Architect 0.9.3

July 26, 2013
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(This article was first published on Open Analytics - Blog, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

Architect is an Eclipse-based cross-platform IDE for R packed with features for advanced R users. Need convincing? Let's take a look at some of Architect's most popular features.

Visual Debugger

Architect comes equipped with a fully-functional visual debugger. When debugging, Architect launches into a comprehensive Debug perspective, allowing users to walk line-by-line through the code and monitor the values of variables as the code unfolds. For focused debugging, set a breakpoint in your code, and the Debug perspective will pop open when that line is reached.

Found the bug? Architect reverts to your previous perspective with a single click. Debugging has never been more streamlined.
visual debugger R

ggplot2 builder

Rapidly assemble a ggplot2 graph and customize the details right from a GUI. The ggplot2 builder is ideally suited for users seeking a menu-based approach to building graphs, with a responsive interface for editing labels, colors and plot types on the fly. Best of all, it's fully reproducible. Behind the scenes, Architect creates the ggplot2 code associated with each plot, enabling easy integration with reports and scripts.
ggplot 2 builder Architect

Working on Remote Machines

remote R console cloud
So what is special about this screenshot? Nothing, and that's by design. Working on a remote machine preserves all functionality of working on a local machine; one simply launches a Remote R Console instead of a plain R Console, be it in your network or on a cluster in the Cloud.

Moreover, with the ease of launching concurrent consoles in Architect, in a single window you can work on one project locally while computations on another project run in the Cloud.

Multi-User Installs in Architect 0.9.3?

At the beginning of summer, a couple of universities were charmed by Architect's features and contacted us to set up Architect in their computer labs. We happily visited them and rolled out Architect, but we felt that the process for setting up Architect for classroom usage needed improvement.
Architect 0.9.3 enables multi-user installs for all platforms. All an IT department needs to do is launch our installer and press 'OK'. Users now have their personal workspaces in their home directories, with their own preferences stored and their favorite R packages in their personal user libraries.
What preferences? Color themes for the IDE, code formatting preferences, personal keyboard shortcut definitions, extra R package repositories, editor templates, font sizes etc. To some students setting up Architect preferences is a matter of expressing their identity...

R Package Building, Out of the Box

We made new friends demonstrating the multi-user installs at the IT departments, but a few weeks later they got in touch again: a PhD program planned to organize R packaging training sessions, which generated mass panic in the university IT head quarters. As many of you know, R package building requires the presence of RTools on Windows, but they were frightened that messing with the PATH in classroom computers would break one of the 468 other software packages installed on the machines..
Solution? Ship the R tools with Architect and automagically add these to the PATH known to the R Consoles. The proof of the pudding is in the eating so we

  1. installed Architect, just Architect and Architect only (no R and no R Tools)
  2. downloaded the Rcpp tarball from CRAN and dragged it into the Project Explorer
  3. launched 'R CMD INSTALL --build' on the source package

Architect Rtools package building

Simple!

links: Architect download page.

This post is about:
architect, r

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