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RE: st: Stata and biology/biomedical sciences


From   Rosa Gini <rosa.gini@arsanita.toscana.it>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   RE: st: Stata and biology/biomedical sciences
Date   Fri, 18 Jul 2008 11:43:50 +0200

i agree on both nick's and marteen's analysis of the plus/minus of using R, and personally i see Stata's habilities in data management as outstanding and R's flexibility and power as a invaluable resource.

nevertheless i must reply to a remark of marteen

"The word "free" is, IMHO, not appropriate for R, as opportunity costs for learning its intricacies eat into your budget."

the word 'free' associated too R is not related to price. the concept of free software was defined by richard stallman in a very easy way

"Free software is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of free as in free speech, not as in free beer."

and of the main freedoms one is

"The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3). Access to the source code is a precondition for this."

the whole essay can be found in

http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html

in this sense Stata has affinities to free software, due to the fact that 'most' of its code is freely accesible to the user, and this is, in my opinion, a relevant cause of its success.

rosa gini
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