RStudio: a cut above

March 1, 2011

(This article was first published on Stat Bandit » R, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

As most followers of and the Twitter #rstats know by now, RStudio is a new open-source IDE for R that was beta-released yesterday. I have started putting it through its paces within my R workflow, and my impressions are more than favorable. I also tried it out on my home Linux server in server mode.

RStudio is obviously designed by people who actually use R and code in R for their data analyses. The basic components of the IDE are clean, switching panes is a breeze, and some features are really useful.

My current highlights are:

  • Easy installation on Mac and Linux, as well as on a Ubuntu server.
  • A “packages” pane by which you can checkbox the packages you want loaded
  • Easy installation of new packages (with auto-completion of package names)
  • An integrated help functionality using the web docs that keeps things in one window and compact
  • A quick, light feel to the IDE. I was specially impressed with how well the server version works, and how similar it remains to the desktop version.
  • Easy exporting of plots to PNG and PDF.
  • True to the spirit of community and quick responses in the R ecosystem, I have received very quick responses from RStudio on queries and feedback.

A wishlist would include:

  • Some more keyboard shortcuts, or a way to create customizable shortcuts. Given the source is on github, I’m sure someone will figure this one out. Specifically, a shortcut for Sweave compilation
  • A shortcut for “<-”. Gotten too used to that in both ESS and TextMate
  • Some debugging functionality. Once again I’m sure this is on the list

This is a well conceived beta release, and with  a few tweaks and suggestions from the R users, I think the final 1.0 release will be very successful. I now know what to suggest as a R IDE to my friends without any hesitation.

To leave a comment for the author, please follow the link and comment on their blog: Stat Bandit » R. offers daily e-mail updates about R news and tutorials on topics such as: Data science, Big Data, R jobs, visualization (ggplot2, Boxplots, maps, animation), programming (RStudio, Sweave, LaTeX, SQL, Eclipse, git, hadoop, Web Scraping) statistics (regression, PCA, time series, trading) and more...

If you got this far, why not subscribe for updates from the site? Choose your flavor: e-mail, twitter, RSS, or facebook...

Comments are closed.


Mango solutions

RStudio homepage

Zero Inflated Models and Generalized Linear Mixed Models with R

Quantide: statistical consulting and training


CRC R books series

Contact us if you wish to help support R-bloggers, and place your banner here.

Never miss an update!
Subscribe to R-bloggers to receive
e-mails with the latest R posts.
(You will not see this message again.)

Click here to close (This popup will not appear again)