Top 20 R posts of 2011 (and some R-bloggers statistics) is now two years young. The site is an (unofficial) online R journal written by bloggers who agreed to contribute their R articles to the site. In this post I wish to celebrate R-bloggers’ second birthmounth by sharing with you: Links to the top 20 posts of 2011 Statistics on “how well” R-bloggers did […]

is now two years young. The site is an (unofficial) online R journal written by bloggers who agreed to contribute their R articles to the site.
In this post I wish to celebrate R-bloggers’ second birthmounth by sharing with you:

  1. Links to the top 20 posts of 2011
  2. Statistics on “how well” R-bloggers did this year
  3. An invitation for sponsors/supporters to help keep the site alive

1. Top 24 R posts of 2011

R-bloggers’ success is largely owed to the content submitted by the R bloggers themselves.  The R community currently has almost 300 active R bloggers (links to the blogs are clearly visible in the right navigation bar on the ).  In the past year, these bloggers wrote over 2800 posts about R.

Here is a list of the top visited posts on the site in 2011:

2. Statistics – how well did R-bloggers do this year

There are several matrices one can consider when evaluating the success of a website.  I’ll present a few of them here and will begin by talking about the visitors to the site.

This year, the site was visited by牵手常德棋牌官方下载 over 665,000 “Unique Visitors.”  There was a total of over 1.4 million visits and over 2.8 million page-views.  People have surfed the site from over 200 countries, with the greatest number of visitors coming from the United States (~40%) and then followed by the United Kingdom (6.9%), Germany (6.6%), Canada (4.7%), France (3.3%), and other countries.

The site has received between 15,000 to 45,000 visits a week in the past few months, and I suspect this number will remain stable in the next few months (unless something very interesting will happen).

I believe this number will stay constant thanks to visitors’ loyalty: 55% of the site’s visits came from returning users.

牵手常德棋牌官方下载Another indicator of reader loyalty is the number of subscribers to R-bloggers as counted by feedburner, which includes both RSS readers and e-mail subscribers.  The range of subscribers is estimated to be between 5600 to 5900.

Thus, I am very happy to see that R-bloggers continues to succeed in offering a real service to the global R users community.

3. Invitation to sponsor/advertise on R-bloggers

This year I was sadly accused by google adsense of click fraud (which I did not do, but have no way of proving my innocence).  Therefor, I am no longer able to use google adsense to sustain R-bloggers high monthly bills, and I turned to rely on direct  sponsoring of R-bloggers.

If you are interested in sponsoring/placing-ads/supporting R-bloggers, then you are welcome to contact me.

Happy new year!
Tal Galili

UseR! 2011 slides and videos – on one page

Links to slides and talks from useR 2011 – all organized in one page.

牵手常德棋牌官方下载I was recently that the wonderful team at warwick University made sure to put online many of the slides (and ) of talks from the recent  conference.  You can browse through the talks by going between the  (where it will be the most updated, if more slides will be added later), but I thought it might be more convenient for some of you to have the links to all the talks (with slides/videos) in one place.

I am grateful for all of the wonderful people who put their time in making such an amazing event (organizers, speakers, attendees), and also for the many speakers who made sure to share their talk/slides online for all of us to reference.  I hope to see this open-slides trend will continue in the upcoming useR conferences…

Bellow are all the links:

Tuesday 16th August

09:50 – 10:50

Kaleidoscope Ia, MS.03, Chair: Dieter Menne
Claudia Beleites []
Jonathan Rosenblatt []
Zoe Hoare []
Kaleidoscope Ib, MS.01, Chair: Simon Urbanek
Markus Gesmann []
Kaleidoscope Ic, MS.02, Chair: Achim Zeileis
David Smith []
E. James Harner []

