How to develop good R packages (for open science)

I was invited to an exciting ecology & R hackathon in my capacity as a co-editor for rOpenSci onboarding system of packages. It also worked well geographically since this hackathon was to take place in Ghent (Belgium) which is not too far away from my new city, Nancy (France). The idea was to have me talk about my “top tips on how to design and develop high-quality, user-friendly R software” in the context of open science, and then be a facilitator at the hackathon.

The talk topic sounded a bit daunting but as soon as I started preparing the talk I got all excited gathering resources – and as you may imagine since I was asked to talk about my tips I did not need to try & be 100% exhaustive. I was not starting from scratch obviously: we at rOpenSci already have well-formed opinions about such software, and I had given a talk about automatic tools for package improvement whose content was part of my top tips.

As I’ve done in the past with my talks, I chose to increase the impact/accessibility of my work by sharing it on this blog. I’ll also share this post on the day of the hackathon to provide my audience with a more structured document than my slides, in case they want to keep some trace of what I said (and it helped me build a good narrative for the talk!). Most of these tips will be useful for package development in general, and a few of them specific to scientific software.

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Names of b.....s badder than Taylor Swift, a class in women's studies?

Once again, a Twitter trend sent me to my R prompt… Here is a bit of context. My summary: Taylor Swift apparently plays the bad girl in her new album and a fan of hers asked a question…

The tweet was then quoted by many people mentioning badass women, and I decided to have a look at these heroes!

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Where to live in the US

I was fascinated by this xkcd comic about where to live based on your temperature preferences. I also thought it’d be fun to try to make a similar one from my R session! Since I’m no meteorologist and was a bit unsure of how to define winter and summer, and of their relevance in countries like, say, India which has monsoon, I decided to focus on a single country located in one hemisphere only and big enough to offer some variety… the USA! So, dear American readers, where should you live based on your temperature preferences?

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You beautiful, naïve, sophisticated newborn series

My husband and I recently started watching the wonderful series “Parks and recreation” which was recommended to me by my fellow R-Lady Jennifer Thompson in this very convincing thread. The serie was even endorsed by other R-Ladies. Jennifer told me the first two seasons are not as good as the following ones, but that it was worth it to make it through them. We actually started enjoying the humor and characters right away!

Then, this week while watching the show, one of the characters did a very basic text analysis that made me feel like imitating him for a blog post – my husband told me it was very Leslie of me to plan something while doing something else which made me very proud. I tested my idea on other Leslie fans, and they seemed to think it was a great idea… and that this post should be the beginning of a series of R-Ladies blog posts about Parks and recreation!

In this two-short-part blog post, I’ll therefore inaugurate this series, what an honor!

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R-Ladies global tour

It was recently brought to my attention by Hannah Frick that there are now sooo many R-Ladies chapters around the world! R-Ladies is a world-wide organization to promote gender diversity in the R community, and I’m very grateful to be part of this community through which I met so many awesome ladies! Since we’re all connected, it has now happened quite a few times that R-Ladies gave talks at chapters outside of their hometowns. An R-Lady from Taiwan giving a talk in Madrid while on a trip in Europe and another one doing the same in Lisbon, an R-Lady from San Francisco presenting at the London and Barcelona chapters thanks to a conference on the continent, an R-Lady from Uruguay sharing her experience for the New York City and San Francisco chapters… It’s like rockstars tours!

Therefore we R-Ladies often joke about doing an exhaustive global tour. Hannah made me think about this tour again… If someone were to really visit all of the chapters, what would be the shortest itinerary? And could we do a cool gif with the results? These are the problems we solve here.

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