The new S language. A programming environment for data analysis and graphics. (English) Zbl 0642.68003

Wadsworth & Brooks/Cole Computer Science Series. Pacific Grove, CA: Wadsworth & Brooks/Cole Advanced Books & Software. XVII, 702 p. $ 29.95/pbk; $ 39.95/hbk (1988).
Since appearing of the books “S: An interactive environment for data analysis and graphics” and “Extending the S system” by the first two authors in 1984 and 1985 at Wadsworth and corresponding software distributed by AT & T, S spread out throughout the world and influenced a lot of authors of other systems.
S is both the very high-level language and interactive programming environment for data analysis and graphics. Among its main features are: - high degree of interactivity; - general and easy to use facilities for organizing, storing and retrieving of all sorts of data; - informative and flexible way of graphical looking at data; - numerical methods and other computational techniques; - the possibility to build in own functions and procedures; - simple interfaces to other kinds of computing such as commands for UNIX or to C and Fortran routines etc.
The reviewed book describes S for a general computing audience and does not present the statistical use - such a book by the same authors is in preparation. From this point of view the book will be useful to the people interested in looking at data. In such a case a background in statistics is not necessary, while recommendable. Those who never met the old version of S need not worry about because everything is contained in the new book. For those who are familiar with “old-S”, new-S language provides more complete programming environment, which occasionally does things differently than they were done before. Nevertheless, differences and the way how to convert from “old-S” to new-S are described.
Of course, S is also a software system running under UNIX on a variety of hardware configurations and is available again from AT & T.
Reviewer: J.Antoch


68-01 Introductory exposition (textbooks, tutorial papers, etc.) pertaining to computer science
62-07 Data analysis (statistics) (MSC2010)
68U99 Computing methodologies and applications
68P05 Data structures