Statistical computing with R: selecting the right tool for the job—R Commander or something else?


  • Conflict of interest: The author declares no conflict of interest.


R Commander (Rcmdr) is one of the most popular graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for R. Why is R Commander so popular? What does it do? When should R Commander be used? When should it not be used? What are the alternatives to R Commander? What can be said about using R Commander, or an alternative, to teach introductory statistics courses? The answers to these questions form the sections of the paper. Included is a Box describing many of the alternative R GUIs (RExcel, Deducer, Rattle, and RKWard) and interactive development environments (IDEs—RStudio, REvolution, and RKWard). Advice is given to help the user ‘select the right tool for the job’. WIREs Comput Stat 2012, 4:518–526. doi: 10.1002/wics.1228