I’m at a crossroads with statistical graphics. An open source R user for over 10 years after migrating from R’s commercial S-Plus cousin, I started out using Trellis graphics in S-Plus and then adopted the lattice package when transitioning to R.

Graphics are front and center in the R mindset. Indeed the R “motif” for data analysis revolves on telling a story visually. And R has the chops to fully support that approach. The dimensional, small multiples capabilities of Trellis/lattice are a big step up from the primitive SAS graphs I’d used in the ‘90s. I could do all kinds of neat new stuff with lattice, such as visualize a scatter relationship between x and y overlaid by predictive models and mathematical functions – all dimensioned by additional factors that could readily be compared among small visual panels.

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