R extensions and interactivity

Yihui Xie is a creative software engineer who works at RStudio.  His R packages are innovative and useful.

1. shiny

Shiny enables you to build interactive web applications straight from R.

2. knitR and animation.

Yihui Xie created a literate programming package for R, called knitR.  knitR enables R code to be embedded in other documents of different file types.  Both knitR and the animation package are the subject of a 2013 journal article by Xie.

The book ‘Dynamic Documents with R and knitr‘ is authored by Xie.

Another author used knitR and some other packages to create a package for an ‘iPython’-style R notebook using markdown to produce the HTML.

3.  htmlwidgets.

This package enables the use of javascript libraries in an HTML document generated R/Markdown or from Shiny.  Before this, it was necessary to work with R objects, and embed in script.  But now the html package includes everything with one line of R code.

4. Leaflets and DataTables.

There is a discussion video at RStudio in which Xie illustrates the use of htmlwidgets in two further packages, Leaflet and DataTables.

5. Xaringan

The xaringan package (with its own self-explanatory xaringan “Presentation Ninja” slideshow) is another of Yihui Xiu’s excellent output.  It is used to create browser-based slides, and relies on the remark.js package, which Xiu recommends you become familiar with before proceeding to use xaringan.   Here’s a link to a recent slideshow by Dr Alison Hill explaining her use of xaringan.

Xaringan has leveraged the work of the remark.js library, which converts markdown into HTML files ready for displaying in a browser.

6. Slidex

Daniel Anderson has recently written a neat package called slidex that will convert pptx (powerpoint) slides into HTML-ready powerpoint slides, by extracting the content and then using R’s xaringan/remark.js to complete the build of the slideshow ready for a browser.

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