Uncommon Ground

Why didn’t I investigate R Notebooks sooner?

I don’t remember when I first heard about R Notebooks, but it was quite a while ago. I finally decided to investigate them last weekend, and I’m hooked. I expect to be doing much of my R work in R notebooks from now on. For purposes of reproducibility, I still plan to extract R code from what are referred to as “chunks” to produce standalone R scripts that I can rerun from the R console to verify my results, but the interactive notebooks will allow me to run chunks as I’m developing new code¬†and¬†to document what I’m doing.

The link above will take you to documentation on R Notebooks. The only downside to them is that to use them you have to use RStudio. That’s not a big downside, since there is a free version available, but I’m still enough of an old fogey that my fingers are used to Emacs, and Emacs is where I generally prefer to edit code. It will take me a while to develop a new workflow, but you can be sure that it will include R Notebooks.

I produced a Randomization demo very quickly once I updated my version of RStudio. I produced HTML simply by saving my notebook to disk. The .nb.html file was automatically produced in the same directory. All I had to do was to upload it to an appropriate directory here. If you have a recent version of RStudio that supports R Notebooks, you can download the Markdown code using the “Code” dropdown at the top right of the page. Simply open the .Rmd file, and RStudio will open it as a notebook. You can then execute chunks yourself to redo the simulation in any way that you care to. That’s even easier than copying and pasting the code I posted earlier.

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