[R] R-help Digest, Vol 143, Issue 10

Ronald Wyllys wyllys at ischool.utexas.edu
Mon Jan 12 00:58:43 CET 2015

This follows up on Duncan Murdock's reply to Boris Steipe's question 
about possible advantages to using RStudio.

I agree with Mr. Murdock's list of advantages of RStudio, but disagree 
mildly with his comment about feeling that the tiled display provides 
too little space.  When I use RStudio, I usually set its window to 
occupy most of the available workspace on my monitor; and I adjust the 
sizes of the different quadrants of the tiling to suit what I'm doing at 
the moment.  Typically, this means that I use a wide rectangle to 
display plots and the like, often choose a smaller height for the 
Environment area, and so on. It's very easy to re-size the individual 
tile areas.

In addition to Mr. Murdock's list of advantages, I can point out that 
RStudio provides a substantial number of shortcuts and time-savers.  The 
following book is a rich source of information about detailed 
capabilities of RStudio: "Learning RStudio for R Statistical Computing", 
by M.P.J. van der Loo and E. de Jonge, 2012.

Their book has impressed me so much that I have spent a good part of the 
past week working methodically, page by page, through the book, an 
effort which has contributed much to my personal comfort with using R 
and RStudio. I'm still learning to use R, but the tricks and shortcuts 
I've learned from this book have been extremely helpful; and I'm a 
considerably better user of both R and RStudio, thanks to the book. (And 
I've even given a post-Christmas gift copy of the book to a son-in-law 
who uses R in his job in the oil business.)

Ronald Wyllys
Emeritus Professor
The University of Texas at Austin

On 01/11/2015 05:00 AM, r-help-request at r-project.org wrote:
> Message: 14 Date: Sun, 11 Jan 2015 05:30:55 -0500 From: Duncan Murdoch 
> <murdoch.duncan at gmail.com> To: Boris Steipe 
> <boris.steipe at utoronto.ca>, R mailing list <r-help at r-project.org> 
> Subject: Re: [R] R vs. RStudio? Message-ID: 
> <54B250DF.8080203 at gmail.com> Content-Type: text/plain; 
> charset=windows-1252 On 10/01/2015 9:22 PM, Boris Steipe 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?
> I find several advantages, and one or two disadvantages.
>   - The debugger is nicer.  You can set breakpoints in the code editor
> and it installs them in the right place.
>   - It has lots of support for things like Sweave, knitr, rmarkdown, etc.
>   - It is easy to switch between different projects.
>   - It looks the same on all platforms, so if you switch platforms you
> still know what you're doing.
> Negatives:
>   - I don't like the tiled display.  I find it doesn't give me enough space.
>   - At least until recently, I haven't checked with the latest release,
> it converts files to the native format, i.e. saving a file on Windows
> gives you CR LF line endings, doing it elsewhere converts them to LF.
> This is really irritating when files get changed for no good reason.
> Duncan Murdoch

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