11:15 – 12:35

Portfolio Management, B3.02, Chair: Patrick Burns
Jagrata Minardi []
Bioinformatics and High-Throughput Data, B3.03, Chair: Hervé Pagès
Thierry Onkelinx []
High Performance Computing, MS.03, Chair: Stefan Theussl
Willem Ligtenberg []
Manuel Quesada []
Reporting Technologies and Workflows, MS.01, Chair: Martin Mächler
Andreas Leha []
Teaching, MS.02, Chair: Jay G. Kerns
Ian Holliday []
Achim Zeileis []

14:00 – 14:45

Invited Talk, MS.01/MS.02, Chair: David Firth
Ulrike Grömping [] []

14:45 – 15:30

Invited Talk, MS.01/MS.02, Chair: David Firth
Jonathan Rougier [] []

16:00 – 17:00

Modelling Systems and Networks, B3.02, Chair: Jonathan Rougier
Rachel Oxlade []
Christophe Dutang []
Visualisation, MS.04, Chair: Antony Unwin
Andrej Blejec []
Richard M. Heiberger []
Dimensionality Reduction and Variable Selection, MS.01, Chair: Matthias Schmid
Marie Chavent []
Jürg Schelldorfer []
Benjamin Hofner []
Business Management, MS.02, Chair: Enrico Branca
Marlene S. Marchena []
Pairach Piboonrungroj []
Fabrizio Ortolani

17:05 – 18:05

(see bellow)

Lightning Talks

  • Community and Communication, MS.02, Chair: Ashley Ford
    • George Zhang: China R user conference []
    • Tal Galili: Blogging and R – present and future [Link]
    • Markus Schmidberger: Get your R application onto a powerful and fully-configured Cloud Computing environment in less than 5 minutes. []
    • Eirini Koutoumanou: Teaching R to Non Package Literate Users []
    • Randall Pruim: Teaching Statistics using the mosaic Package []
  • Statistics and Programming, MS.01, Chair: Elke Thönnes
    • Toby Dylan Hocking: Fast, named capture regular expressions in R2.14 []
    • John C. Nash: Developments in optimization tools for R []
    • Christophe Dutang: A Unified Approach to fit probability distributions []
  • Package Showcase, MS.03, Chair: Jennifer Rogers
    • James Foadi: cRy: statistical applications in macromolecular crystallography []
    • Emilio López: Six Sigma is possible with R []
    • Jonathan Clayden: Medical image processing with TractoR []
    • Richard A. Bilonick: Using merror 2.0 to Analyze Measurement Error and Determine Calibration Curves []

Wednesday 17th August

09:00 – 09:50

Invited Talk, MS.01/MS.02, Chair: Ioannis Kosmidis
Lee E. Edlefsen [] []

11:15 – 12:35

Spatio-Temporal Statistics, B3.02, Chair: Julian Stander
Nikolaus Umlauf []
Molecular and Cell Biology, B3.03, Chair: Andrea Foulkes
Matthew Nunes []
Maarten van Iterson []
Mixed Effect Models, MS.03, Chair: Douglas Bates
Ulrich Halekoh []
Marco Geraci []
Kenneth Knoblauch []
Programming, MS.01, Chair: Uwe Ligges
Ray Brownrigg []
Friedrich Schuster []
Patrick Burns []
Data Mining Applications, MS.02, Chair: Przemysaw Biecek
Stephan Stahlschmidt
Daniel Chapsky []

14:45 – 15:30

Invited Talk, MS.01/MS.02, Chair: John Aston
Brandon Whitcher [] []

16:00 – 17:00

Development of R, B3.02, Chair: John C. Nash
Andrew R. Runnalls []
Geospatial Techniques, B3.03, Chair: Roger Bivand
Binbin Lu []
Rainer M Krug []
Daniel Nüst []
Genomics and Bioinformatics, MS.03, Chair: Ramón Diaz-Uriarte
Sebastian Gibb []
Regression Modelling, MS.01, Chair: Cristiano Varin
Bettina Grün []
Rune Haubo B. Christensen []
Giuseppe Bruno []
R in the Business World, MS.02, Chair: David Smith
Derek McCrae Norton []

