R is a language and environment for statistical computing and graphics. It is a GNU project which is similar to the S language and environment which was developed at Bell Laboratories (formerly AT&T, now Lucent Technologies) by John Chambers and colleagues. R can be considered as a different implementation of S. There are some important differences, but much code written for S runs unaltered under R.
R provides a wide variety of statistical (linear and nonlinear modelling, classical statistical tests, time-series analysis, classification, clustering, …) and graphical techniques, and is highly extensible. The S language is often the vehicle of choice for research in statistical methodology, and R provides an Open Source route to participation in that activity.
One of R’s strengths is the ease with which well-designed publication-quality plots can be produced, including mathematical symbols and formulae where needed. Great care has been taken over the defaults for the minor design choices in graphics, but the user retains full control.
Manual for R
Current Version: 2.12.1 (December 2010)
The following manuals for R were created on Debian Linux and may differ from the manuals for Mac or Windows on platform-specific pages, but most parts will be identical for all platforms. The correct version of the manuals for each platform are part of the respective R installations. Here they can be downloaded as PDF files or directly browsed as HTML:
- An Introduction to R is based on the former “Notes on R”, gives an introduction to the language and how to use R for doing statistical analysis and graphics. [browse HTML | download PDF ]
- A draft of The R language definition documents the language per se. That is, the objects that it works on, and the details of the expression evaluation process, which are useful to know when programming R functions. [browse HTML | download PDF ]
- Writing R Extensions covers how to create your own packages, write R help files, and the foreign language (C, C++, Fortran, …) interfaces. [browse HTML |download PDF ]
- R Data Import/Export describes the import and export facilities available either in R itself or via packages which are available from CRAN. [browse HTML |download PDF ]
- R Installation and Administration [browse HTML | download PDF ]
- R Internals: a guide to the internal structures of R and coding standards for the core team working on R itself. [browse HTML | download PDF ]
- The R Reference Index: contains all help files of the R standard and recommended packages in printable form. [download PDF, 16MB, approx. 3100 pages]
Translations of manuals into other languages than English are available from the contributed documentation section (only a few translations are available).
The latex or texinfo sources of the latest version of these documents are contained in every R source distribution (in the subdirectory doc/manual of the extracted archive). Older versions of the manual can be found in the respective archives of the R sources. The HTML versions of the manuals are also part of most R installations (accessible using function