[R] Revolution R and the R Community?

Duncan Murdoch murdoch.duncan at gmail.com
Tue May 11 21:02:34 CEST 2010

On 11/05/2010 12:23 PM, David Smith wrote:
> On Tue, May 11, 2010 at 8:08 AM, ivo welch <ivowel at gmail.com> wrote:
> > As an end-user, I wonder about Revolution R.  Is the relationship
> > between Revolution R and the R community at-large a positive one?  Do
> > the former contribute to the development efforts of the latter?  Is
> > there a competitive aspect?  is their forum competitive with r-help?
> > any other thoughts?  (most of all, I simply hope that they help some
> > of the many helpful experts on this forum, who have volunteered their
> > expertise to help me so many times.)
> I'm from Revolution (as of last week, newly rechristened Revolution
> Analytics) -- I've been with them for almost two years, and involved
> with R, S and ESS for a long time before that. We intend for the
> relationship between Revolution and the community is a positive one --
> the R community is one of the things that makes R so great. We've made
> positive contributions: we've released a number of open-source R
> packages to the community (including "foreach" and "doMC"),
> contributed fixes to the core R engine, we've launched and sponsor
> several R User Groups to foster local R communities (mainly in the US,
> so far), we sponsor student projects in R, fund R conferences
> (including UseR!) and personally I've been active in evangelizing the
> wonders of R to the statistics community in general (at our blog,
> blog.revolutionanalytics.com, and in the media, such as last year's
> New York Times article).
> The forums aren't intended to compete with this list, but provide a
> venue for Revolution-specific discussions which might be out-of-place
> on this list. (Sorry about the technical difficulties you're having --
> Sherry from support is following up with you as I write this.) In the
> same way, our new community site inside-R.org isn't intended to
> compete with other R community sites but to promote the best content
> (read more here: http://bit.ly/c6v80J ). Overall, our goal is to
> support and grow the R community everywhere (while selling
> subscriptions for Revolution R in commercial organizations). Yes, it's
> the real deal.
I would agree with David that Revolution has made real contributions.  
There is naturally some tension between volunteer contributors to open 
source projects and people who make money from the projects, but I think 
in the case of Revolution they've made a sincere effort to contribute 
back to the project.  (Disclaimer:  I did a small amount of contract 
work for them a couple of years ago.)

Duncan Murdoch

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