[R] Restoration of "rite" package of R as R-script editor or the like

Avi Gross @v|gro@@ @end|ng |rom ver|zon@net
Mon May 23 16:00:39 CEST 2022

This is, as usual, wandering away from the original request.
As I understand it, there was a working product that was free and met needs and the question mainly was how to encourage getting it maintained and available.
Sometimes the best environment for newcomers is one that helps them and other times one that does nothing and makes them learn by failing. A starting computer class in which most students want to learn just enough to be able to do a few things and not become programmers is not the place to exposes them to a complex GUI with many windows in place that can be replaced by yet more windows or be resized and so on. 
I began by typing punch cards in high school and not easily seeing what my indentation looked like or what errors in programming it contained UNTIL I submitted a deck of them with a rubber band and waited hours or longer to get a fan fold printout. Almost anything, such as using  a linear plain text editor, like ED or later a full-screen version like vi or variations on emacs was a huge improvement. Many GUI editors now can be a step up in convenience albeit sometimes less powerful in other ways. Knowing one that is not focused on your specific programming language can be very useful.
I have used many multi-paned GUI applications besides R-STUDIO and some get quite complex and a wrong click or menu choice can leave you in uncharted territory you may not have any idea how to get out of. 
Like many good tools, RSTUDIO keeps adding functionality to the point where most people simply ignore much of it or even have no idea what it is. I know this is not the place to discuss it, but my broader point is that R itself can be independent from what editors and environments you are using. If your goal is to teach someone to write a program and run it and evaluate the results and repeat, sort of like running a C program that is not as interactive as R, then you have lots of choices. If you want a product that lets you create multiple projects, and work on other file types besides R (including C/C++ and Python and Shell Scripts and SQL and various markups and so on, fine, use RSTUDIO. 
I will say that for anything beyond an introductory class, such environments can be invaluable and I use them whenever possible. 
I do note that this professor may be teaching students who may not have the resources to all be running modern machines with lots of power and memory and speedy internet access. RSTUDIO can take lots of resources they do not need. But there are lots of choices for a language-aware editor that have been discussed including some that allow features the professor does not want the students to use but that might have a way to be turned off.
So I ask if they want their students to use R interactively or more like a compiled language? Environments like RSTUDIO allow inspection of the contents of variables in multiple ways such as the Environment pane or see the contents of a data.frame as a sort of spreadsheet tab  in the same viewing area they are programming in. They allow easy access to help or graphics or managing downloads or help create code for importing files and also things like running jobs in the background and so much more. You can teach a course or two in using it!
So is it for novices trying to just earn a bit about simple programming or something you add if they continue and take more courses that will benefit from it? I started programming before much existed and kept changing what kinds of computers and operating systems and all kinds of programs I used BUT that is not what is available today.
Students today expect to start with relatively modern tools and skip learning some of the earlier stages. They expect to have the software they use to display some intelligence and handle routine things for them such as be aware of what language they are using and appropriately do things like indentation or briefly show where a matching parentheses is, or color-code parts. But arguably it is worth having them focus on the language just like learning actual arithmetic or spelling is probably a good idea even if your device does it easily and usually finds the right spelling ...

-----Original Message-----
From: Ebert,Timothy Aaron <tebert using ufl.edu>
To: PIKAL Petr <petr.pikal using precheza.cz>; Akhilesh Singh <akhileshsingh.igkv using gmail.com>; r-help mailing list <r-help using r-project.org>
Sent: Mon, May 23, 2022 7:27 am
Subject: Re: [R] Restoration of "rite" package of R as R-script editor or the like

Would you reconsider RStudio? If this is a person's first experience with a computer or cell phone then RStudio is a bit much. Relative to using a browser, MSWord, Excel, or many of the modern video games RStudio is simple. I have seen beginning R courses start at the level of print("Hello World") in RStudio.


-----Original Message-----
From: R-help <r-help-bounces using r-project.org> On Behalf Of PIKAL Petr
Sent: Monday, May 23, 2022 3:14 AM
To: Akhilesh Singh <akhileshsingh.igkv using gmail.com>; r-help mailing list <r-help using r-project.org>
Subject: Re: [R] Restoration of "rite" package of R as R-script editor or the like

[External Email]


What about Tinn R

It has syntax highlighting and you can easily send your whole code or its part to R from it.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: R-help <r-help-bounces using r-project.org> On Behalf Of Akhilesh 
> Singh
> Sent: Friday, May 20, 2022 3:20 PM
> To: r-help-owner using r-project.org; r-help mailing list 
> <r-help using r-project.org>
> Subject: [R] Restoration of "rite" package of R as R-script editor or 
> the
> Dear Sir,
> I am a professor at Indira Gandhi Agricultural University, Raipur, 
> Chhattisgarh, India. I have been teaching statistics in my department
> 1986.
> Almost since the last 10 years, I have included R capabilities in 
> doing practical-classes of various statistics courses in my 
> department. I use
> default R-script editor that comes with RGUI.exe for that purpose. 
> *But,
> text editor is too simple without syntax highlighting etc. And RStudio 
> is
> heavy for the UG/PG level students who are basically from agriculture
> stream.*
> Meanwhile, I came across a "rite" package which was earlier maintained 
> by Thomas J. Leeper <thosjleeper using gmail.com>. Now, it has been put into 
> archives and not being maintained by anyone.
> At present, I am using the "rite" package for students' practical classes.
> But, I am facing difficulties using it. Sometimes, it hangs 
> unnecessarily,
> some of its features do not work, probably because it is not being 
> maintained anymore by CRAN.
> Therefore, to remove this difficulty, the "rite" package must be
> Sir, "rite" package is a very light weight editor for R codes suitable 
> for teaching to beginner students, with syntax highlighting facility 
> and with
> facility of generating reports into HTML, markdown etc.
> Therefore, I request you ,*one and all who are in control, to kindly 
> make
> to include the "rite" package into the regular packages with proper 
> maintenance, which will immensely help the beginner students to learn R*.
> Or,
> Kindly make sure that the *default R-script-editor gets the syntax
> features and capability of creating basic reports*.
> Or,
> Kindly make a lighter version of RStudio *for beginner student-level 
> only,
> the "rite" package,*  for executing R-scripts and for generating some
> reports.
> *In fact, the lack of a proper R-script editor is a major handicap 
> among
> beginner students to learn R.*
> Therefore, I earnestly request your kind attention to this problem.
> Thaing you.
> Dr. A.K. Singh
> Professor and Ex-Head (Agricultural Statistics) Department of 
> Agricultural Statistics and Social Science (L) Indira Gandhi Krishi 
> Vishwavidyalaya,
> 492 012, Chhattisgarh, India
> Mobile: +918770625795
> Email: akhileshsingh.igkv using gmail.com
>      [[alternative HTML version deleted]]
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