[R] The Origins of R

Peter Dalgaard P.Dalgaard at biostat.ku.dk
Wed Feb 4 17:00:00 CET 2009

Patrick Burns wrote:

> My reaction to the section of the original NYT
> article under discussion was that it was a
> disjointed mess due to editing rather than a slight
> to anyone anywhere.

I think that is pretty much spot on.

I can imagine Ross or Robert explaining why they couldn't use S-PLUS for
computer labs in 1992: The licences were too expensive, and the whole
thing was designed to run on Unix workstations or terminals connected to
a department minicomputer, plus there was this issue that it stored all
variables in files, causing a harddisk bottleneck. Filter that through a
journalist and he might well come up with a "simplified" wording like we
see in the article.

(The scary bit is that this sort of thing occurs almost every time we
happen to know the actual background behind news stories, but still we
tend to believe the information we get from the press in any other matter.)

   O__  ---- Peter Dalgaard             Øster Farimagsgade 5, Entr.B
  c/ /'_ --- Dept. of Biostatistics     PO Box 2099, 1014 Cph. K
 (*) \(*) -- University of Copenhagen   Denmark      Ph:  (+45) 35327918
~~~~~~~~~~ - (p.dalgaard at biostat.ku.dk)              FAX: (+45) 35327907

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