[Rcpp-devel] Rcpp advocacy question -- build environment

Dirk Eddelbuettel edd at debian.org
Tue Nov 27 13:33:45 CET 2012

On 27 November 2012 at 04:02, Christian Gunning wrote:
| On Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 3:29 AM, JJ Allaire <jj.allaire at gmail.com> wrote:
| >
| > RStudio has been adding support for sourceCpp recently (preview version
| > here: http://www.rstudio.com/ide/download/preview). One feature particularly
| > helpful for students new to C++ is that for failed compilations the GCC
| > error log is parsed into a navigable list.
| Thanks, that's nice to hear.  I'll keep my eyes out.
| > Another thing related to the Rtools discussion above: Rtools writes it's
| > location to the Windows registry and RStudio uses this to make sure that
| > builds succeed even if the global path hasn't been edited. So setup for your
| > students should be as straightforward as running the RStudio and Rtools
| > installers. Students using other editors should either (a) make sure to edit
| > the system path as suggested by Rtools; or (b) source a script that you
| > provide to fixup their path correctly for the duration of sessions where
| > they want to use sourceCpp.
| That's good news.  I should have mentioned that we'll be enforcing
| Rstudio use, so this behavior really simplifies life.

I would use RStudio, particularly on Windows, where the default GUI is ugly
and no standard editor exists or installs + configures easily.  Plus the
error parsing and gcc/g++ navigation in RStudio is really useful. And the
package build + reload. And help navigation. Etc pp

JJ, to his credit, is extremely careful not to create the impression that
extensions which shine with RStudio would only work in RStudio. Just how eg
markdown and shiny are packages that work everywhere with R, the wonderful
sourceCpp() and cppFunction() extension he added to Rcpp work everywhere. So
there is no dependency.  The only danger, if there is one, is that we hide "R
CMD *" commands further from users which may make it a little harder for them
to migrate.

But I think RStudio is already the best choice for newbies, particularly on
Windows.  I push it onto my colleagues too, and they like it a lot. 

And I say all that will the affection I personally have for Emacs + ESS :)


Dirk Eddelbuettel | edd at debian.org | http://dirk.eddelbuettel.com  

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