Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 20:44:30 -0700
Reply-To: David L Cassell <davidlcassell@MSN.COM>
Sender: "SAS(r) Discussion" <SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: David L Cassell <davidlcassell@MSN.COM>
Subject: Re: statistical software help
Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed
> I am a beginner for statistical software,anyone can recommend some
>about difference for sas and splus,which one is better for beginner? Also,
>please recommend books for studying software in a beginner level.
What's your computer science background?
Okay, I know, that sounds like a weird question to ask, given your
question, but it really matters. If your background is only in procedural
languages, then you may have a really hard time bending your head
around the syntax of S-Plus. Conversely, if your background is in
functional languages or OOP only, then SAS may seem really confusing.
If you have plenty of experience in a wide variety of computer languages,
then the choice may not make any difference to you.
I would recommend that you look at R instead of S-Plus. It's freeware,
and it has CRAN, the Comprehensive R Archive Network. I'd really like
to like S-Plus, but it is painfully slow on jobs of any size. And the
your job, the more you're going to need SAS anyway.
What do you need to do? If you're looking at statistical graphics,
then R is better than SAS. If you're looking at detailed analyses of
mixed models, or time series, or a large variety of other areas, then
SAS is better. If you're looking for a bleeding-edge stat technique,
then R is likely to have it before SAS does, unless it's been done by a
user in a SUGI paper, or done here in SAS-L.
The reviews and discussions I've seen comparing SAS vs. R (or S-Plus)
always seem to run according to the preconceived biases of the writers.
So take anything you read with several enormous cubes of halite. :-)
As for studying at a beginner level, you kind of have to sink or swim
with R. Start with the docs and dive in. SAS has similar docs, but a
vast array of user-written books that can really help. And you'll need
them, because SAS is really, really large. Look at the Online docs and
see for yourself. Go to SAS Publishing at the sas.com site, and browse
the books there.
David L. Cassell
3115 NW Norwood Pl.
Corvallis OR 97330
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