[R] Size of R user base

Rau, Roland Rau at demogr.mpg.de
Tue Apr 20 11:37:38 CEST 2004


> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Philippe Grosjean [SMTP:phgrosjean at sciviews.org]
> Sent:	Tuesday, April 20, 2004 10:47 AM
> To:	r-help at stat.math.ethz.ch
> Subject:	RE: [R] Size of R user base
> Of course, this will only work with computers connected to the
> internet,...
> but at least, it could be one way to evaluate the number of R users. Would
> that be an infringment of Open Source, or any other rule of freedom? I
> don't
> know, but it does seem to be quite widespread (at least for commercial
> software). so, why an Open Source software would not be able to monitor
> the
> number of users?
	I don't know if it would violate any part of the GPL under which R
is licensed. But I think it is against the spirit of free software (free as
in "free speech"not "free beer"...) to try to control the users (in German:
legitim vs. legal).
	But more importantly: the GPL reserves the right to change the
source code. So what happens if someone removes this part of the code before
compiling? Then there would not be any chance of tracing those R users,
right? And, as far as I understood, it is also allowed to distribute those
modified source-code versions. I assume that there would be widespread
interest in such a derivative work of R where this feedback-code would have
been left out. So again, there is a problem of getting to know the size of
the R User Base. 

	Just some thoughts,

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