The design of R has been heavily influenced by two existing languages: Becker, Chambers & Wilks' S and Sussman's Scheme. Whereas the resulting language is very similar in appearance to S, the underlying implementation and semantics are derived from Scheme.

The core of R is an interpreted computer language which allows branching and looping as well as modular programming using functions. Most of the user-visible functions in R are written in R. It is possible for the user to interface to procedures written in the C, C++, or FORTRAN languages for efficiency, and many of R's core functions do so. The R distribution contains functionality for a large number of statistical procedures and underlying applied math computations. There is also a large set of functions which provide a flexible graphical environment for creating various kinds of data presentations.

Additionally, several thousand extension "packages" are available from CRAN, the Comprehensive R Archive Network, many also as Debian packages, named 'r-cran-

This package is a metapackage which eases the transition from the pre-1.5.0 package setup with its larger r-base package. Once installed, it can be safely removed and apt-get will automatically upgrade its components during future upgrades. Providing this package gives a way to users to then only install r-base-core if they so desire.

Fab! Needed this for a series of Coursera courses run by Johns Hopkins University.

So lightweight and powerful! And absolutely free! I love estimating regressions in R!

Great tool for serious statistical analysis and other computations. A good book if you are new to R, new to programming, new to statistics, or all three is "R in Action" by Kabacoff.

There is a very nice GUI for R, it is RKWard. And in case someone is interested there is one for Octave: QtOctave. I found therm in the Software Manager.

The R stats system, elements of it are non-intuitive both as a program and when installed. To use R open a terminal and type 'R'!