Building a User Experience for R Scripts on macOS

Over the years, I've developed some really useful and flexible R functions that I rely on all the time. I've worked hard to bundle these functions into a package for my own use. Now I'd like to build some kind of graphical front end for them, so that I'm not always working at the command line.

My past experience had a lot of MS-Windows development. I wrote lots of code in various languages to front-end an underlying API, which is how I view my R package. These apps would collect parameters from the user and then built a syntactically correct API call. But I've left Windows behind a long time ago and now work exclusively on macOS, where all my development has been all at the command line.

I'm not wildly comfortable with Xcode. I've started and stopped a hundred times with Shiny, but it's never felt natural to me. What options have you used to build a UX for an R package?

Interested in the community's view on this subject. Appreciate any insights.

-- Robert

This might not be what you want to hear... but I would recommend attempt 101 at Shiny. It really is the gold standard for giving R code a practical user interface. If you are looking for a more guided experience, trying a workflow package for shiny (golem would be a good example) may be the way to go.

I suppose, as you mention, you have experience in other languages, and so that might make something like Dash for R a more live option for you, but barring that, I think you'll be happiest in the end just biting the bullet to learn Shiny.

And, on the upside, the community is always here to help as you try to get your teeth into it.

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Appreciate that response, Derek.

I've always enjoyed writing the plumbing code, but in my past, I liked very much, too, the challenge of making the guts easily accessible to an end-user. I miss the challenge of doing that in R.

In my heart of hearts I know what you're saying makes sense.

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