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Re: Should I use PSPP or R?

From: Jason Stover
Subject: Re: Should I use PSPP or R?
Date: Mon, 7 May 2007 23:36:07 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/

On Mon, May 07, 2007 at 06:45:13PM -0400, Thomas Levine wrote:
> It seems like the only real free statistics packages are PSPP and R, but I'm
> having trouble understanding why people want to create a whole new system
> even though R already exists.  Aside from SPSS compatibility, what
> advantages does PSPP have over R?

A gui.

PSPP allows variable names with unlimited sizes.  I don't know if R
does or not.

PSPP can handle pretty large data sets. R isn't designed to handle
large data sets, though it has gotten better at it over the years.

There may be some other concrete advantages that John and Ben
can mention. 

In my opinion, at this point, other than compatibility and the gui,
PSPP does not yet have any clear advantages for most users. I use it
mostly because my students need to be able to use SPSS, and PSPP's
compatibility is therefore very important. Students in an introductory
Statistics course often just can't use R's syntax. They need a gui.

Other than compatibilty and the gui, the advantages of PSPP have more
to do with its "backend," which is something a casual user mostly will
not notice. We are trying to make its statistical functions more
modular than those in R. For example, PSPP uses GNU Scientific Library
for a lot of its computations, whereas R has its own implementation of
low-level functions.


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