A virtual Easter egg is an intentional hidden message, in-joke, or feature in a work such as a computer program, web page, video game, movie, book, or crossword. The term was coined — according to Warren Robinett — by Atari after they were pointed to the secret message left by Robinett in the game Adventure. It draws a parallel with the custom of the Easter egg hunt observed in many Western nations as well as the last Russian imperial family’s tradition of giving elaborately jeweled egg-shaped creations by Carl Fabergé which contained hidden surprises
I like this
and these two
on 32 bit R type
and on any version try four question marks
Perhaps the prettiest eggs are the demos in animation package.
But there is magic in asking for help on internal functions in R
and you get the sobering thought that you probably are a R Muggle
Call an Internal Function
.Internal performs a call to an internal code which is built in to the R interpreter.
Only true R wizards should even consider using this function, and only R developers can add to the list of internal functions.
||a call expression|
I liked that I could see the actual internal functions in svn at http://svn.r-project.org/R/trunk/src/main/names.c
The opening of the internals document floored me.
It must have been a curious year in 2003-4 when the copyright of R was held (briefly it seems) by the R Foundation and also by the R Development Core Team. (which sounds better?)
* R : A Computer Language for Statistical Data Analysis * Copyright (C) 1995, 1996 Robert Gentleman and Ross Ihaka * Copyright (C) 1997--2012 The R Development Core Team * Copyright (C) 2003, 2004 The R Foundation
R help discourages for loop
Try ??for or ?for
you go into a loop till you hit escapeIf you want more-just write .Internal(inspect(ls())) at the end of your R program.
Tal G in his excellent blog piece talks of “Why R Developers should not be paid” http://www.r-statistics.com/2010/09/open-source-and-money-why-r-developers-shouldnt-be-paid/
His argument of love is not very original though it was first made by these four guys
I am going to argue that “some” R developers should be paid, while the main focus should be volunteers code. These R developers should be paid as per usage of their packages.
Let me expand.
Imagine the following conversation between Ross Ihaka, Norman Nie and Peter Dalgaard.
Norman- Hey Guys, Can you give me some code- I got this new startup.
Ross Ihaka and Peter Dalgaard- Sure dude. Here is 100,000 lines of code, 2000 packages and 2 decades of effort.
Norman- Thanks guys.
Ross Ihaka- Hey, What you gonna do with this code.
Norman- I will better it. Sell it. Finally beat Jim Goodnight and his **** Proc GLM and **** Proc Reg.
Ross- Okay, but what will you give us? Will you give us some code back of what you improve?
Norman – Uh, let me explain this open core …
Peter D- Well how about some royalty?
Norman- Sure, we will throw parties at all conferences, snacks you know at user groups.
Ross – Hmm. That does not sound fair. (walks away in a huff muttering)-He takes our code, sells it and wont share the code
Peter D- Doesnt sound fair. I am back to reading Hamlet, the great Dane, and writing the next edition of my book. I am glad I wrote a book- Ross didnt even write that.
Norman-Uh Oh. (picks his phone)- Hey David Smith, We need to write some blog articles pronto – these open source guys ,man…
———–I think that sums what has been going on in the dynamics of R recently. If Ross Ihaka and R Gentleman had adopted an open core strategy- meaning you can create packages to R but not share the original where would we all be?
At this point if he is reading this, David Smith , long suffering veteran of open source flameouts is rolling his eyes while Tal G is wondering if he will publish this on R Bloggers and if so when or something.
Lets bring in another R veteran- Hadley Wickham who wrote a book on R and also created ggplot. Thats the best quality, most often used graphics package.
In terms of economic utilty to end user- the ggplot package may be as useful if not more as the foreach package developed by Revolution Computing/Analytics.
Now http://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/foreach/index.html says that foreach is licensed under http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0
However lets come to open core licensing ( read it here http://alampitt.typepad.com/lampitt_or_leave_it/2008/08/open-core-licen.html ) which is where the debate is- Revolution takes code- enhances it (in my opinion) substantially with new formats XDF for better efficieny, web services API, and soon coming next year a GUI (thanks in advance , Dr Nie and guys)
and sells this advanced R code to businesses happy to pay ( they are currently paying much more to DR Goodnight and HIS guys)
Why would any sane customer buy it from Revolution- if he could download exactly the same thing from http://r-project.org
Hence the business need for Revolution Analytics to have an enhanced R- as they are using a product based software model not software as a service model.
If Revolution gives away source code of these new enhanced codes to R core team- how will R core team protect the above mentioned intelectual property- given they have 2 decades experience of giving away free code , and back and forth on just code.
