michael.schwab wrote:
> So I'm looking for someone to shoot ideas back and forth, someone who
> may have experience that could be applicable to this sort of project,
> or who may have a mature understanding of how statistics are used in
> the real world.  I don't exactly have time to get cracking on this yet,
> but I do want to be actively planning it.
> 
> -Mike

In biological sciences spss is used a lot too, I myself have only 
limited experience though. If you are really serious about this then I 
would use the r-project as the backbone for all the statistical test. I 
think there are some fairly limited ruby-rproject bindings available, 
but they all seem to limited/unmaintained/undocumented (someone please 
correct me if I'm wrong). So this might be the first step to take.

I am somewhat hesitant on the whole statistical package thing. I know 
that in biological sciences statistics are often badly understood and 
people mostly use these packages wrongly. I know that some statiticians 
looked at a couple of papers and in a large amount (80%?) the statistic 
methods used were completely wrong. I know you can't really blame spss 
for this, but the fact is that people will get answers from spss even if 
they don't understand what they are actually doing. If you want to use a 
higher level language you are forced to learn about what you are doing 
-> less mistakes.
On the other hand it is about time that we have a good open source 
statistics package, that is also available from linux.

I would also be hesitant about forcing people to open up their data. I 
myself would be hesitant to share all my data before I had analysed 
it/published an article about it.



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