Re: R-beta: Teach material for R

Bill Venables (
Fri, 27 Mar 1998 14:55:53 +1030

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 14:55:53 +1030
Message-Id: <>
From: Bill Venables <>
To: Kenneth Nordstrom <>
Subject: Re: R-beta: Teach material for R
In-Reply-To: <199803261543.RAA26167@noppa.Helsinki.FI>

Kenneth Nordstrom writes:

 > I'm a newbie in R, but have nevertheless gone out on a limb
 > and used R this spring for teaching our stats students "modern
 > data-analysis".  I've been using RNotes, but to get some more
 > (statistical) meat on the bones, I've complemented it with
 > material from Venables-Ripley. Most of the V-R stuff (that
 > I've tried) seems to work out of the box.

Well, of course.  :-)

 > Q-1: Is this generally the case (except for obvious
 >      differences with S+ like 3-dim graphics)? If yes, why is
 >      it necessary to port MASS if you can source the files on
 >      their diskette?  Anyone tried this, or used other material
 >      for teaching data-analysis with R a la V-R?

Well, because not all of it will work straight out of the box.  I
should affirm that both V&R would like the V&R software to be
freely and publicly available to R users, but we have to be
careful to observe some copyright niceties.  Although we wrote
the code and the book, the publisher now officially owns the
copyright to both, (which was the deal, of course).

 > Q-2: How does R compare with XploRe?  The latter seems to have
 >      the advantage that more macros/functions are already
 >      written, it has a nice graphical user interface (a
 >      consideration when teaching) as well as 3-dim graphics
 >      (also dynamical).  Has anyone compared these in terms of
 >      capabilities as programming languages?
 >      (Note that you can get XploRe for LINUX for free and
 >      without expiry date!)

With free upgrades, as well?  (Asked he, more or less
rhetorically.)  That would make it very attractive since it is a
very professional product with extremely good graphics (despite
it's execrable name!).

Bill Venables, Head, Dept of Statistics,    Tel.: +61 8 8303 5418
University of Adelaide,                     Fax.: +61 8 8303 3696
South AUSTRALIA.     5005.   Email:

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