17:05 – 18:05

Hydrology and Soil Science, B3.02, Chair: Thomas Petzoldt
Wayne Jones []
Pierre Roudier []
Biostatistical Modelling, B3.03, Chair: Holger Hoefling
Annamaria Guolo []
Cristiano Varin []
Psychometrics, MS.03, Chair: Yves Rosseel
Florian Wickelmaier []
Basil Abou El-Komboz []
Multivariate Data, MS.01, Chair: Peter Dalgaard
John Fox []
Julie Josse []
António Pedro Duarte Silva []
Interfaces, MS.02, Chair: Matthew Shotwell
Xavier de Pedro Puente []
Sheri Gilley []

Thursday 18th August

09:00 – 09:45

Invited Talk, MS.01/MS.02, Chair: Julia Brettschneider
Wolfgang Huber [] []

09:50 – 10:50

Financial Models, B3.02, Chair: Giovanni Petris
Peter Ruckdeschel []
Ecology and Ecological Modelling, B3.03, Chair: Karline Soetaert
Christian Kampichler []
John C. Nash []
Generalized Linear Models, MS.03, Chair: Kenneth Knoblauch
Ioannis Kosmidis []
Merete K. Hansen []
Reporting Data, MS.01, Chair: Martyn Plummer
Sina Rüeger []
Alexander Kowarik []
Isaac Subirana []
Process Optimization, MS.02, Chair: Tobias Verbeke
Emilio López []
Thomas Roth []

11:15 – 12:35

Inference, B3.02, Chair: Peter Ruckdeschel
Henry Deng []
Population Genetics and Genetics Association Studies, B3.03, Chair: Martin Morgan
Benjamin French []
Neuroscience, MS.03, Chair: Brandon Whitcher
Karsten Tabelow []
Data Management, MS.01, Chair: Barry Rowlingson
Susan Ranney []
Joanne Demmler []
Interactive Graphics in R, MS.02, Chair: Paul Murrell
Richard Cotton []

14:00 – 15:00

Kaleidoscope IIIa, MS.03, Chair: Adrian Bowman
Thomas Petzoldt []
David L. Miller []
Alastair Sanderson []
Kaleidoscope IIIb, MS.02, Chair: Frank Harrell
Paul Murrell []


The present and future of the R blogosphere (~7 minute video from useR2011)

This is (roughly) the lightning talk I gave in useR2011. If you are a reader of then this talk is not likely to tell you anything new. However, if you have a friend, college or student who is a new useRs of R, this talk will offer him a decent introduction to what the R […]

牵手常德棋牌官方下载This is (roughly) the lightning talk I gave in . If you are a reader of then this talk is not likely to tell you anything new. However, if you have a friend, college or student who is a new useRs of R, this talk will offer him a decent introduction to what the R blogosphere is all about.

The talk is a call for people of the R community to participate more in reading, writing and interacting with blogs.

牵手常德棋牌官方下载I was encouraged to record this talk per the request of Chel Hee Lee, so it may be used in the recent

The talk (briefly) goes through:

  1. The widespread influence of the R blogosphere
  2. What R bloggers write about
  3. How to encourage a blogger you enjoy reading to keep writing
  4. How to start your own R blog (just go to )
  5. Basic tips about writing a blog
  6. One advice about marketing your R blog ()
  7. And two thoughts about the future of R blogging (more bloggers and readers, and more interactive online visualization)

My apologies for any of the glitches in my English. For more talks about R, you can visit . I hope more speakers from useR 2011 will consider uploading their talks online.

Call for proposals for writing a book about R (via Chapman & Hall/CRC)

Rob Calver wrote an interesting invitation , inviting potential authors to submit their vision of the next great book about R. The announcement originated from the /publishing houses, backed up by an impressive team of R celebrities, chosen as the editors of this new R books series, including:

Bellow is the complete announcement:
Continue reading “Call for proposals for writing a book about R (via Chapman & Hall/CRC)”

R-bloggers in 2010: Top 14 R posts, site statistics and invitation for sponsors

A year ago (on December 9th 2009), I wrote about founding , an (unofficial) online R journal written by bloggers who agreed to contribute their R articles to the site.

