R is a statistical environment (think Excel on steroids) and a programming language. It is widely used in many fields because it is good, expandable, and free. There are many good tutorials for it: the purpose of this page is to point to some of the best tutorials and other resources for people in biology.
- Phylogenetics: r-sig-phylo is a mailing list for using R for phylogenetics. It has an active but friendly community. The R-phylo wiki has some useful information, as do various tutorials at the Bodega Bay Workshop in Applied Phylogenetics. There is also a task view for phylogenetics. It has descriptions of packages in R for phylogenetics and allows you to install them all easily (install.packages("ctv") then library("ctv") then install.views("Phylogenetics").
- How to create packages: See this tutorial from Robert Gentleman's Statistical Computing Environments course (the pdf is also included at the bottom of this page, just in case the original disappears). Of course, also read the official manual to learn about creating packages.