Useful R Resources That May Have Escaped Your Attention
Link to the last RSS article here: Five easy steps for scraping data from web pages. -- Ed.
By Dr. Richard Herrington, Research and Statistical Support Consultant
This month I would like to bring a couple of useful resources to the attention of our R users here on campus. Given the popularity of R nowadays, and the ubiquity of R web resources available for perusal, sometimes the really useful resources can get lost in this overwelming volume of content.
R Help and rdocumentation.org
The R “ecosystem” is quite large and sometimes finding the right function or package can be daunting.
Fortunately, many efforts are underway to make bulk of R documentation easy to access and easy to search. One notable website is http://www.rdocumentation.org/ (screen shot below):
Additionally, for Google Chrome Users, there is a Chrome extension that provides ready access to this website (search for “r documentation” on the Google Apps store front).
Many of the helpful hints from user contributed wikis and listserves provide essential troubleshooting advice and programming tricks that are useful to R users.
The website http://www.rseek.org/ provides a customized search interface that searches through the most common wikis and listserves:
Using R for Teaching and Collaboration
The online consulting group DataMind - http://www.datamind.org/#/ has provided an open interface for running live R code and sharing this code on a threaded wiki - http://www.r-fiddle.org/#/ (screen shot below):
This website is accompanied by a short tutorial on using r-fiddle as well as short tutorials on learning the R language. Data can be read into an R session either using a Dropbox or a Google-Drive share:
Additionally, DataMind provide a Google chrome extension for easy access (search Google Apps store front for “r-fiddle”).
An R Blog Aggregation Website: R-Bloggers
Lastly, we would be remiss to not mention the extremely informative (and entertaining!) website
http://www.r-bloggers.com/ R-Bloggers brings together hundreds of seasoned R users providing useful R related articles and announcements that cover content for both novice and expert users of R:
The Rstudio development environment - http://www.rstudio.com/ - comes highly recommended by R users who find themselves wanting more than just the vanilla R script editor that is part of the R console. The desktop Rstudio program is an open-source, free script/debugging editor that provides many bells and whistles for those who find themselves needing more organization and accounting for their development process. Rstudio provides: script highlighting, code completion, integrated help system, workspace browser, data viewer, script debugging, package development tools, and much more. Commercial versions exist providing facililties for deploying R in enterprise settings. Rstudio Server is a version of Rstudio that deploys Rstudio over the web, accessible through a web browser:
Additionally, the Rstudio developers provide another open-source tool for deploying R applications over the web, Shiny - http://www.rstudio.com/shiny/
No Better Time to Be An R User
The R community has grown an impressive set of resources for researchers who need a smart, flexible, data analysis system. All you non-R users need to do now is to give these impressive tools and resources a chance to improve your knowledge and productivity for your respective disciplines. There is no better time than the present to become a R user! Happy Holidays and good data analysis to you!