R is one of the popular language for statistical computing and graphics. As data science has increased in popularity, it has lead to more usage of Python and R programming language. In this article, we take a look at introduction of R programming language.
Let’s start by checking out what is R language.
What is R?
R is a programming language designed for data statistical analysis. The language is used for data mining, data filtering, regression analysis, probability estimation and plots. Instead of data types, It makes use of data objects for various statistical calculations. It was developed by by Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman. The name of the language was set based on the first letter of both developers first name.
R is available free to download and is licensed under GNU GNU General Public License. The development of R programming is now being done under CRAN. The binaries are available for download for – Windows, Linux and Macintosh operating system.
You can download the R Installer from the following website: R Project for Statistical Computing
What are the advantages of R?
R is one of the best programming language out there for data science. There are no license and limitation to the use of language. No support costs involved for using the language in your work. It is free and the code is available to download in open source repository. R has a very good capability for graphics and data manipulation. R can read various types of data and able to clean, manipulate and export into data formats such as CSV, SPSS, TSV and Excel. It runs on both 32-bit and 64-bit architecture. You can use it on multiple operating systems such as Windows, Linux and Mac OSX.
What are the disadvantages of R Programming?
Though R is a very good language for data science. There are some of the issues with the R programming. The language is not good enough for the big data. You can’t get the spreadsheet view of the data. The standard GUI supplied with the R is also not good enough. Though you can use RStudio, to get around that limitation, the default installer isn’t much of an help in that case. R has memory limitations around 2GB for 32-bit installation and 8TB for 64-bit installation.
In next article, we see how to download and use RGui and RStudio. RGui is part of official R installer. So if you have downloaded and installed the R installer, then you can find the RGui in /bin directory of installed location of R. First we learn some simple commands related to R.
It is helpful to know some basics of computer programming before learning R. It also helps if you know stats and some of the mathematical background. As the usage of R programming language is in data science, it’s mandatory to understand how data is collected, cleaned and reused. In next few posts, we are going to learn how to install R tools, how to read, clean and write data.