Now Revolution also has a marketing budget- and thats how they sponsor some R Core events, conferences, after conference snacks.
How would people decide if they are being too generous or too stingy in their contribution (compared to the formidable generosity of SAS Institute to its employees, stakeholders and even third party analysts).
Would it not be better- IF Revolution can shift that aspect of relationship to its Research and Development budget than it’s marketing budget- come with some sort of incentive for “SOME” developers – even researchers need grants and assistantships, scholarships, make a transparent royalty formula say 17.5 % of the NEW R sales goes to R PACKAGE Developers pool, which in turn examines usage rate of packages and need/merit before allocation- that would require Revolution to evolve from a startup to a more sophisticated corporate and R Core can use this the same way as John M Chambers software award/scholarship
Dont pay all developers- it would be an insult to many of them – say Prof Harrell creator of HMisc to accept – but can Revolution expand its dev base (and prospect for future employees) by even sponsoring some R Scholarships.
And I am sure that if Revolution opens up some more code to the community- they would the rest of the world and it’s help useful. If it cant trust people like R Gentleman with some source code – well he is a board member.
Now to sum up some technical discussions on NeW R
1) An accepted way of benchmarking efficiencies.
2) Code review and incorporation of efficiencies.
3) Multi threading- Multi core usage are trends to be incorporated.
4) GUIs like R Commander E Plugins for other packages, and Rattle for Data Mining to have focussed (or Deducer). This may involve hiring User Interface Designers (like from Apple 😉 who will work for love AND money ( Even the Beatles charge royalty for that song)
5) More support to cloud computing initiatives like Biocep and Elastic R – or Amazon AMI for using cloud computers- note efficiency arguements dont matter if you just use a Chrome Browser and pay 2 cents a hour for an Amazon Instance. Probably R core needs more direct involvement of Google (Cloud OS makers) and Amazon as well as even Salesforce.com (for creating Force.com Apps). Note even more corporates here need to be involved as cloud computing doesnot have any free and open source infrastructure (YET)
Debates will come and go. This is an interesting intellectual debate and someday the liitle guys will win the Revolution-
From Hugh M of Gaping Void-
HOW DOES A SOFTWARE COMPANY MAKE MONEY, IF ALL
SOFTWARE IS FREE?
“If something goes wrong with Microsoft, I can phone Microsoft up and have it fixed. With Open Source, I have to rely on the community.”
And the community, as much as we may love it, is unpredictable. It might care about your problem and want to fix it, then again, it may not. Anyone who has ever witnessed something online go “viral”, good or bad, will know what I’m talking about.
Kind of sums up why the open core licensing is all about.
Recently some comments by Ross Ihake , founder of R Statistical Software on Revolution Analytics, leading commercial vendor of R….. came to my attention-
[R-downunder] Article on Revolution Analytics
Ross Ihaka ihaka at stat.auckland.ac.nz
Mon May 10 14:27:42 NZST 2010
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On 09/05/10 09:52, Murray Jorgensen wrote: > Perhaps of interest: > > http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/05/06/revolution_commercial_r/ Please note that R is "free software" not "open source". These guys are selling a GPLed work without disclosing the source to their part of the work. I have complained to them and so far they have given me the brush off. I am now considering my options. Don't support these guys by buying their product. The are not feeding back to the rights holders (the University of Auckland and I are rights holders and they didn't even have the courtesy to contact us). -- Ross Ihaka Email: ihaka at stat.auckland.ac.nz Department of Statistics Phone: (64-9) 373-7599 x 85054 University of Auckland Fax: (64-9) 373-7018 Private Bag 92019, Auckland New Zealand and from http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/05/06/revolution_commercial_r/ Open source purists probably won't be all too happy to learn that Revolution is going to be employing an "open core" strategy, which means the core R programs will remain open source and be given tech support under a license model, but the key add-ons that make R more scalable will be closed source and sold under a separate license fee. Because most of those 2,500 add-ons for R were built by academics and Revolution wants to supplant SPSS and SAS as the tools used by students, Revolution will be giving the full single-user version of the R Enterprise stack away for free to academics. Conclusion- So one co-founder of R is advocating not to buy from Revolution Analytics , which has the other co-founder of R, Gentleman on its board. Source- http://www.revolutionanalytics.com/aboutus/leadership.php
2) If Revolution Analytics is using 2500 packages for free but insisting on getting paid AND closing source of it’s packages (which is a technical point- how exactly can you prevent source code of a R package from being seen)
Maybe there can be a PACKAGE marketplace just like Android Apps, Facebook Apps, and Salesforce.com Apps – so atleast some of the thousands of R package developers can earn – sorry but email lists do not pay mortgages and no one is disputing the NEED for commercializing R or rewarding developers.
