Must-Read: Why has R, despite quirks, been so successful?: "Bow Cowgill said, 'The best thing about R is that it was written by statisticians...:
The worst thing about R is that it was written by statisticians.
R is undeniably quirky... and yet it has attracted a huge following for a domain-specific language, with more than two million users wordwide. So why has R become so successful, despite being outside the mainstream of programming languages? John Cook adeptly tackles that question in a 2013 lecture, 'The R Language: The Good The Bad And The Ugly'.... To understand a domain-specific language, you have to understand the domain, and statistical data analysis is a very different domain than systems programming.