[R] R vs. RStudio?

jwd jwd at surewest.net
Sun Jan 11 22:50:58 CET 2015

On Sat, 10 Jan 2015 21:22:56 -0500
Boris Steipe <boris.steipe at utoronto.ca> wrote:

> Could someone kindly enlighten me whether there are currently
> advantages to use R Studio vs. the normal R GUI? On the Mac I can't
> seem to find anything compelling, on Windows (which I don't use
> myself) I noticed last year that there seems to be no syntax
> highlighting available for the R GUI but R Studio had it.
> Surely there must be some value proposition in that project, what am
> I missing?
> Thanks,
> Boris 

There are pros and cons as with all things.  RStudio in so far R itself
is concerned is effectively simply a graphic interface for the
terminal.  You operate R from within RStudio essentially the same as
you would from a terminal.  Useful traits include a streamlined means
of installing new packages without trolling through CRAN, quick
displays of data sets and other objects currently in the work
environment, and a very handy way to build scripts for an analysis.
Commands can be run from the Console window and copied to an *.R
script which can then be fine tuned to produce analytical, tabular and
graphical output to files that is readily incorporated into a
comprehensive analysis and report.  Graphics - plots - are created and
buffered in sequence and can be saved from the plot window as image
files or pdfs without adding device() lines to the script.  A nice
addition would be an output window similar to the plot window.  As it
is, I still use sink() to capture output of tables and analytical
results.  RStudio does have some highlighting.  The biggest gotcha is
that R is not precisely the same experience under different
environments (e.g. linux vs. windows).  RStudio is more consistent
across platforms.

RStudio is not an environment like RKward or JGR where analytical tools
are available through a menu.


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