[Rd] Question about Rweb

Simon Urbanek simon.urbanek at r-project.org
Thu Oct 6 19:23:14 CEST 2011

On Oct 6, 2011, at 12:20 PM, Dirk Eddelbuettel wrote:

> On 6 October 2011 at 09:37, Jay Emerson wrote:
> | Ted,
> | 
> | Simon may be biased, but I am not.  I'm barely a few days into
> | Rserve/FastRWeb and am blown away (and frustrated that I didn't have a
> | good excuse to give it a try sooner).  I'm still in the process of
> | refining my setup (including a fresh installation of Apache2 on my
> | Ubuntu box), and have documented the steps, which attempt to
> | synthesize information from Simon's various docs and from my own
> | communications with him.
> | 
> | I will make these available, but if you drop me an email I'll send you
> | my current draft.  I can't wait to get beyond the obvious usage cases
> | into some of the more advanced functionality.
> I bite.  Given that I already package Rserve for Debian (and hence Ubuntu)
> and may need something like FastRWeb (or Rapache) I should have a look.
> Can you send me your stuff?  In a nutshell, why this and not Rapache (for
> which Jeff Horner has a ppa on launchpad so it also works out of the box).

FastRWeb is server-independent, easier to deploy on machines you have limited rights (i.e., you don't need to compile against apache or edit its configuration) and cleaner to debug because the client layer is so thin (the front-end doesn't die if R crashes). Also since Rserve is the back-end you can use its features such as updating data in the instance (control commands) or connect into the live instance from R itself to work interactively. Also you can technically separate web server and R server machines if you want to (or do load balancing etc.).

It is also a little more than just infrastructure, e.g. it does query parsing for you and takes care of things like graphics etc. Clearly, that is something you can do equally well do with a layer on top RApache, so that's not a technical issue. That said, I don't know RApache well enough to provide a comprehensive comparison, because I don't have control over the machines that my stuff will be deployed on, so RApache is not an option for my particular use.


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