RStudio Conference 2020 videos you don’t want to miss

With dozens of RStudio Conference videos now available online, it’s hard to know where to begin. I hope this look at some of my favorites will help get you started!

Error messages in R

I could probably watch Jenny Bryan teach data entry (oh, that looks interesting, maybe I want to try typing in a thousand rows . . . . ). But in this keynote, she tackles a much more compelling topic: dealing with errors in R. There’s a lot of useful advice here, which she shares in an engaging, relatable way. One takeaway: Try the equivalent of a reboot—restart your R session! (I’ve been doing that much more often since returning from the conference.) Video: Object of type ‘closure’ is not subsettable.

New features in RStudio

Wondering what features are coming to the next version of RStudio desktop? RStudio’s Jonathan McPherson outlined several, including modern-era spell check (at last), better cloud usability on iOS, and more screen-reader accessibility for visually impaired users—something that also improves keyboard navigation for all users. Video: RStudio 1.3 Sneak Preview

State of the tidyverse

RStudio Chief Scientist Hadley Wickham reviewed last year’s highlights from the tidyverse and this year’s plans for further development, but he was also fairly forthright in discussing some recent missteps.

In particular, he acknowledged that the initial rollout of “tidy evaluation” launched with a somewhat difficult-to-master syntax and an unreasonable expectation that users would want to learn the detailed computing theory behind it. It turned out that many users didn’t care about the mechanics behind incorporating the tidyverse into their own custom functions; they just wanted to write their code. Since then, tidy eval syntax has been changed to more understandable {{}} double braces.

Wickham also outlined how tidyverse package authors will help users better understand the lifecycle of older functions and if/how some functions may be deprecated. Video: State of the tidyverse

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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