[R] Re: diamond graphs and patents

David Scott d.scott at auckland.ac.nz
Thu Aug 28 01:31:15 CEST 2003

My reaction when learning of a proposed patent on a new graph was: "oh 
well, that's something I can forget about". Without a patent, code would 
have been available in R in a very short period of time, the statistical 
community would have been able to play around with it, see how it worked 
on various problems. If the graph proved useful it would make its way into 
statistical practice. With a patent none of that seems possible. Prof 
Munoz has had fun exploring his creation, but if any of us are to do 
likewise I guess we will either pay up or secretly write code and play 
around with diamond graphs while hidden in the basement.

Getting a graph used is not that simple I think. Boxplots are now an 
extremely useful tool, but lets not forget that Tukey also invented the 
hanging rootogram.

As for Microsoft getting involved, God help us. Excel still doesn't do 
boxplots does it? Not to mention the quality of their implementation of 
most of their statistical routines.

Like others I welcome the contribution of those at Johns Hopkins to the 
debate. And they perhaps shouldn't worry about us here at R-help, who are 
maybe just a fringe element of open source loving anti-M$ weirdos. Then 
again we may be the last bastion of open scientific enquiry.

David Scott

David Scott	Department of Statistics, Tamaki Campus
		The University of Auckland, PB 92019
		Auckland	NEW ZEALAND
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 86830		Fax: +64 9 373 7000
Email:	d.scott at auckland.ac.nz 

Graduate Officer, Department of Statistics

Webmaster, New Zealand Statistical Association:

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