[R] R reports

Gavin Simpson gavin.simpson at ucl.ac.uk
Sat Aug 21 10:33:50 CEST 2010

On Fri, 2010-08-20 at 20:09 -0700, Donald Paul Winston wrote:
> I should not have used the terms 4GL and 3GL. I'm just looking for a
> "simple" way to create a report in R. It appears the R way to generate
> a report is to "roll your own". There is no report() function
> analogous to plot() (which is very good)  to generate a report from a
> table of data. I did not mean to say R is not powerful. But it is
> obvious that using R is much more geeky then using SAS. The ability to
> generate standard detail, summary, cross-tabs, and control break
> reports is very important in government and corporate enterprises. The
> people who develop R and who use it live in a small ghetto and don't
> get out much.

[No, I don't belong to R Core, before you ask!]

Now hang on. How dare you rock up here and be so disrespectful to the
people who do such good work providing such a feature-full statistical
and programming environment as R?

I would venture that it is because the people developing R *do* get out
and have a life outside of the project (including their academic
careers, no less) that features such as report() don't exist in base R.
(It is also a design decision to limit the maintenance required by the
core code base.)

SAS is a huge corporate entity that charges a small fortune for it's
products. It's no wonder they can afford to employ someone to produce
such interface sugar as a reporting system.

I have been reading this thread and it appears you didn't exactly
express what you wanted clearly. The Sweave answers seemed on target as
a reporting tool - they allow you to embed R code in a document
processed by LaTeX, OpenOffice.org and HTML (others?) with suitable

You seem to not want to do the R code bit to produce the graphs or
tabular summaries? You want something that produces these things for you

I that case, perhaps look at Frank Harrell's rms and HMisc packages. I
haven't used them myself, but I understand that LaTeX output can be
automatically generated from objects it knows about, including those in
the rms package. But maybe LaTeX is too geeky for you?

If that is too much trouble then I'm sure SAS will welcome you with open
arms (and then have one of those arms in down payment ;-)



> On Aug 20, 2010, at 5:33 PM, schuster [via R] wrote:
> > Hi, 
> > 
> > are you looking for something like SAS ODS? 
> >  (The terms "4GL" and "declarative programming" are confusing) 
> > 
> > With SAS ODS an output destination is opened at one place oft the program 
> > (e.g. HTML or PDF or both), subsequent procedures then write output to the 
> > destination(s). 
> > The procedures don't have to know about ODS-Output or say what and where to 
> > write to, the output is simply caught and written to the output (graphics, 
> > tables, results etc.) 
> > 
> > Finally the output destination is closed and all the collected output will be 
> > written to file(s). 
> > 
> > The principle is similar to the PDF ouptut with plot(). 
> > 
> > In my opinion the idea behind SAS ODS is quite nice. It is a fast way to get 
> > output into different file formats. You  can get quick (an dirty) results or 
> > apply different styles and formatting options (not always easy). 
> > 
> > I have not (yet) seen something exactly comparable to this in R (doesn't mean 
> > there is not a package for this). Other output options exist (as mentioned): 
> > Sweave etc. 
> > 
> > 
> > On Thursday 19 August 2010 01:43:07 pm Donald Paul Winston wrote: 
> > > Oops, I meant 4GL. Part of SAS involves more or less "declarative" coding 
> > > where SAS figures out how to process the information and you don't have to. 
> > > Sweave and html generators in R are not what I'm looking for. I'm looking 
> > > for a function whose arguments are data, column names, grouping variables, 
> > > summary stats, titles, footnotes, etc. Sort of like what plot does except 
> > > the function will generate a report. I suppose you could specify an output 
> > > format or "printer device" as plain text, rich text, pdf, or html. 
> > > 
> > 
> > -- 
> > ---- 
> > Friedrich Schuster 
> > Dompfaffenweg 6 
> > 69123 Heidelberg 
> > 
> > ______________________________________________ 
> > [hidden email] mailing list 
> > https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> > PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> > and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code. 
> > 
> > 
> > View message @ http://r.789695.n4.nabble.com/R-reports-tp2330733p2333058.html 
> > To unsubscribe from R, click here.
> > 

 Dr. Gavin Simpson             [t] +44 (0)20 7679 0522
 ECRC, UCL Geography,          [f] +44 (0)20 7679 0565
 Pearson Building,             [e] gavin.simpsonATNOSPAMucl.ac.uk
 Gower Street, London          [w] http://www.ucl.ac.uk/~ucfagls/
 UK. WC1E 6BT.                 [w] http://www.freshwaters.org.uk

More information about the R-help mailing list