to MathWorks and download MatLab
  • Install
  • Give license key
  • Save license file
  • Run MatLab

Now, I understand that MathWorks wants to protect their intellectual property, and I also understand that they have previously been ripped off rather badly in the past (having a company purchase a single license and run a hundred copies). But this process is not conducive to getting research done.

Installing R

Which one of these is going to make it easiest to actually get coding and getting stuff done?

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