[Rd] Question about Rweb

Simon Urbanek simon.urbanek at r-project.org
Wed Oct 5 23:06:45 CEST 2011


On Oct 5, 2011, at 4:00 PM, Ted Byers wrote:

> Hi Simon,
> Any chance of getting step by instructions on setting it up to work with a
> web server like Apache's httpd server (I have Apache's web server running,
> actually a couple instances on different ports, and I do all my CGI
> programming using Perl)?

The setup is really easy (it supports either CGI or PHP), but you're on the wrong platform :P see below.

> I am not so much looking to provide a web interface for working with R, but
> rather want to write CGI programs that use R for specific analyses and
> graphics.  I was considering writing my R scripts as usual (using the
> capabilities of QRMlib and RQuantLib, in particular), and have them invoked
> by a cgi script written in perl.  But your description suggests it can be
> made faster.  Each package I looked at for doing this was interesting, but I
> always got stuck at the point of figuring out how to get Apache's httpd
> server to run my R scripts.  Your description suggests that a request
> requiring R can be just passed onto Rserve, but how does one set that up;
> i.e. to pass the request arguments through to the R script, and to tell
> Rserve which R script to use?
> Any insights on setting this up would be appreciated.
> On http://rforge.net/FastRWeb/files/, I read that FastRWeb is to be
> installed using "install.packages('FastRWeb',,'http://www.rforge.net/')",
> but that gives me the following message:
>> install.packages('FastRWeb',,'http://www.rforge.net/')
> Installing package(s) into 'C:\Users\Ted\Documents/R/win-library/2.12'
> (as 'lib' is unspecified)
> Warning message:
> In getDependencies(pkgs, dependencies, available, lib) :
>  package 'FastRWeb' is not available
> This was on:
> R version 2.12.0 (2010-10-15)
> Copyright (C) 2010 The R Foundation for Statistical Computing
> ISBN 3-900051-07-0
> Platform: x86_64-pc-mingw32/x64 (64-bit)

Well, technically, you can run it on Windows, but I would not recommend it. Windows is a really bad server platform, especially with R (no fork, no parallel connections, no unix sockets ...).

The standard configuration in FastRWeb assumes a unix server (the more common case) and it really consists of install.packages() and then copying Rcgi from the cgi-bin directory of the installed FastRWeb package to your web server's cgi-bin and starting Rserve (via /var/FastRWeb/code/start). Alternatively, you can use the PHP client from Rserve instead of CGI.

If you really want to use Windows, I have fixed the Windows build so it should work, but you'll have to configure it by hand -- but as I said, I strongly discourage the use of Windows for any R-related server activities - there are too many security implications and it's far less efficient.


> Thanks
> Ted
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: r-devel-bounces at r-project.org [mailto:r-devel-bounces at r-
>> project.org] On Behalf Of Simon Urbanek
>> Sent: October-05-11 3:06 PM
>> To: Tonidandel, Scott
>> Cc: r-devel at r-project.org
>> Subject: Re: [Rd] Question about Rweb
>> On Oct 5, 2011, at 2:16 PM, Tonidandel, Scott wrote:
>>> Greetings,
>>> I am working on creating an interactive website that will generate
> R-code
>> [snip]
>> I may be biased, but I would recommend using FastRWeb, it's much more
>> efficient and has a lot of advantages (allows pre-loading of data and
> code,
>> supports parallel connections etc.).
>> See
>> http://rforge.net/FastRWeb
>> and
>> https://www.urbanek.info/research/pub/urbanek-iasc08.pdf
>> We use it heavily internally for a lot of things we do, so it's definitely
> a very
>> active project (in fact I know about several people using it externally as
> well).
>> In case you get convinced that this is a good option, please feel free to
>> contact me if you have any questions and need any help.
>> Cheers,
>> Simon
>> ______________________________________________
>> R-devel at r-project.org mailing list
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