[R] Packages - a great resource, but hard to find the right one

diegol diegol81 at gmail.com
Sun Nov 25 18:02:11 CET 2007

Hi all,

I've been reading your suggestions and I'd like to share my thoghts, which
might be common to people not so deeply involved in the development of R.

One of the advantages of R is that it's an open source software, meaning
that anyone can peruse the code for whatever purpose they might have. 

In R this is also true with contributed packages. However, for novices (like
me) R is terribly overwhelming and although I suspect there are excellent
professionals in their development, I really don't know how skilled the
person behind a certain package is, both in his discipline and in coding in

Since it won't be short until I can understand complex R functions, in the
meantime I'd find a third-party review of the package useful. So I download
a package and know that at least someone else has taken a look at it and
vouches for its correct functioning or alerts of errors in certain points.
An alternative would be not to use R until I get to understand the code and
make sure it does what I expect, whereas I use another software to solve my
problems. In many cases this could mean setting R apart for good.

Also this is not a minor point if R is expected to spread at the corporate
level. Users need some level of assurance that what they use is reliable, if
not able to check the code in their own (having the code available is indeed
very useful, but not enough in all cases).

As for who should do the review, I wouldn't trust so much any user as I
would an organization such as the JSS. If the latter is not possible, the
first alternative is better than nothing.

Best regards,

Diego Mazzeo
Actuarial Science Student
Facultad de Ciencias Económicas
Universidad de Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires, Argentina
View this message in context: http://www.nabble.com/Re%3A-Packages---a-great-resource%2C-but-hard-to-find-the-right-one-tf4855917.html#a13937354
Sent from the R help mailing list archive at Nabble.com.

More information about the R-help mailing list