Though Barr created SAS, he gave up control to Goodnight and Sall https://decisionstats.wordpress.com/2010/06/02/sas-early-days/
and Goodnight and Sall do pay their developers well- to the envy of not so well paid counterparts.
3) I really liked the innovation of Revolution Analytics RevoScalar, and I wish that the default R dataset be converted to XDF dataset so that it basically kills
off the R criticism of being slow on bigger datasets. But I also realize the need for creating an analytics marketplace for R developers and R students- so academic version of R being free and Revolution R being paid seems like a trade off.
Note- You can still get a job faster as a stats student if you mention SAS and not R as a statistical skill- not all stats students go into academics.
4) There can be more elegant ways of handling this than calling for ignoring each other as REVOLUTION and Ihake seem to be doing to each other.
I can almost hear people in Cary, NC chuckling at Norman Nie, long time SPSS opponent and now REVOLUTION CEO, and his antagonizing R’s academicians within 1 year of taking over- so I hope this ends well for all. The road to hell is paved with good intentions- so if REVOLUTION can share some source code with say R Core members (even Microsoft shares source code with partners)- and R Core and Revolution agree on a licensing royalty from each other, they can actually speed up R package creation rather than allow this 2 decade effort to end up like S and S plus and TIBCO did.
Maybe Richard Stallman can help-or maybe Ihaka has a better sense of where things will go down in a couple of years-he must know something-he invented it, didnt he
On 09/05/10 09:52, Murray Jorgensen wrote: > Perhaps of interest: > > http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/05/06/revolution_commercial_r/ Please note that R is "free software" not "open source". These guys are selling a GPLed work without disclosing the source to their part of the work. I have complained to them and so far they have given me the brush off. I am now considering my options. Don't support these guys by buying their product. The are not feeding back to the rights holders (the University of Auckland and I are rights holders and they didn't even have the courtesy to contact us). -- Ross Ihaka Email: ihaka at stat.auckland.ac.nz Department of Statistics Phone: (64-9) 373-7599 x 85054 University of Auckland Fax: (64-9) 373-7018 Private Bag 92019, Auckland New Zealand
An announcement by the Journal of Statistical Software- call for papers on R GUIs. Initial deadline is December 2010 with final versions published along 2011.
Special issue of the Journal of Statistical Software on
Graphical User Interfaces for R
Editors: Pedro Valero-Mora and Ruben Ledesma
Since it original paper from Gentleman and Ihaka was published, R has managed to gain an ever-increasing percentage of academic and professional statisticians but the spread of its use among novice and occasional users of statistics have not progressed at the same pace. Among the reasons for this relative lack of impact, the lack of a GUI or point and click interface is one of the causes most widely mentioned. But, however, in the last few years, this situation has been quietly changing and a number of projects have equipped R with a number of different GUIs, ranging from the very simple to the more advanced, and providing the casual user with what could be still a new source of trouble: choosing what is the GUI for him. We may have moved from the “too few” situation to the “too many” situation
This special issue of the JSS intends as one of its main goals to offer a general overview of the different GUIs currently available for R. Thus, we think that somebody trying to find its way among different alternatives may find useful it as starting point. However, we do not want to stop in a mere listing but we want to offer a bit of a more general discussion about what could be good GUIs for R (and how to build them). Therefore, we want to see papers submitted that discuss the whole concept of GUI in R, what elements it should include (or not), how this could be achieved, and, why not, if it is actually needed at all. Finally, despite the high success of R, this does not mean other systems may not treasure important features that we would like to see in R. Indeed, descriptions of these nice features that we do not have in R but are in other systems could be another way of driving the future progress of GUIs for R.
In summary, we envision papers for this special issue on GUIs for R in the following categories:
– General discussions on GUIs for statistics, and for R.
– Implementing GUI toolboxes for R so others can program GUIs with them.
– R GUIs examples (with two subcategories, in the desktop or in the cloud).
– Is there life beyond R? What features have other systems that R does not have and why R needs them.
Papers can be sent directly to Pedro Valero-Mora (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Ruben Ledesma (email@example.com) and they will follow the usual JSS reviewing procedure. Initial deadline is December 2010 with final versions published along 2011.====================================================
Jan de Leeuw; Distinguished Professor and Chair, UCLA Department of Statistics;