The core of R is an interpreted computer language which allows branching and looping as well as modular programming using functions. R allows integration with the procedures written in the C, C++, .Net, Python or FORTRAN languages for efficiency.
R is freely available under the GNU General Public License, and pre-compiled binary versions are provided for various operating systems like Linux, Windows and Mac.
R is free software distributed under a GNU-style copy left, and an official part of the GNU project called GNU S.
Evolution of R
R was initially written by Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman at the Department of Statistics of the University of Auckland in Auckland, New Zealand. R made its first appearance in 1993.
A large group of individuals has contributed to R by sending code and bug reports.
Since mid-1997 there has been a core group (the "R Core Team") who can modify the R source code archive.
Features of R
As stated earlier, R is a programming language and software environment for statistical analysis, graphics representation and reporting. The following are the important features of R −
R is a well-developed, simple and effective programming language which includes conditionals, loops, user defined recursive functions and input and output facilities.
R has an effective data handling and storage facility,
R provides a suite of operators for calculations on arrays, lists, vectors and matrices.
R provides a large, coherent and integrated collection of tools for data analysis.
R provides graphical facilities for data analysis and display either directly at the computer or printing at the papers.
As a conclusion, R is world’s most widely used statistics programming language. It's the # 1 choice of data scientists and supported by a vibrant and talented community of contributors. R is taught in universities and deployed in mission critical business applications. This tutorial will teach you R programming along with suitable examples in simple and easy steps.
Local Environment Setup
If you are still willing to set up your environment for R, you can follow the steps given below.
You can download the Windows installer version of R from R-3.2.2 for Windows (32/64 bit) and save it in a local directory.
As it is a Windows installer (.exe) with a name "R-version-win.exe". You can just double click and run the installer accepting the default settings. If your Windows is 32-bit version, it installs the 32-bit version. But if your windows is 64-bit, then it installs both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions.
After installation you can locate the icon to run the Program in a directory structure "R\R3.2.2\bin\i386\Rgui.exe" under the Windows Program Files. Clicking this icon brings up the R-GUI which is the R console to do R Programming.
R is available as a binary for many versions of Linux at the location R Binaries.
The instruction to install Linux varies from flavor to flavor. These steps are mentioned under each type of Linux version in the mentioned link. However, if you are in a hurry, then you can use yum command to install R as follows --
$ yum install R
Above command will install core functionality of R programming along with standard packages, still you need additional package, then you can launch R prompt as follows −
R version 3.2.0 (2015-04-16) -- "Full of Ingredients"
Copyright (C) 2015 The R Foundation for Statistical Computing
Platform: x86_64-redhat-linux-gnu (64-bit)
R is free software and comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY.
You are welcome to redistribute it under certain conditions.
Type 'license()' or 'licence()' for distribution details.
R is a collaborative project with many contributors.
Type 'contributors()' for more information and
'citation()' on how to cite R or R packages in publications.
Type 'demo()' for some demos, 'help()' for on-line help, or 'help.start()' for an HTML browser interface to help.
Type 'q()' to quit R.
Now you can use install command at R prompt to install the required package. For example, the following command will install plotrix package which is required for 3D charts.