[R] Size of R user base
tpapp at axelero.hu
Tue Apr 20 15:33:20 CEST 2004
On Tue, Apr 20, 2004 at 10:47:06AM +0200, Philippe Grosjean wrote:
> The main role of this code would be, of course, to warn users that an update
> is available. One side effect would be that it should be possible to monitor
> access to the link in the centralized web site and to know:
I appreciate that it would be really nice to know the size of the user
base: the fact that lots of people are using R would give everybody a
warm, fuzzy feeling.
On the other hand, some people are getting carried away with this
discussion. I would consider the above suggestion a serious violation
of my privacy: if I want to make this type of personal data (what
software you use is personal data, in the legal sense) public, I can
do it, but I don't want any software on my computer which "kindly"
does that for me if I did not ask for it. I don't care whether the
data would be anonymized -- it is a matter of principle. Note that I
am using Debian's popularity-contest package, but that was my choice,
not somebody else's. BTW, this package would be able to give some
statistics on how widespread R is among Debian users.
So before people are coming up with ingenious (and possibly invasive)
methods to estimate the user base, I would like somebody to explain
why this is relevant. R already has the "critical mass" it needs,
given that it is a specialized piece of software. It is always good
to have a broader user base, but R is doing fine as it is. In some
markets, it is safer to pick a product with a wider user base (think
VHS vs Betamax), and sometimes this argument applies to software (eg
you should not make your bet on a commercial, closed-source software
company with a dwindling user base, because if they go bankrupt, you
can expect no updates etc). But free software is entirely different.
Knowing that we have more than a couple thousand users and dozens of
active developers is good enough for me.
Tamás K. Papp
E-mail: tpapp at axelero.hu
Please try to send only (latin-2) plain text, not HTML or other garbage.
More information about the R-help