A new funded group, called the R Consortium, has been launched to sustain the development of the R statistical system under the auspices of the Linux Foundation. This might not be news to some – the press release was posted on June 30 – but it is an important part of the future success of R. With the support of this group, R will continue to develop, and be available as a statistical tool for researchers for the foreseeable future.
R is the leading open source statistical software in use at this time. It is freely available through the Comprehensive R Archive Network (CRAN). There are also a number of contributed packages for specialised analyses available on CRAN.
R itself is a programming language that uses the same (or at least similar) syntax as a commercial statistical product called “S” or “S-Plus”. It was originally written at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, by Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman, members of the Department of Statistics. (Notice the initials of these people.)
R is installed on a number of platforms across campus including the central Advanced Research Computing resources.