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

Richard O'Keefe r@oknz @end|ng |rom gm@||@com
Wed May 25 07:04:45 CEST 2022

The original message starts in the middle.
What are the actual *requirements*?
What do the students actually *need*?

I am pretty much a minimalist in such matters.
Edit code in one window using a lightweight editor.
Run an R session in another window, using
source(foo.R) whenever I want to reload foo.R.
The single most important thing I need when doing
this is to *document* what I am writing and how I
meant to use it.  The actual R code doesn't comprise
all that much of the editing task.  (And if I were
doing it *right* it would comprise even less.)

I remember being horrified when I gave some
software engineering students a software reading
exercise about 10 years ago.  "How can you expect
us to read 2 pages of code without syntax colouring?"
"How can we read code if we can't run test cases?"

If your students aren't already caught-up in syntax-
colouring IDEs, this might be an opportunity to NOT
cripple their minds.

So we come to one of the requirement issues:
how *much* R code (and documentation) are your students
expected to write for each assignment?
Are they given a template like
# Library preamble: load required library packages.
# Function preamble: define own functions.
# Data preamble: acquire data.
# Cleaning: select, extract, transform, and correct data.
# Analysis: run analysis.
# Sanity check: look at results to see if they make sense.
# Save: write out results to include in the report.
to start from?

I personally have loathed vi and its successors since
vi first appeared in Edinburgh.  However, it *is*
multiplatform, and it *does* have good support for R,
or so I am told.

Emacs has had very good support for R for a long time,
and it is multiplatform, and it integrates quite a lot
of useful stuff.  Other programming editors seem to
have useful very high level stuff but to be like typing
through cold porridge when it comes to actual typing.
But tastes differ.

So had you considered "atom"?

There is an interesting comment in that page:
"*If you are still getting started with R, I strongly suggest using RStudio*

RStudio exists.  It is actively maintained.
There are textbooks for it.
"Learning RStudio for R Statistical Computing"
"Learn RStudio IDE:
 Quick, Effective, and Productive Data Science"
"Beyond Spreadsheets with R"
"Using R and RStudio for Data Management:
 Statistical Analysis and Graphics"
"Reproducible Research with R and RStudio"
"Getting Started with RStudio"
which are just ones that I happen to have heard of.
rstudio.com has a bunch of webinars
called "RStudio Essentials" at
and of course there are RStudio tutorial videos
on Youtube.

I think it could be argued that it would be unfair
to students NOT to get them started with RStudio.

One of my laptops runs Windows 10, and I have
RStudio on it.  I was in the computer repair shop
with it last week, having stuck my thumb through
the CD drive and snapped off the plastic facing
of the CD tray.  The repairman commented "we can't
get parts for machines like that any more; we had
to send a stack of them to recycling not so long
ago"  If an elderly machine that cost me NZD 150
when I bought it second-hand can run RStudio fine,
are your students really going to have any trouble?

On Sun, 22 May 2022 at 16:54, Akhilesh Singh <akhileshsingh.igkv using gmail.com>

> Dear Sir,
> I am a professor at Indira Gandhi Agricultural University, Raipur,
> Chhattisgarh, India. I have been teaching statistics in my department since
> 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 the
> default R-script editor that comes with RGUI.exe for that purpose. *But,
> this text editor is too simple without syntax highlighting etc. And RStudio
> is too 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,
> and 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
> maintained.
> Sir, "rite" package is a very light weight editor for R codes suitable for
> teaching to beginner students, with syntax highlighting facility and with
> the facility of generating reports into HTML, markdown etc.
> Therefore, I request you ,*one and all who are in control, to kindly make
> sure 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
> highlighting features and capability of creating basic reports*.
> Or,
> Kindly make a lighter version of RStudio *for beginner student-level only,
> like the "rite" package,*  for executing R-scripts and for generating some
> basic reports.
> *In fact, the lack of a proper R-script editor is a major handicap among
> the 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, Raipur-492 012,
> Chhattisgarh, India
> Mobile: +918770625795
> Email: akhileshsingh.igkv using gmail.com
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