Re: [R] Moving from Splus to R - advice/opinions request from a management perspective

From: Gabor Grothendieck <ggrothendieck_at_gmail.com>
Date: Fri 28 Jul 2006 - 03:07:20 EST

How large is your data?

If its large you may or may not have problems. If its small you probably won't. Try prototyping the most data intensive portion in R before you commit significant resources.

S Plus can time stamp objects and R cannot although you could come up with some workarounds for specific objects if your app uses this.

If your app naturally divides into independent sections you could consider an incremental approach converting one section over at a time.

On 7/27/06, Dave <dd4v135@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I've looked through the archives and seen several posts discussing technical differences between R and S(plus). It appears to me that R can likely functionally replace Splus for my situation, but I'm more interested in looking at the risks and benefits of moving from Splus to R from a (project) management point of view.
>
> Background (a bit wordy, I'm afraid):
>
> - I'm not a stats guy, but rather a project manager responsible for an internal application that utilizes Splus as a back-end analysis engine to analyze manufacturing data at a med/large company.
>
> - I really don't know why Splus was chosen as the analysis engine for this app - that choice was made long before I inherited the project.
>
> - The developer currently in charge of the Splus code is not a stats guy either, but he is a very talented programmer that has been to one Insightful course and taught himself enough to maintain the existing code (the original authors are long gone).
>
> - While there is quite a large quantity of existing code that is used by our application, I don't believe that it is terribly complex, from an applied statistics point of view. Using Splus may be over-kill from a functionality standpoint, but we just haven't had the time to re-write in a more "appropriate" package - even if we knew what that more appropriate package might be.
>
> - With the imminent release of Splus 8, I'm feeling uncomfortable with the risk associated with remaining on Splus 2000, which we are currently using. ***Comments on this point would be appreciated.***
>
> - The developer was able to modify the existing code to run in Splus 7. Unfortunately, the code is significantly slower than before, and Insightful claims this is due to a change to the S language (at version 6) that was out of their control (and one reason that they bought the S language rights).
>
> - We have found Insightful's telephone support to be rather unresponsive, and not very helpful, other than to recommend their consulting services. Obtaining consulting services from Insightful to improve performance has proved challenging (don't ask), and if we ever actually do receive any consulting services from them, it will no doubt be quite expensive.
>
> (if you are still with me, thank you)
>
> I see our realistic options as:
>
> A) Stick with Splus with the assumption that eventually, Insightful will help us migrate our code to the latest release, and performance will be comparable to what it is today. The advantage of this is working with a known entity, if not one we are very pleased with. In addition, if we can get the relationship to work, we can hopefully "outsource" future statistics development and support to Insightful.
>
> The disadvantage is that it is costing us quite a bit of $$$ to maintain a relationship that we are not really happy with. Incidentally, I'm not intending to bash Insightful here - it may just be that we are not a good fit for each other.
>
> B) Drop Splus for R with the assumption that migrating to R and rewriting to improve performance will be little more difficult than rewriting by ourselves in Splus. The obvious advantage is the cost savings, which is very significant. In addition, based on the archives I've read, it appears that there is a very responsive and helpful R community.
>
> The disadvantage is that we may be committing to maintaining statistical expertise in-house, whereas we were hoping to be able to outsource some or all of it (to Insightful). In addition, we will be leaving behind an entity that has a mailing address, phone number, and stock symbol for one that is represented "only" by a mailing list - I'm rather conservative and risk averse.
>
> C) Stick with Splus and either find some consulting help outside of Insightful or slog away internally. I suppose that we could even end our M&S contract with Insightful and just continue to use Splus, knowing that we will never receive any releases newer than 8.x nor any future support.
>
> (almost done)
>
> So, I'd like to hear opinions of whether you think that the benefits of moving to R outweigh the risks. Listing additional benefits and risks that I have not identified would be appreciated. I'm particularly interested in hearing from anyone that has made this same S -> R transition in a business environment.
>
> Also, does anyone have any recommendations for either Splus or R consultants, other than Insightful? I would prefer someone who is willing to work remotely, rather than anyone having to travel.
>
> Thats it.
>
> Thanks for your time,
> Dave
>
> __________________________________________________
>
>
>
> [[alternative HTML version deleted]]
>
> ______________________________________________
> R-help@stat.math.ethz.ch mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
>



R-help@stat.math.ethz.ch mailing list
https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code. Received on Fri Jul 28 06:32:52 2006

Archive maintained by Robert King, hosted by the discipline of statistics at the University of Newcastle, Australia.
Archive generated by hypermail 2.1.8, at Fri 28 Jul 2006 - 08:16:32 EST.

Mailing list information is available at https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help. Please read the posting guide before posting to the list.