Re: [Rd] [OT] How many useRs?

From: Dirk Eddelbuettel <edd_at_debian.org>
Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2007 18:52:10 -0500

On 27 August 2007 at 13:19, Andy Bunn wrote:
| Is there a reliable (for some definition of reliable) estimate of how
| many people use R or have downloaded it? Say an order of magnitude
| estimate? I would like to mention this in the introduction to a paper
| I'm writing where I encourage R's use.

With a salt mine rather than a mere grain of salt, you could consider the 'popularity contest' results from Debian and Ubuntu. Briefly, it's an 'opt-in' service that submits the list of installed packages, anonymoysly, to an aggregation address.

Using Ubuntu's large install base, we get from http://popcon.ubuntu.com that eg the GNU bc package in their 'main/math' section is installed (and reported) 174452 times (based on http://popcon.ubuntu.com/main/math/by_inst). As this is a mandatory package, we can use this as the baseline. On the other hand r-base-core (from the optional universe/math section) is installed 2638 times (see http://popcon.ubuntu.com/universe/math/by_inst). So you get 2638 / 174452 or around 1.5%. You now need to figure the various self-selection biases and correct for those...

As a check, for Debian (with popcon.debian.org as the base URL), we get 1686 / 54221 or around 3.1% (using file http://popcon.debian.org/main/math/by_inst). So even this crude measure has a large amount of variability. So I still invoke fortune(43).

But if you insist, you could use Microsoft's recent 'one billion PCs' estimate (news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/2077986.stm), apply the percentages we laboriously derive above and call it 15 to 31 million....

Dirk

-- 
Three out of two people have difficulties with fractions.

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