We begin with a discussion of obtaining and installing R and provide an overview of its uses and general information on getting started. In Section 1.6 we discuss the use of text editors for the code and provide recommendations for the general working style. In Section 1.7 we focus on obtaining assistance using help files and news groups. Installing R and loading packages is discussed in Section 1.8, and an historical overview and discussion of the literature are presented in Section 1.10. In Section 1.11, we provide some general recommendations for reading this book and how to use it if you are an instructor, and finally, in the last section, we summarise the R functions introduced in this chapter.
What Is R?
It is a simple question, but not so easily answered. In its broadest definition, R is a computer language that allows the user to program algorithms and use tools that have been programmed by others. This vague description applies to many computing languages. It may be more...