The R Consortium, an open source foundation to support the R user community and a Linux Foundation project, today is announcing funding for seven community projects and the formation of two technical working groups. These milestones advance the R Consortium’s mission to support the R community through the identification, development and implementation of infrastructure projects that drive standards and best practices for R code.
The R programming language provides an unparalleled interactive environment for data analysis, modeling, and visualization. R is a top-20 programming language (see: TIOBE Ranking Index), and its popularity is expected to grow with data demand. The R Consortium was founded to support the richness and diversity of the R community and to ensure that it continues to meet new data challenges as they arise.
The R Consortium is proud to support initiatives that will positively impact many R users, including community events, training, packages for critical infrastructure and building consensus around important future challenges,” said Hadley Wickham, Infrastructure Steering Committee Chair, R Consortium. “We’re excited to announce our second round of ISC grants.”
Seven R-focused Projects Receive Grants
The R Consortium awarded the first grant in November 2015 to R-Hub, a service for developing, building, testing and validating R packages. Today the R Consortium is providing funding for seven additional initiatives to develop tools and resources for the R user community, bringing total grant funding to $200,000. Today’s grant recipients include:
- A Unified Framework for Distributed Computing in R: Many Big Data platforms expose R-based interfaces that lack standardization and are therefore difficult to learn. This project will develop a common framework to simplify and standardize how users program distributed applications in R, ultimately reducing duplication of effort. Michael Lawrence (R core, Genetech), Edward Ma (Hewlett Packard Enterprise), and Indrajit Roy (Hewlett Packard Labs)
- Improving Database Interface (DBI): Database access is an important cornerstone of the R ecosystem, but today’s specifications – data type transformation, return values, error conditions – remain vague and result in data analysis errors. This project aims to improve database access in R so that porting code is simplified and less prone to error. Kirill Müller (ETH Zürich)
- R Implementation, Optimization and Tooling Workshops (RIOT): RIOT 2016 is a one-day workshop to unite R language developers, identify R language development and tooling opportunities, increase involvement of the R user community and more. Mark Hornick, Lukas Stadler and Adam Welc (Oracle)
- R Localization Proposal (RL10N): Although the R language is used globally, very few R packages are available in languages other than English. The RL10N project will make it easier for R developers to include translations in their own packages. Richie Cotton (Weill Cornell Medicine in Quatar) and Thomas Leeper (The London School of Economics and Political Science)
- Sat R Days: “SatRDays” are community-led, regional conferences to support collaboration, networking and innovation within the R community. Initially three events will be hosted, with plans for additional meet-ups as the R user base grows. Gergely Daroczi (Hungarian R user group) and Steph Locke (Mango Solutions)
- Simple Features Access for R: Using the “Simple Features” standard supported by the Open Geospatial Consortium and the International Organization for Standardization, this tool will simplify analysis on modern geospatial data. Edzer Pebesma (Institute for Geoinformatics, University of Muenster)
- Software Carpentry R Instructor Training: This two-day in-person training course will introduce the basics of R programming and address the growing demand for training resources for the R language. John Blishak, Jonah Duckles, Laurent Gatto, David LeBauer, and Greg Wilson (Software Carpentry)
The R Consortium ISC awards grants based on the critical nature of the problem(s) being addressed; the solvability of work involved; the amount of financial aid needed; and level of community support. A community-wide call for proposals is now open until July 10, 2016. To submit a proposal or learn more information, please visit https://www.r-consortium.org/about/isc/proposals or email email@example.com.
Working Groups Enable Collaboration
The R Consortium is also forming its first two working groups to facilitate collaboration and focus the community’s efforts toward two critical areas needed to advance the R programming language: standardization and best practices.
- Future-proof native APIs for R: This working groups will assess current native API usage, gather community input, and work towards an easy-to-understand, consistent and verifiable API that will drive R language adoption.
- Code Coverage Tool for R: Helping to improve software quality, the code coverage tool will address feature and platform limitations of existing tools while also promoting the use of code coverage more systematically within the R ecosystem.
R Consortium is an independently supported software project hosted by The Linux Foundation. The Linux Foundation’s projects span the enterprise, mobile, embedded and life sciences markets and are backed by many of the largest names in technology.
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