RStudio is good for you

Posted in R by Julyan Arbel on 29 April 2011

I was recently introduced to RStudio, a new integrated development environment for R, it is just amazing!
It is free, and open, compatible with PC/Mac/Linux OSs. You can also choose to run it in the cloud, and access it from your favorite web browser.

As you can see, the window divides into four in a customizable way. For the source code, multiple files are organized by tabs. The editor is great, providing code completion (for commands and existing variables), indentation, and syntax highlighting. Execution from source can be done with the Run icons (as well as saving, printing), or by a shortcut (Command or Ctrl+Enter). For more shortcuts you can check this page.

Another quadrant is for Workspace and History. The first lists as in Matlab all your current variables. You can have a quick look to them by clicking (equivalent to the View command), and edit your functions (equivalent to the fix command). It makes easy to import datasets from text files or from the Web. The bottom left quadrant allows to browse your files. A very interesting feat is the Plots tab, which stores all the past plots. You can export at the end the one you want, in pdf or png. It includes as well a package installation tool, and the R documentation.

For enabling access from any Web browser, there exists the RStudio Server version, to be installed on a Linux server. It’s great for team projects, as you can enable access to anyone by giving the server url. It allows to install exotic packages on a single server, which is good when you have restrictions on other computers. And you can check from a remote position the results of your computations you are drawing for the week-end. It looks like that:

For people at ENSAE, admin registration is not required for installing RStudio, so don’t hesitate to give it a try!

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