Farewell, inside-r.org: where to find alternative R resources

August 3, 2016
By

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

We recently had to decomission inside-r.org, the R resources site created by Revolution Analytics in 2010. Links to inside-r.org now redirect to MRAN, which now contains much of the material which was there, including an R package directory, examples of R applications, and a guide for getting started with R. But if you're looking for something that was on inside-r.org but you can't find on MRAN, here are some other places you might want to try:

Documentation for R package functions: rdocumentation.org

If you're looking for the help pages for R packages online, check out rdocumentation.org from DataCamp. There, you can search through the documentation for every R package ever published on CRAN, and view the help pages for the functions in those packages (and even see the help corresponding to specific package versions). You can even see the download count for packages, rate and review packages or provide your own reviews.

Pretty R code: Github gists

The old "Pretty R" feature at inside-r.org allowed you to paste in some R code and generate the HTML for a prettier, syntax-highlighted version of the code. We used it a lot here on the blog to embed R code (especially R code with long lines that would otherwise be truncated by the blog layout). Thankfully, since we introduced Pretty R, Github has embraced R as a language and so you can now use Github gists to easily embed R code into a web page or blog post. It's easy to do: just paste your R code into a gist, and then use the Embed tool to grab HTML code you can paste into your web page or blog post. Just make sure the gist has a .R extension so that it's highlighted as R code.

Gist

And here's what it looks like when you paste that HTML into your post:

Nearest CRAN mirror chooser

In the olden days, to ensure fast downloads for R and R packages (and to spread the load across the CRAN network) it was a good idea to choose a CRAN mirror that was geographically located near to where you were. For that reason, the R download page at inside-r.org had a feature that would automatically choose the nearest CRAN mirror. These days, it's much easier thanks to content delivery networks (CDNs) that transparently create mirrors at cloud hosting sites around the world, and automatically serve from the nearest one. The CRAN mirror https://cloud.r-project.org/ provided by RStudio is delivered by such a CDN and delivers R and R packages from a fast server at a nearby location. If use Microsoft R Open and/or the checkpoint package, the CRAN snapshots at mran.microsoft.com are also served by a global CDN.

Blog feed

We used to feature headlines from the Revolutions blog on the front page of inside-r.org, and of course you can find those blog posts right here. If you're looking for other blogs about R, be sure to check out r-bloggers.com where you can find syndicated blog posts from more than 500 blog posts. 

Anything else?

I'm sure there are a few other inside-r.org features that I've forgotten, like the feed of R questions on StackOverflow. If there's something else you were looking for at inside-r.org but can't find any more, let us know in the comments.

 

To leave a comment for the author, please follow the link and comment on their blog: Revolutions.

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