Update: the competition was just launched.
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What is the competition about?
Drew Conway and John Myles Whyte have collected data from (52) R users about the packages they have installed. The data is now available on github for download and the contest will be run on the kaggle platform.
For more details, head over to dataists.
And for fun, here is the dependency graph for R packages they have assembled so far:
A graphical visualization of packages’ “suggestion” relationships. Affectionately referred to as the R Flying Spaghetti Monster. More info below.
A tiny bit more on R bloggers virality
A friend just e-mailed me about a blog post by Dr. AnnMaria De Mars titled “The Next Big Thing”.
In it Dr. De Mars wrote (I allowed myself to emphasize some parts of the text):
Contrary to what some people seem to think, R is definitely not the next big thing, either. I am always surprised when people ask me why I think that, because to my mind it is obvious. [...]
for me personally and for most users, both individual and organizational, the much greater cost of software is the time it takes to install it, maintain it, learn it and document it. On that, R is an epic fail. It does NOT fit with the way the vast majority of people in the world use computers. The vast majority of people are NOT programmers. They are used to looking at things and clicking on things.
Here are my two cents on the subject: