[R] Learning R: which book to choose?

Ko-Kang Kevin Wang Ko-Kang at xtra.co.nz
Sat Oct 12 21:44:19 CEST 2002

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jan Krupa" <krupa at alpha.sggw.waw.pl>
To: "r-help mailing list" <r-help at stat.math.ethz.ch>
Sent: Sunday, October 13, 2002 6:44 AM
Subject: [R] Learning R: which book to choose?

> I am new to R. I am going to by one of the following book:
> 1.
> William N. Venables and Brian D. Ripley. Modern Applied Statistics
> with S-Plus.
> Third Edition. Springer, 1999. ISBN 0-387-98825-4.
> 2.
>  The  Fourth Edition of the book from point 1.
> 3.
> `S Programming'
>  by W. N. Venables and B. D. Ripley
>  Springer. ISBN 0-387-98966-8, 2000.
> I can only by one of the above books.
> Q1.
> I have found the following info at the site
> http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/pub/MASS4/ :
> ''The material on programming has been reduced since the first and
> second editions''
> Is that also true that
> The material on programming has been reduced since the THIRD  edition?
> Q2. Which of the books 1 or 2 do you suggest to buy?
> I mean which one is more complete?
> May be the third (3) book would be enough to learn R?

It depends on what you want to do.  If you are only using R to do normal
analysis, either (1) or (2) above will be sufficient.  I would recommend
(2), as it is the latest version AND it is written for R 1.5.0 in mind, i.e.
takes in the changes made since MASS3.  MASS3 was written a bit more towards
S-plus, though the materials can be used in R too.  As for the pricing, I
think both MASS3 and MASS4 have roughly the same price.

S Programing is more for developers or more experienced users (I've a copy
of it, as well as MASS4).  It also talks about the object-oriented features,
how to write classes, functions...etc.

Hope this helps,

Ko-Kang Wang

Ko-Kang Kevin Wang
Post Graduate PGDipSci Student
Department of Statistics
University of Auckland
New Zealand

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