In November, activities continued to increase beyond the numbers recorded since July across the R ecosystem. This was most notable in events and in the downloads of R packages. Total package downloads from a single CRAN mirror and in one single year hit half-billion this November for the first time.
A summary of selected trends, activities, and insights around the R language from November 2018 are presented.
Data for the trends and activities summarized here were obtained from popular websites used by the R community such as Google, GitHub, StackOverflow, Rstudio, METACRAN, and R-Bloggers
Activity decreased at StackOverflow in November for the R language compared to October.
Number of StackOverflow Questions tagged R: 4,768 (0.5% down from October)
Number of Answers for R questions: 4,463 (4.3% down from October)
Number of Comments for R questions: 8,770 (1.4% down from October)
Page Views for R questions: 172, 498 (7% down from October)
The chart below shows the distribution of the questions, answers, and comments for R at StackOverflow
- R/Packages Downloads
The data for this section is obtained through the API of METACRAN’s service that could be found here:
METACRAN obtains the download summaries from the RStudio CRAN mirror taken from http://cran-logs.rstudio.com/ This is one very popular download mirror for the R language due to the popularity of the RStudio IDE for R.
Base R downloads: 128,598 (8% down from October)
The chart in Figure 2 shows the distribution of base R downloads among the computer operating systems from which R was downloaded.
The chart in Figure 3 shows the number of downloads by R versions. From the chart, it is clear that there are users of R that still make use of older R versions e.g. version 2.x.x series. Most users are always upgrading to newer versions of R.
R Packages Downloads: 74,764,832(0.5% up from October)
Package downloads slightly increased this November compared to October.
Figure 4 is a chart that shows the daily download variation of R packages in November.
Ratio of Base R downloads to R Package downloads: 1 : 581
Thus, for each download of base R, there are over 581 extension packages downloaded. The use of R still depends largely on extension packages.
Figure 5 is a chart visualizing the ratio of Base R downloads to R packages downloads
Top Packages (November, 2018):
Sum of Downloads for Top 50 packages: 24,542,214
(5.6% down from October)
Download contribution of Top 50 packages amongst other 13,000+ CRAN packages: 32.8%
(i.e, ~33% of total R package downloads came from Top 50 packages in November)
Below is a chart in Figure 7 showing the top 50 downloaded packages based on their download counts.
Sum of Downloads for Top 100 packages: 38,603,830 (2% down from October)
Download contribution of Top 100 amongst other 13,000+ CRAN packages: 51.6%
(i.e, about 52% of R package downloads came from Top 100)
Top 10 Packages and their Primary Maintainers:
Hadley Wickham and Dirk Eddelbuetel dominate the top 10 by both number of packages and downloads from the list above.
The top 10 R repositories that appeared on GitHub’s trends in November are:
The chart of Figure 9 shows the number of stars forgotten in November for top 10 repositories that did trend in November based on data from https://github.com/trending/r?since=monthly on December 2, 2018
- R Meetings/Events
The RStudio Community website provides a weekly list of R user-group meetings and conference events curated from meetup.com and elsewhere. The data found on this website is the basis for the following analysis.
There were 135 events in about 22 countries (7% up in events from October)
60 events out of 135 (~44% of events) were held in the United States of America; 29 in the UK, 7 in Germany, 6 in Canada and 4 in South Africa, etc
Compared to other months, this shows a significant increase in events in the UK.
A world map showing the distribution of R events across 22 countries can be found in Figure 10a
Figure 10b shows the event distribution across the 22 countries in a bar chart
A weekly summary of events compared with countries for the month is shown in the bar chart of Figure 11.
45 events out of 135 (33.3% of events) were R-Ladies events
- R Bloggers
Rbloggers.com is the most popular news aggregation website for blog posts related to the R language. There were about 241 blog posts at Rbloggers.com in October. An average of about 8 posts / day.
- Google Trends
The chart below sshowsGoogle Trends for the R language in November with search trends dipping only during the weekends.
Based on Interest by region, the Top 5 countries in November with the highest search activity on Google are:
- South Korea
- St. Helena
- R Language Ranking:
TIOBE Index: 14th in November, 2018
Redmonk: 14th in June, 2018
- R Consortium
The results of the call for proposals by the R Consortium are expected to be announced early in 2019.
- Google Summer of Code
Google has announced it Google Summer of Code program for 2019 in November. Details for organizations, mentors and students are already available at the program website.
R Central is a developing aggregation website for news, trends and activities around the R language. It provides a dashboard which is suitable as a browser homepage that lists posts from popular sources like CRAN, R-devel, Twitter, Rbloggers, Crantastic, RWeekly, Microsoft, RConsortium, StackOverflow, and several others.