When the RStudio first came on the scene in February 2011, there wasn't much in the way of tools for developers using the R language. The R GUI on Windows and Mac had a basic code-editing window, and there were a couple of menu-based GUIs like Rattle and R Commander that were aimed more at those who would prefer not to program in the R language. But at the time, the only real integrated development environments (IDEs) for R were ESS for Emacs, the Revolution R IDE (which has since been superseded by R Tools for Visual Studio).
While RStudio has been an enormously useful IDE for R since day 1, it's officially been in "beta" status all of this time. But last week, RStudio released the first official production version, RStudio 1.0. Check out that link for the release history of RStudio and all that's been added to it over the last 6 years, but this release also adds major new functionality, including:
- Support for R Notebooks, a new interactive document format combining R code and output. It's similar to (but not based on) Jupyter Noteooks, in that an R Notebook includes chunks of R code that can be processed independently (as opposed to R Markdown documents that are processed all at once in batch mode.)
- GUI support for the sparklyr package, with menus and dialogs for connecting to a Spark cluster, and for browsing and previewing the available Spark Dataframe objects.
- Profiling tools for measuring which parts of your R code are consuming the most processing time, based on the profvis package.
- Dialogs to import data from file formats including Excel, SAS and SPSS, based on the readr, readxl and haven packages.
RStudio is open source, and available for download now on Windows, Mac and Linux. Congratulations to the RStudio team on the 1.0 release, about which you can learn more at the link below.
RStudio blog: Announcing RStudio v1.0!