Talk:R (programming language)

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Former good article nominee R (programming language) was a Engineering and technology good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
November 4, 2010 Good article nominee Not listed


Shouldn't this be "R programming environment"? We already have an article about the programming language S Btyner 20:11, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

The S language is now more a small family of languages or dialects than a single language, so I think that the "R programming language" is a distinct concept. And the current title does follow the general guideline given in Wikipedia:Naming conventions (languages). However I'm not entirely happy with it either. I would like the title to reflect the statistical emphasis of the language/environment, e.g. "R statistical computing environment". -- Avenue 01:41, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
The full name of R is "The R Project for Statistical Computing." Why not just use the actual name? Abel (talk) 17:49, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
Because the convention with programming languages is either $SIMPLE_NAME or $SIMPLE_NAME_(programming_language). Look at C or C++ or, well, S. Ironholds (talk) 18:47, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
Added the actual name to the article text with citation. Hopefully that will be good enough, even though that is not really what Avenue was looking for. Abel (talk) 20:06, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
The first sentence now says 'R is a programming language and software environment for statistical computing and graphics, called "The R Project for Statistical Computing."' I think this is wrong, and that the R Project is distinct from the R language/environment itself. This seems to be supported by the source you cite, which says on page 423 that "R software [...] is available at no cost from the R Project for Statistical Computing". Perhaps the article should say more about the R project, but it shouldn't say the project is the language. --Avenue (talk) 04:17, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
"R programming language" is literally a synonym for "The R Project for Statistical Computing."Abel (talk) 03:03, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
Agreed with User:Avenue. The project is the whole effort around the language, not the language itself. A programming language cannot sponsor conferences and a journal...! --Macrakis (talk) 03:57, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
It is common in open-source software development to have an umbrella "project" to coordinate efforts to develop one or more pieces of software. I agree that "R" is the name of the programming language/environment, and "The R Project for Statistical Computing" is the open-source project that develops it. They are not synonymous. - dcljr (talk) 04:48, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
According to the project itself, the language is "R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing" while the project is "R Foundation for Statistical Computing." Abel (talk) 21:26, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
I disagree. The official name of the language is R. The part after the colon merely expands on it to explain what it is, but is not part of the name of the language. Tayste (edits) 00:01, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
In the introduction, it says "R is a language and environment for statistical computing and graphics". It doesn't say "R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing is a language and environment for statistical computing and graphics". Tayste (edits) 00:05, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
To cite R in publications use:

  R Core Team (2015). R: A language and environment for statistical
  computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria.

A BibTeX entry for LaTeX users is

    title = {R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing},
    author = {{R Core Team}},
    organization = {R Foundation for Statistical Computing},
    address = {Vienna, Austria},
    year = {2015},
    url = {},

We have invested a lot of time and effort in creating R, please cite it
when using it for data analysis. See also ‘citation("pkgname")’ for
citing R packages.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Id4abel (talkcontribs) 2015-11-19T13:24:50

Many citation styles (e.g. APA) separate the title and subtitle with a colon. This is a great example where "R" is the title, and "A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing" is the subtitle. Without the subtitle, this citation would show only a 1-character title, which looks odd. +mt 01:17, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
Very true. The R Core Team, the people who maintain R, who run the R Foundation for Statistical Computing, say that the name is "R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing" and even tell people to cite "R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing" not "R." The above code is what R itself says we should use as a citation, also "R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing." Abel (talk) 02:19, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
Note that phrase, "when using it for data analysis". That citation is clearly intended for authors of academic and technical papers who have used R to analyze and/or visualize their data. It doesn't necessarily mean we should consider that the "actual" name of the software. You started out claiming that "'R programming language' is literally a synonym for 'The R Project for Statistical Computing.'" Now you're saying, "The R Core Team… say that the name is 'R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing'". If you find a third name associated with the software in some other context, will that become its "actual name" in your eyes? Now, granted, if you wanted to point out in the article that the R Core Team asks authors who use R in their publications to cite the software using the title R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing, that would technically be correct (finally) — but is it notable anough to include in an encyclopedia article? - dcljr (talk) 06:12, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
Originally, I was wrong. I thought the project and the program itself had the same name. It turns out, the project is The R Project for Statistical Computing and the program is R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing. I call it R and I imagine that most everyone else calls it R. That does not change the fact that the R Core Team says that the actual name of the program is R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing and that the project is called The R Project for Statistical Computing. Everyone refers to the Wealth of Nations as Wealth of Nations, but that does not change the fact that the actual name is An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.Abel (talk) 17:10, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
The name of the program is simply R. The subtitle in the citation is a useful description, but I don't regard the subtitle as part of the program name. If you think otherwise, you will need to build a consensus. +mt 19:55, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
Okay, so Wikipedia is not a publication.[1] Then what exactly is it? Abel (talk) 22:19, 19 November 2015 (UTC)


  1. ^ Currently defined by Wikipedia as, "To publish is to make content available to the general public."
Red herring. - dcljr (talk) 03:37, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
Either Wikipedia is a publication in which case we are blatantly ignoring the wishes of the R Core Team, or Wikipedia is not a publication in which case the wishes of the R Core Team concerning publications are not applicable. Abel (talk) 06:31, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
The R FAQ we're linking to also has specific instructions about citing that document, which we seem to be "ignoring", so I've changed the citation(s) accordingly. The article now mentions the citation the R Core Team requests authors use (quoted above), which I hope will be acceptable to everyone. - dcljr (talk) 09:36, 6 December 2015 (UTC)

Mandelbrot example[edit]

This is not the code that is actually used for the gif.

The correct code is here:

I fixed it. SChalice 21:57, 17 November 2016 (UTC)
Should the code be modified so that Z is explicitly initiated into the 400x400 matrix of complex 0s? I mean it's not unusual for R code to be implicitly cast like it does in this code but it does make it harder to follow along. - Dason, 13:42, 6 March 2017 (EST)


I'm interested in the history of this. It appears that there's a lot of good information at Reference 1 (R : Past and Future History). Can someone more knowledgeable in this field try to create a history section for this article?--ɱ (talk) 13:35, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

Julia or PostgreSQL with R[edit]

"R functionality has been made accessible from several scripting languages such as Python,[43] Perl,[44] Ruby,[45] and F#.[46] PL/R can be used alongside, or instead of, the PL/pgSQL scripting language in the PostgreSQL and Greenplum database management system."

Is it time to add Julia to the list (scripting language is however an understatement..)? See my last edit there (in the chapter I made). I've never used R or used R from Julia or other way around (both possible). Since I've not tried I do not know how mature/complete the support is. Maybe it just has no bugs and just works. Please if you can comment on that..

PL/R is I think using the whole R language in PostgreSQ, right? Should the wording be changed to something clearer: "R can be used within PostgreSQL database (using PL/R)"? comp.arch (talk) 16:05, 7 December 2014 (UTC)

Okay. So...get a citation and add it? And sure, that rewording sounds fine. Ironholds (talk) 00:49, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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