“Extending R”, by John M. Chambers
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R is a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics. It started as a free implementation of the S language, which was back then commercially available as S-Plus, and has since around 10 years ago become the lingua franca of statistics, the main language people use to communicate statistical computation. R’s popularity stems partly from the fact that it is free and open source, partly from the fact that it is easily extendible: through add-on packages that follow a clearly defined structure, new statistical ideas can be implemented, shared, and used by others. Using R, the computational aspects of research can be communicated in a reproducible way, which can be understood by a large audience.
John Chambers is (co-)author of the four leading—“brown”, “blue”, “white”, “green”—books, written between 1984 and 1998 that describe the S language as it evolved and as it is now. He has designed it, implemented it, and improved it in all its phases. Being part of the R core...