Show me yours and I’ll show you mine

August 9, 2012
By

(This article was first published on Dang, another error, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

I remember when I started with R, there was little processing power directed toward an IDE. I had enough problems with the syntax, loops and the like and R gui seemed adequate. When I started working on a heavy project, I had to knock it up a notch (bam!). After weeks of trial and error with various IDEs I settled for Eclipse. Year was 2010.
After two years, I feel very comfortable in my IDE of choice but I’ve always felt there’s some things I might be missing. That’s why I’m starting “show me yours and I’ll show you mine” project where I wish to collect workflow setup for working for programming and/or data analysis. The idea is to present your setup and comment on why you think it’s (in)efficient for you. I’ll start!

As mentioned, I use Eclipse with a plugin StatET. Eclipse (and StatET) depend on Java, so you’ll probably have to install either JDK or SDK. This may be a limiting factor for some. Eclipse offers a number of handy keyboard shortcuts (for instance CTRL+r+3 sends line/chunk to R, CTRL+r+s sources the entire file…), manages windows, provides different views and more.

My setup has two code editing windows in the upper left corner, project explorer and task list (kudos to Andrie) on the right. Bottom half holds the R console and R help/tasks. I can easily navigate through files while debugging programs and handy keyboard shortcuts really cut down production time. I like having all windows handy. This is aided by Mylyn Task List plugin that helps you store and switch between individual sets of scripts. More about Mylyn can be found here. I also have a button to run knitr script which produces a pdf report (see previous post). I connect to a SVN server where I store my work. Switching to a SVN look is achieved by clicking the “SVN” icon in the top right corner.

I would encourage anyone interested in sharing their ideas about how to set up their workflow on this blog to send me a screenshot and a short description to my gmail account (romunov) or post about it on their own internet outlet (blog, personal website…) and send a traceback back here.

Paul Lemmens uses Vim and “raw” Rgui.

Ever since I’ve completely written my PhD thesis in gVim, those handy keyboard operated commands have engraved themselves as spinal cord reflexes. I just cannot find any other interface that does the trick for me without having to reach to the mouse or these awkward arrow keys.
So usually I open a regular Rgui and gVim window and use the Win7 keyboard shortcuts Winkey+leftarrow and win+right to make them share one of my widescreen monitors. Being in a corparate environment with restrictions, I have put any time in installing the stuff to make R appear in a Vim buffer. Instead, I use Autohotkey to define two keyboard shortcuts to execute a snippet of R code in the Rgui: one shortcut takes me automatically back to the editor and another one copy-pastes the code and stays on the Rgui window. Help/manual pages are being forwarded to my (chrome) browser.


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