4 lines of R to get you started using the Rook web server interface

April 25, 2011
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[This article was first published on Things I tend to forget » R, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers]. (You can report issue about the content on this page here)
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Now that Jeffrey Horner has settled on a name for his new package… the Rook web server interface is now available on CRAN.

Rook provides an interface for R programmers to build web applications which can run in R 2.13′s built-in web server or (soon) rApache.

Jeffrey’s provided some great documentation and sample code on his blog, in the README file, and in the package documentation itself, but somehow I completely missed the importance of the Rhttpd class and couldn’t figure out how to load or launch any of the examples.

Hopefully I can save someone some similar head-scratching. The key is the Rhttpd class, which controls the web server and manages applications. By default it will install the “RookTest” example, so here are 4 lines you need to see it work:

> library(Rook)
> s  s$start(quiet=TRUE)
> s$print()

Server started on 127.0.0.1:31839
[1] RookTest http://127.0.0.1:31839/custom/RookTest

Call browse() with an index number or name to run an application.

[EDIT: Thanks to Jim Porzak to pointing out that browse() is a method on the Rhttpd object rather than an old school package-scoped function. Times are a-changin’… for the better!]

The browse() function didn’t seem to work for me, s$browse(1) will load the URL into your browser or you can just copy-and-paste to access the running application:

Enjoy!

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