Thursday, 26 February 2009

What's up with S+ 8.1?

Eagle-eyed S users may have noticed that S+ 8.1 is now available. The desktop version came out in December and TIBCO just released S+ Server and S+ Miner.

As the Insightful web site is being phased out, the new release isn't discussed there. Instead it's over on the TIBCO Spotfire web page:

Some exciting innovations in this release:

  • The language is no longer "S-PLUS", it's now "S+". Sort of like the whole "Puff Daddy" to "P Diddy" transition.
  • The products are now "TIBCO Spotfire S+", "TIBCO Spotfire S+ Server", and "TIBCO Spotfire S+ Miner". You'll need to get used to looking for things in the "TIBCO" locations rather than the "Insightful" locations. The name reflects the fact that the products are part of the Spotfire product family within the TIBCO offerings.
  • The software is now obtained by downloading from the TIBCO download site rather than on a CD. Needless to say, printed manuals are also a thing of the past.

Oh yeah, there are some new features too. The highlights are available at:

The best place on the web at the moment for more detail is actually Northwestern, as they put links to the S+ 8.1 for Linux documentation on their web site. Northwestern people - if that's intended for internal use only, let me know and I'll edit this out.

Material is starting to roll out on the "Spotfire Technology Network" web site:

Integrating with Spotfire S+
Spotfire S+ Server Primer (C#)

Keep an eye on the STN for future examples.

Why "statsci"?

This blog and the related web site are associated with the user "". StatSci was the name of the company that did the first commercial version of the S language. In a long and tragic tale, StatSci was purchased by MathSoft which became Insightful which was purchased by TIBCO.

When setting up the blog I wanted to have a user name and web site just for my individual technical postings. That is, one not connected with my personal or work email accounts. It turns out that a surprising number of variations on my name were already taken, but "statsci" was available on gmail, Windows live, Blogger, and Google Sites. So it's mine now.

It wasn't available on Yahoo, and the following sites have nothing to do with me:

So there's prior art on the recycling of this name for other purposes.

The site that goes with this blog is at:


Welcome to my new blog on statistical computing. The emphasis will be on S language implementations such as S+ and R. I expect it'll also cover interesting aspects of Java, Python, and .NET.