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October 22, 2009


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Just remember that when Norman has sucked whatever he needs out of you he'll sack you without notice or severance as well regardless of promises or assurances, just like he did your former friends. Or rather, he'll get your replacement to do it. As I said on your other posting, the community remembers.

To David's point about R expertise remaining at REvo...Comments in my blog pointed out that the effect of the reorg was to do away with all the original employees, leaving only those with less than a year at the company. This has had the interesting effect of wiping out some expertise, but some remains. So for instance the folks who wrote the ParallelR code in New Haven are gone, but the folks working on the IDE in Seattle remain. I apologize for any confusion caused. -Danese

Out of curiosity, will the exciting-sounding new IDE be open-source/free and available to the community? Or will it only be provided to enterprise customers?

To be sure, this has been a PR blunder, although what happened is totally routine. Based on anecdotal evidence however, when VC-driven reorgs happen, rarely the company recovers. I have yet to see a successful exit by companies affected by these changes. On the other side, If things go south, there is reasonable demand for data analytics people... good luck at any rate.

I come here not to bury Dave Smith, but to praise him...[1]

When Splus went all corporate, I think that was when we academics realised the game was up. License fees would get put up, interesting new packages would become optional expensive add-ons, closed-source would be the order of the day.

But Dave saw the light and jumped ship to R. The GPL makes it impossible to close up R in the same way. The commitment to making REvo R the default R in Ubuntu Karmic, with its speed and parallel advantages are a big win for us in academia. I assume - I've not tried it yet - but having people like Dave there mean the links to academia remain strong. Just because all we're doing is modelling tropical diseases, measuring climate change, or working on clinical trials, and not doing anything worthy like making pots of cash for shareholders[2] shouldn't mean we're sidelined by IT companies...

[1] I'm out of Julius Caesar quotes now
[2] Irony

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