Anniversary for R
In the face of daily reminders of social and economic dislocation and unsustainable pressures on our home planet, the R project for statistical computing demonstrates cooperation and collaboration by people around the world.
Now on its third major release level, it is 16 years since the first R version 1.0.0 on 29 February 2000. In addition to the base R language, there are 8000 active packages on the Comprehensive R Archive Network (CRAN) site, https://cran.r-project.org/. Packages are extensions of the base system that give you an enormous range of analytical and data handling methods*; the scope of available packages partially accounts for R’s popularity.
R has impressive market penetration and growth since 2000. Robert Muenchen at http://r4stats.com/articles/popularity/ shows trends for R relative to other statistical computing. R grows while older proprietary packages may have peaked.
An open-source set of tools that has a zero price tag—all you need to do is invest your time to learn—requires a large investment of time and brainpower. I am grateful to the developers and maintainers of the increasingly complex and sophisticated software system.
The R Core team in particular has volunteered thousands of hours over the past 16 years to administer and direct the enterprise. See https://www.r-project.org/contributors.html for specific people to thank!
If you are using R, you can support the R Foundation directly by membership fee (https://www.r-project.org/foundation/donors.html ) or donation https://www.r-project.org/foundation/donations.html ).
*in one current project, I am taking advantage of packages that navigate the API with both SurveyMonkey and Google Documents and make it easy to format a Microsoft Excel® worksheet for colleagues to use. I would not be able to fetch and format reports for my client without relying on the contributions of package developers.