牵手常德棋牌官方下载In this post I wish to celebrate R-bloggers’ first birthday by sharing with you:

  1. Links to the top 14 posts of 2010
  2. Reflections about the origin of R-bloggers
  3. Statistics on “how well” R-bloggers did this year
  4. Links to other related projects
  5. An invitation for sponsors/supporters to help keep the site alive

Continue reading “R-bloggers in 2010: Top 14 R posts, site statistics and invitation for sponsors”

A competition to recommend "relevant" R packages – and the future of R

Update: the competition was .
* * *

What is the competition about?

and have collected data from (52) R users about the packages they have installed. The data is now and the contest will be run on the .

For more details, .

And for fun, here is the dependency graph for R packages they have assembled so far:

A graphical visualization of packages’ “suggestion” relationships. Affectionately referred to as the . More info below.

A tiny bit more on R bloggers virality

Continue reading “A competition to recommend "relevant" R packages – and the future of R”

R syntax highlighting for bloggers on

Announcing the ability to highlight R syntax in blogs, thanks to the recent work of Yihui Xie, Yoav Farhi and Andrew Redd.

牵手常德棋牌官方下载Good news for who are using to host their blog.

This week, the good people running (special thanks goes to ), have added the ability for all the users of the platform to be able to highlight their R code inside posts.

Basically you’ll need to wrap the code in your post like this:

[sourcecode language="r"]
test.function = function(r) {
    return(pi * r^2)

(Which will then look like this:
r syntax highlighted code example

牵手常德棋牌官方下载Further details (and other supported languages) can be read about .

This new feature was possible thanks to the work of (who create for R), who created a (the plugin used by for sytnax highlighting) . And thanks should also go to , the creator of (which connects between notepad++ to R). He both made some good suggestions, and was game to take on the brush creation in case there would be problems, which thankfully so far there aren’t any)

p.s: If you are a users (e.g: have a self hosted WordPress blog) and want to enable R syntax highlighting for your blog, I would recommend the use of the WP-Syntax plugin (enhanced with GeSHi version which can be downloaded here.

Open source and money – why paying R developers might not always help the project

This post can be summed up by one two sentences: “.” “Starting to pay for love could make it disappear” while at the same time “We need money to live and love”. These two conflicting forces, with relation to open source, are the topic of this post.

牵手常德棋牌官方下载This post is directed to the community of R users but is relevant to people of all open source projects. It deals with the question of open source projects and funding. Specifically, should a community of open source developers and users, once it exists, want to start raising/donating money to the main code contributers?

The conflict arises when, on the one side, we intuitively wish to repay the people who have helped us but worry of the implications of behavioral studies that suggests that doing so might destroy the motivation of the developers to continue working without contently getting payed, and that making the shift from doing something for one reason (whatever it is) to doing it for money, might not easily be turned back.
On the other side, developers needs to make a (good) living, and we (as a community) should strive for them to be well payed.
How can these two be reconciled?

This article won’t offer a decisive conclusions – and my hope is to invite discussion on the matter (from both amatures and professionals in the field of open source and behavioral economics) so to give more ideas for people to base their opinions on.

Update: this post was substantially updated from it’s original version, thanks to responses both in the comments, and especially in the e-mails. I apologies for writing a post that had needed so many corrections, and at the same time I am grateful for all the people who took the time to shed light in places where I was wrong.

* * * *

Motivation: R has issues – how do we get them fixed?

In the past two weeks there has been a raging debate regarding the future of R (hint: “what is R牵手常德棋牌官方下载“). Without going deeper into the topic (I already wrote about it , where you too can ), I’ll sum up the issue with a quote from (one of the two founders of R) who recently wrote:

I’ve been worried for some time that R isn’t going to provide the base that we’re going to need for statistical computation in the future. (It may well be that the future is already upon us.) There are certainly efficiency problems (speed and memory use), but there are more fundamental issues too. Some of these were inherited from S and some are peculiar to R.

