Andreas Krause, Melvin Olson
The Basics of S-PLUS
Springer-Verlag, New York
4th Edition, 2005
444 pages
ISBN 0-387-26109-5
Now in its fourth edition, this paperback continues to evolve smoothly, keeping up with changes in S–PLUS and its underlying language, S. The publication of this edition corresponds with the release of S–PLUS version 7. First published in 1997, this is the book that I recommend most often for beginning users of the software. The authors are careful to point out differences between UNIX and Windows versions of S–PLUS. Although the book’s primary focus is on command-line usage (as it should be), the treatment of the graphic user interface (GUI) has improved for bothWindows and UNIX/LINUX implementations. The book contains more than four dozen screen shots of the S–PLUS GUI, along with step-by-step instructions on how to perform common tasks through the GUI. The occasional S–PLUS user would most likely benefit from the chapter titled “Tips and Tricks.” The book does a good job incorporating the new functions introduced in version 7, as well as mentioning those features that are included only in the “Enterprise Developer” edition of the software. As primarily an R user, I most appreciate the final chapter, which covers the differences between R and S–PLUS. If you own a first or second edition of this book, I recommend updating to the fourth edition.

University of Missouri–Columbia

In: Journal of the American Statistical Association, September 2006, p. 1320

About the book
This book explains the basics of S-PLUS in a clear style at a level suitable for people with little computing or statistical knowledge. Unlike the manuals, it is not comprehensive, but instead introduces the most important ideas of S-PLUS and R, its companion in implementing the S language.
The authors take the reader on a journey into the world of interactive computing, data exploration, and statistical analysis. They explain how to approach data sets and teach the corresponding S-PLUS commands.
A collection of exercises summarizes the main ideas of each chapter. The exercises are accompanied by solutions that are worked out in full detail, and the code is ready to use and to be modified.
The volume is rounded off with practical hints on how efficient work can be performed in S-PLUS, for example by pointing out how to set up a good working environment and how to integrate S-PLUS with office products.
The book is well suited for self-study and as a textbook. It serves as an introduction to S-PLUS as well as R. A separate chapter points out the major differences between R and S-PLUS.
Over the last editions, the book has been updated to cover important changes like the inclusion of S Language Version 4, Trellis graphics, a graphical user interface, and many useful tips and tricks. The fourth edition is based on S-PLUS Version 7.0 for Windows and UNIX and has been updated and revised accordingly.

For R Users
R and S-PLUS are both based on the S Language, and the two systems are very similar to one another. The chapter on R in our book that highlights many of the differences comprises just a few pages therefore. Thus, the book serves well as an introduction to R and it is in use as textbook for R classes.
The following list contains a few things that we found or were pointed to after publication of the book:

Table of Contents
Introduction, Graphical User Interfaces, A First Session, A Second Session, Graphics, Trellis Graphics, Exploring Data, Statistical Modeling, Programming, Object-Oriented Programming, Input and Output, Tips and Tricks, S-PLUS Internals, Information Sources On and Around S-PLUS, R, Bibliography

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Previous editions
First edition (1997)
Second edition (2000)
Third edition (2002)
German edition (1997)

Andreas Krause, Pharsight Corporation, Strategic Decision Services, Mountain View, CA
Melvin Olson, Novartis Pharma AG, Health Economics and Pricing, Basel, Switzerland

We would be glad to receive any type of feedback, comments, or errors.
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Differences between editions
New in Edition 2
New chapter on the Graphical User Interface (GUI). New chapter on Trellis Graphics. Major revisions and additions in almost all chapters. Coverage of the S Language Version 4, in particular Object-Oriented Programming (in a new chapter). Various new exercises and solutions.
New in Edition 3
Graphical User Interface revised to cover S-Plus version 6.0. Almost all graphs are now Trellis-type graphs and treated in more detail (in particular in chapter "Exploring Data"). Trellis chapter revised and expanded, sections on subset argument added. Tips and Tricks: new sections on Factors and Treating Data Frames as Lists. New chapter on R comparing and highlighting differences and similarities (concluding that this book serves as well as an introduction to R).
New in Edition 4
Updates in various places, including new functions introduced with S-Plus versions 6 and 7 and supported hardware. Graphical User Interface updated (with screen shots based on S-Plus Version 7.0), coverage of multiple S-Plus instances, new (short) section on merging data sets, Trellis chapter revised in various places (section on generally good Trellis settings, extended section on subscripts option for Trellis graphs, and more), big data handling, restructuring of Tips and Tricks including a revision of the section on Factors, new sections on Working with Graph Sheets and The Script Window.

Further references related to "The Basics of S-PLUS"
The Springer-Verlag web page for this book
The web page for this book
The Barnes and Noble web page for this book

Further S-PLUS resources
The S-News mailing list and its searchable archive
The S-PLUS vendor (Insightful)
  A list of S-Plus related books
Applied Statistics in the Pharmaceutical Industry
(with case studies using S-Plus)
by Steve Millard and Andreas Krause (eds.)