[R] Paid support for R?

Richard Rowe Richard.Rowe at jcu.edu.au
Wed Dec 12 02:12:08 CET 2001

At 08:16 12/12/01 +1000, "Andrew C. Ward" <s195404 at student.uq.edu.au> wrote:
>Dear R users,
>Sorry if this has been discussed before.
>I was recently looking at the MySQL site and saw that they offer various 
>of paid support. The support options range from basic email support (USD200)
>through to extensive telephone support from the development team (USD10000).
>These are annual prices.
>This is something I would be happy to see available with R (maybe it is?).

I think this proposal is at odds with what I understood to be the 
fundamental theme behind the development of R - a community of scientists 
sharing knowledge without attempts to shut up 'intellectual property' 
behind walls, lawyers etc.  If people feel grateful perhaps they could give 
time, build something, and contribute it to the community.  I expect the 
'consultancy rates' for many of those who freely give advice on R-help 
would make anyone on an academic budget wince ... and that is the rate they 
should charge if they are providing service for a fee.

The structure of 'open source' and the use of the academic and scientific 
community is a good one, set up with considerable hindsight over ways in 
which short-term greed, proprietary methods and intellectual property law 
had done a disservice to the community which generated the ideas and 
methods.  If ever income is derived from R then I expect the system will 
collapse as people will soon come to spend that income, then they will 
spend it in anticipation, at which point they will need to generate the 
income ... and collegiality will disappear,

Richard Rowe
Senior Lecturer
Department of Zoology and Tropical Ecology, James Cook University
Townsville, Queensland 4811, Australia
fax (61)7 47 25 1570
phone (61)7 47 81 4851
e-mail: Richard.Rowe at jcu.edu.au

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