dplyr is a new package which provides a set of tools for efficiently manipulating datasets in R. dplyr is the next iteration of plyr, focussing on only data frames. dplyr is faster, has a more consistent API and should be easier to use. There are three key ideas that underlie dplyr:

  1. Your time is important, so Romain Francois has written the key pieces in Rcpp to provide blazing fast performance. Performance will only get better over time, especially once we figure out the best way to make the most of multiple processors.
  2. Tabular data is tabular data regardless of where it lives, so you should use the same functions to work with it. With dplyr, anything you can do to a local data frame you can also do to a remote database table. PostgreSQL, MySQL, SQLite and Google bigquery support is built-in; adding a new backend is a matter of implementing a handful of S3 methods.
  3. The bottleneck in most data analyses is the time it takes for you to figure out what to do with your data, and dplyr makes this easier by having individual functions that correspond to the most common operations (group_by, summarise, mutate, filter, select and arrange). Each function does one only thing, but does it well.


BUGS is a software package for performing Bayesian inference Using Gibbs Sampling. The user specifies a statistical model, of (almost) arbitrary complexity, by simply stating the relationships between related variables. The software includes an ‘expert system’, which determines an appropriate MCMC (Markov chain Monte Carlo) scheme (based on the Gibbs sampler) for analysing the specified model. The user then controls the execution of the scheme and is free to choose from a wide range of output types.


There are two main versions of BUGS, namely WinBUGS and OpenBUGS. This site is dedicated to OpenBUGS, an open-source version of the package, on which all future development work will be focused. OpenBUGS, therefore, represents the future of the BUGS project. WinBUGS, on the other hand, is an established and stable, stand-alone version of the software, which will remain available but not further developed. The latest versions of OpenBUGS (from v3.0.7 onwards) have been designed to be at least as efficient and reliable as WinBUGS over a wide range of test applications. Please see here for more information on WinBUGS. OpenBUGS runs on x86 machines with MS Windows, Unix/Linux or Macintosh (using Wine).

Note that software exists to run OpenBUGS (and analyse its output) from within both R and SAS, amongst others.

For additional details on the differences between OpenBUGS and WinBUGS see the OpenVsWin manual page.


ggplot2 is a data visualization package for the statistical programming language R. Created by Hadley Wickham in 2005, ggplot2 is an implementation of Leland Wilkinson‘s Grammar of Graphics—a general scheme for data visualization which breaks up graphs into semantic components such as scales and layers. ggplot2 can serve as a replacement for the base graphics in R and contains a number of defaults for web and print display of common scales. Since 2005, ggplot2 has grown in use to become one of the most popular R packages.[1][2] It is licensed under GNU GPL v2.[3]

On 2 March 2012, ggplot2 version 0.9.0 was released with numerous changes to internal organization, scale construction and layers.[4] An update dealing primarily with bug fixes was released on 9 May 2012, incrementing the version to 0.9.1.[5]

On 25 February 2014, Hadley Wickham formally announced that “ggplot2 is shifting to maintenance mode. This means that we are no longer adding new features, but we will continue to fix major bugs, and consider new features submitted as pull requests. In recognition this significant milestone, the next version of ggplot2 will be 1.0.0”.[6]