The R Consortium has announced that IBM is becoming a Platinum member of the project, which indicates that IBM gave a significant investment to the development of the open-source R programming language.

R is used by researchers, scientists and analysts for data-analysis purposes. R also provides an interactive environment for data analysis and visualization.

IBM has relied on R (and other languages) to create solutions like IBM Watson. IBM will collaborate with the R user community and support the project’s mission to identify, develop and implement infrastructure projects that drive best practices of the language, according to the R Consortium.

“IBM is deeply invested in open-source software for computing applications like data science,” said Dinesh Nirmal, a vice president at IBM. “And as a longtime member of the Linux Foundation, it’s a natural fit for us to extend our commitment to collaborative development by joining the R Consortium. The R Consortium is the leading open-source community to advance the R language for data analysis and modeling, and we are very eager to collaborate with the R user community.”

Smartphone sales slowing down
The peak of smartphone sales was 73% in 2010, much higher than 2016’s growth rate at 7%, according to Gartner.

The company said that global smartphone sales will continue to slow down. In 2016, sales are expected to reach 1.5 billion units, which are down from 14.4% growth in 2015. In 2020, Gartner said that smartphone sales are on pace to total 1.9 billion units.

“The smartphone market will no longer grow at the levels it has reached over the last seven years,” said Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner.

One of the reasons for the drop in sales is because users are not replacing or upgrading their smartphones as often as previous years. According to Cozza, premium phone users are extending their phone life cycles to 2.5 years, a trend expected to continue over the next five years.

Gartner predicted that by 2018, one nontraditional phone maker will be among the top five brands of smartphones in China.

A detailed analysis is available for Garner clients.

New tool from WhiteSource helps developers in early stages of coding
Developers have another tool to add to their arsenal, which can help them identify vulnerable or problematic open-source components at the early stages of coding.

WhiteSource announced the launch of its Selection Tool, a browser plug-in that allows developers to see details of specific libraries that they wish to use, and they can check to see if these components meet the company’s open-source policies.

“Open source is a vital part of nearly every enterprise software, but the tools for managing and fully utilizing open-source components are only just catching up,” said Rami Sass, CEO and cofounder of WhiteSource.

The Selection Tool detects a viewed component in a web repository based on the URL, and then it cross-references it with WhiteSource’s database and the company’s open-source inventory to provide the developer the needed information. Developers can learn in real time whether they should choose the component or not, which helps him or her make better decisions. The Selection Tool also lets developers know if the component has any issues with licensing or quality, and they can use the plug-in while browsing in Maven Central, PyPI and more.