[R] Size of R user base
Stephan.Matthiesen at ed.ac.uk
Tue Apr 20 16:18:20 CEST 2004
Am Montag, 19. April 2004 19:12 schrieb Kevin S. Van Horn:
> 1. It appears that there are about 100,000 S-PLUS users.
Let me add one thought that I haven't seen in the discussion yet:
To estimate the user base, one should perhaps not only look at S-Plus for
comparison. R can be used for many other things than statistics. The users I
know (physicists and geoscientists) use it for quite different purpose (e.g.
numerically solving ODEs) for which they might have used Matlab instead, or
they use it for plotting (as a replacement of IDL), whereas they may only
need the most basic statistical features.
I could imagine that uses outside "generic" statistics will become more common
as more packages are added and R becomes more widely known.
Perhaps these users are also less likely to buy books on R (which are probably
more geared towards statistics), and perhaps also less likely to subscribe to
the mailing list.
However, I have no idea how to estimate the number of these users.... It seems
to me that the number of downloads is most direct. What about the number of
package updates? A package update (from within R) requires a working
installation, and also a user who actually starts the update. And I suspect
that even users who get it on CD would do an internet package update every
now and again. Might be better than counting the number of downloads of the
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