Description, credits, etc.

Kickstarting R was initially compiled to help new users by requesting accounts of "... things that drove you crazy the first time you used R". Given the number of beginner's tutorials that cover most things in that category, and do the job more completely, I decided to concentrate on providing a few solutions for tasks that new users would be likely to face. The reader I have in mind is one who has just installed R and is asked to produce the usual listing of descriptive stats and plots from a data file that is in an arbitrary format. A simple job, if you already know how to use R. I hope that this revision will be even better at helping new users get started.

Let me know about mistakes or shortcomings - don't worry that you may ask a dumb question. I have asked plenty of them, and one point of this manual is to reduce the number of dumb questions that get through to the help list.

Kickstarting R is published under the GPL (GNU Public License). For details of this, see GPL

How to use it

It is assumed that the reader will have R running right next to this manual, to try out the examples, see what happens, and discover things that they particularly want to do.

I have tried to include more authoritative sources where the reader can find additional information at the bottom of each page. Most of these refer to An Introduction to R, which is included in the R distribution. The subheadings have been taken from the version in HTML format.

Conventions and biases

Important terms are emphasized in the text. Code font is used for commands that should be entered and names of files, programs or directories.

This symbol indicates an annoying problem that may occur, or an aspect of the system that might have been better. It stands for "This sucks."

Kickstarting R was written on a RedHat Linux system using NEdit in the KDE window manager, and will usually specify when something refers to a different environment. It is oriented toward the reader who is running a *NIX system.

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