After this, several discussion threads where started around the web (for example: , , , , ,, ), but then a comment was made in the R-help mailing list :

A few days ago Tal Galili posted a message about some controversies concerning the future of R. Having read the discussions, especially those following Ross Ihaka’s post, I have come to the conclusion, that, as usual, the problem is money. I doubt there would be discussions about dropping R in its present form if the R-Foundation were properly funded and could hire computer scientists, programmers and statisticians. If a commercial company is able to provide big-database and multicore solutions, then so would a properly founded R-Foundation.

To which my response is that: I strongly disagree with this statement..
That is, I do agree that money could help with things. It could be that money could be a part of the solution. But I doubt that the core of this problem is money. Nor that it would be solved if we could only now hire “computer scientists, programmers and statisticians” (although that could be part of the solution).

And the reason I am doubtful stems from two sources:

Continue reading “Open source and money – why paying R developers might not always help the project”

Richard Stallman talk+Q&A at the useR! 2010 conference (audio files attached)

The audio files of the full talk by Richard Stallman are attached to the end of this post.


Videos of all the invited talks of the useR! 2010 conference can be viewed on the


Last week I had the honor of attending the talk given by , the last keynote speaker on the conference.  In this post I will give a brief context for the talk, and then give the audio files of the talk, with some description of what was said in the talk.

Context for the talk

Richard Stallman can be viewed as (one of) the fathers of free software (free as in speech, not as in beer).

He is the man who led the  for the creation of a free (as in speech, not as in beer) operation systems on the basis of which GNU-Linux, with its numerous distributions, was created.
Richard also developed a number of pieces of widely used software, including the original Emacs,[4] the GNU Compiler Collection,[5], the GNU Debugger[6], and many tools in the GNU Coreutils

牵手常德棋牌官方下载Richard also initiated the free software movement and in October 1985 he also founded it’s formal foundation and co-founded the League for Programming Freedom in 1989.

Stallman pioneered the concept of “copyleft” and he is the main author of several copyleft licenses including the GNU General Public License, the most widely used free software license.

牵手常德棋牌官方下载You can read about him in the wiki article titles “”

The useR 2010 conference is an annual 4 days conference of the community of people using R.   is a free open source software for data analysis and statistical computing (Here is a bit more about what is R).

The conference this year was truly a wonderful experience for me.  I  had the pleasure of giving two talks (about which I will blog later this month), listened to numerous talks on the use of R, and had a chance to meet many (many) kind and interesting people.

Richard Stallmans talk

The talk took place on July 23rd 2010 at NIST U.S.  and was the concluding talk for the useR2010 conference.  The talk consisted of a two hour lecture followed by a half-hour question and answer session.

牵手常德棋牌官方下载On a personal note, I was very impressed by Richards talk.  Richard is not a shy computer geek, but rather a serious leader and thinker trying to stir people to action.  His speech was a sermon on free software, the history of GNU-Linux, the various versions of GPL, and his own history involving them.

I believe this talk would be of interest to anyone who cares about social solidarity, free software, programming and the hope of a better world for all of us.

牵手常德棋牌官方下载I am eager for your thoughts in the comments (but please keep a kind tone).

Here is Richard Stallmans  (2 hours) talk:

Continue reading “Richard Stallman talk+Q&A at the useR! 2010 conference (audio files attached)”

June 20, online Registration deadline for useR! 2010

useR!2010 is coming. I am going to give two talks there (I will write more of that soon), but in the meantime, please note that the online registration deadline is coming to an end.

This was published on the R-help mailing list today:


The final registration deadline for the R User Conference is June 20,
2010, one week away.  Later registration will not be possible on site!

Conference webpage:  
牵手常德棋牌官方下载 Conference program: 


The conference is scheduled for July 21-23, 2010, and will take place at
the campus of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in
Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA.

Continue reading “June 20, online Registration deadline for useR! 2010”