Collaborative coding for R

Update: 5/01/2015. Just use codeshare.io for real-time, in-browser, interactive code editing with syntax highlighting available for R. No account required. Forget about squadedit, which I have found since the original post to be routinely buggy, outright broken at times, and requires an account.

I was recently searching for a web-based collaborative coding option for R. There are plenty of free collaborative coding environments available online for a number of popular languages, but at first I wasn’t finding any which offered syntax highlighting for R. In fact, what I did seem to find was other useRs like me groaning about how silly it was that R is still excluded from them all. It’s not like a number of other coding environments don’t already support syntax highlighting for R, like text editors (Notepad++, SublimeText, etc.). So why not here? Well, I found one! Maybe there are more. But after finding one, I simply stopped searching. Squad.

squad

Squad has paid subscriptions which offer more options, but personally I don’t have a need for this. The free account suffices for now. If for whatever reason I decided I needed the extra bells and whistles to collaborate more fully, I would forgo the syntax highlighting and just use “plain text” as my language of choice in any number of free online collaborative coding environments. And by the time that might ever happen, those will have R support anyhow.

The interface for Squad is a little clunky and annoying in some respects. But it does offer what I want: syntax highlighting for R with a number of different common themes, a chat window to communicate with another collaborator, and it allows simultaneous editing (or restricts that, if you prefer). It would be cool if it showed each collaborator’s cursor position in the text editor (like Google Docs) so everyone knew where each other was, and it would be one more convenient way to see who is in the session without having to look at other tabs or menus. But that’s not that important.

So for useRs who are unaware, there is a current option for you! And if you know of any others with R support, please let me know.

This entry was posted by Matt Leonawicz.

4 thoughts on “Collaborative coding for R

  1. Dear Matt,

    Thanks for the information, codeshare.io seems to be very efficient. However, do you know if there is some solutions to have a collaborative R console in addition in order to test the code ?

    Thank you beforehand for the answer.

    • I’m unsure of such solutions. When I do code sharing it is generally limited to training exercises at work where people share only small reproducible examples of problems they run into. I just copy and paste from the codeshare window to a separate R console.

      Matt

      • Thank you for your answer. Of course, if your colleagues know how to do small reproducible examples, code sharing and a separate R console work fine. Anyway, I found what I was looking for but I didn’t have the opportunity to test it in a real case yet. This solution is here : http://www.r-fiddle.org/#/ .

        Thanks again,
        Yves

      • Yeah, R-fiddle is great. I just wish they had more syntax highlighting options. The black and green is not as easy for me to see. I guess I meant “locally reproducible”. We’ll often share examples which need to be pasted into a local R console on our systems because the code will specify and load data sources stored on a shared server. But I agree R-fiddle is definitely preferable in general.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: