Collaborative coding for R

Update: 5/01/2015. Just use 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 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.

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