[EpiData-list] R, EpiInfo and opensource software

epidata-list at lists.umanitoba.ca epidata-list at lists.umanitoba.ca
Thu Sep 23 13:37:52 CDT 2010

Hello EpiData Friends,

Im just writing a few lines to you at the end of my working day to share
some toughts that I have recently.

In the last four years I invested a lot of effort and time tring to learn R
due to my PhD object. Right now I feel confrtable with R, but in the
biginning I felt like banging my head in many places to make stuff work. For
the same reason I signed some R mail lists around to trade some doubts and

About three weeks ago, a EpiInfo developer posted a message  in
epidemiologic issues for R users and it seems that he wanted to go for a
EPiInfo - R interface. I was curious and found out that the latest version
of EpiInfo available at CDC is 2 years old. My guess is that it is too old
for a software. Clearly it was not a oficial CDC contact.

Wondering why and how this could be done I realize that most likely R cand
do every analysis EpiInfo can and much more. The disadvantageous are: R is
is not friedly for the uninitiated, and has no default and complete GUI,
although there are several GUIs available.

A EPI extesion could be developed in R, while there is already four of them,
that I know of. But there some sntroger point to consider in developing
stuff in R:

(1) opensource software is growing
(2) R is opensource
(3) R is multi OS
(4) R language is reasonbly stable; thus something developed today may last
for many many years indently of OS updates or Software updates
(5) R has a core team that develop the software itself thus contributers may
concentrate efforts in the extension codes and not in the software core, and
OS integration.
(6) There hundreds of maintainers and contributers thus it is a solid
development that even has a early congress for users
(7) It is possible, and there is many examples, to create a friendly
graphical interface for epidemiologic users
(8) There is already many functions directed to epidemiologic users such as
epidemic curves, tables in stack form etc

Thus I would not be surprised if one day EpiData friends also start an
integration with R, as already has been done for SAS, SPSS, WinBugs, SQL,
MySQL etc etc and more recently it seems that epiinfo too.

Best regards to all,

Abraço forte e que a força esteja com você,

Dr. Pedro Emmanuel A. A. do Brasil
Instituto de Pesquisa Clínica Evandro Chagas
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz
Rio de Janeiro - Brasil
Av. Brasil 4365
Tel 55 21 3865-9648
email: pedro.brasil at ipec.fiocruz.br
email: emmanuel.brasil at gmail.com

---Apoio aos softwares livres
www.zotero.org - gerenciamento de referências bibliográficas.
www.broffice.org ou www.openoffice.org - textos, planilhas ou apresentações.
www.epidata.dk - entrada de dados.
www.r-project.org - análise de dados.
www.ubuntu.com - sistema operacional

More information about the EpiData-list mailing list