[R] Size of R user base

Stephan Matthiesen 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 
program itself.


More information about the R-help mailing list