Without doubt, there are several very good grid programs already on the market (Gridstat, Gridcor, Idiogrid, sci:vesco etc.). So …
Why do we need OpenRepGrid at all?
No grid software offers all the analysis methods devised in the literature. There are even methods in the literature, e.g. the structural quadrants methods, that have even never been implemented in any software.
With most programs it is tedious to analyse batches of grids. You will often find that you have to copy and paste your results.
Most of the programs are not Open Source. You cannot see what is going on inside. One might argue, that science should be transparent.
Discontinued development: Over the last decades many grid programs have vanished after their initiators have retired. We should try to put development in the hands of many to ensure continuity.
There is no joint community effort to build a tool that suits everyones needs as it is hard to participate in the development.
None of the available softwares is extensible by researchers themselves. You have to hope for a few people to implement your ideas and thus to provide a new method to the comunity. This slows down scientific progress.
The programs do not have an underlying framework that supports fast development of new features.
Why is it an R package?
R is an Open Source framework for statistical programming. It will probably become one of the most popoular statistical tools also in the social sciences within a decade. So people will probably be familiar with R in the future anyway.
Being Open Source and under a general public license, everybody is free to continue, modify or expand the software.
R provides a wealth of functions. This makes it easy to expand the functionality of OpenRepgrid.
R syntax is simple to learn. With some R training you can easily add new features yourself and provide them to grid users around the world. This way many researchers can participate in the development of the tool.
The package has some functions to facilitate the development of new features.
Using the R framework, analyzing batches of grids becomes a straightforward task.
Note that the tool is far from being ready. We need your input to make it a tool that really suits the needs fo the community. So come and join us!
In a first phase OpenRepGrid will be a command line tool. This will be the case until a comprehensive set of features has been implemented. In a second phase more and more graphical user interfaces (GUI) will be added. Features for administration of grids are currently not part of the project though.
If you use OpenRepGrid for calculations in your publications, please cite it as below.
Heckmann, M. (2014). OpenRepGrid: An R package for the analysis of repertory grids. ZENODO. doi:10.5281/zenodo.8492