Why isn't there a free collaborative editor for R ?

I use R and LaTeX and I'm quite happy that there exists a free collaborative editor with LaTeX (Overleaf, ex-ShareLatex). Why isn't there a free collaborative editor for R?

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Isn't R Studio Cloud collaborative and free?

I think the OP is not being specific enough, and they are talking about a "collaborative real-time editor" that allows several people to edit the same file using different computers at the same time, seen each others changes in real-time, and as far as I know this feature is not available in RStudio Cloud (I hope just not yet :crossed_fingers:).

HackMD is a collaborative real-time editor of the type you're describing (multiple users can access the same file and see the results of other users' modifications), but it doesn't have specific support for R.

@andresrcs now that I think of it, I believe that R Studio Cloud should support collaboration among multiple users in workspaces or projects. Doesn't it?

I completely agree, even more I think it would be nice to have this functionality in RStudio in general, like JupyterLab is going to have.

BTW, this would be an alternative for the OP's question since also supports an R kernel (but with the shortcomings of working with R in Anaconda).

Ah, there's a misunderstanding :upside_down_face: what I meant is that I think that RStudio Cloud already supports collaborative editing through shared projects and workspaces. I may be wrong though

Well actually that is not the case. From the documentation.

Note that Admins and Moderators in a space can access any project in the space, regardless of the project’s access setting. When an Admin or a Moderator opens another user’s project, they do NOT open a temporary copy and any changes they make will affect the original. If an Admin or Moderator does open a project while another user has it open, the other user will see the message below. We do not yet support simultaneous, collaborative editing.


Ok, thanks for clearing that up!

thank you for your answers :slight_smile: so, for now, we have to wait for a more advanced version of Rstudio cloud, right ?

You might try cocalc. Explore the notes on teaching with cocalc. https://tutorial.cocalc.com/.

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You could give VSCode + Live Share extension + optionally R specific extensions a try.
If you do please let us know how it goes!

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I've been using Microsoft visual studio code (vscode) to write python for a about a year and a half now and for R about 9 months. It is a free and open source text editor that has support for lots of languages and extensions to improve development experience for others. Earlier this year, they released a feature called live share that does exactly what you are looking for -- real-time editing between multiple users remotely. Additionally that update let's you hook vscode up to a remote server to execute your code -- your editor runs on your laptop but the code you send to the console runs over ssh.

Vscode is not at feature full for R compared to RStudio, but you get a built in terminal and git UI that's on the same level. The biggest benefit for me is not having to switch editors to be productive on different projects, but the live collaboration feature might be just what you are looking for.


Indeed, https://CoCalc.com supports (1) simultaneous collaborative editing of .r files, (2) using R in a terminal (with X11 Desktop graphical support) collaboratively with other people, (3) using the R Jupyter Kernel in a collaborative Jupyter notebook, with chat on the side, (4) using R from a Sage worksheet, (5) using RStudio collaboratively via the X11 desktop, but this is more like screen sharing.

We also have a free Docker container that you can run on your own server: https://github.com/sagemathinc/cocalc-docker

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