Base R When Possible, Packrat When Not

I gave a talk at Monday night’s Winston-Salem R Users Group that covered a lot of the base R package, and also showed a brief demo of how to use packrat when packages are necessary, and so is sharing code across multiple team members and/or environments.

The idea came from a comment at a previous meeting about the dangers of trying to maintain common versions of code within and across teams, not just to avoid surprising errors, but also to ensure reproducibility.

So my recommended approach was:

  1. Learn as much as you can about the details of the base package. It’s a huge package, and a lot of common needs can be handled simply and effectively.
  2. When you need a package (and there are certainly useful and necessary packages), use a system like packrat to keep dependencies systematically managed.

Most of the content wouldn’t be a surprise to daily R users, but I did throw in some things that either 1) surprised me when I first learned them, or 2) increased my productivity so much that I think everyone should know them.

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Presenting Firebase to TriadJS

This past Thursday I had the opportunity to present to the TriadJS meetup group about rapid application development with Firebase.

I don’t do a ton of pure web development, but I like when I get to work on a project where I can explore a new tool, and this presentation allowed me to summarize the pros and cons that I found while working on the social media analysis dashboard that I’ve written about as a case study.

Continue reading “Presenting Firebase to TriadJS”