If you’ve ever been to an R workshop I gave, you probably heard me say “if the only thing you get out of this workshop is that RStudio projects are awesome and you should use them, this workshop was worth your time”. And I stand by this statement, they are awesome!1 But sometimes you just want a project-less RStudio! When, you ask? Imagine you have an RStudio project open where you’re writing course slides, or a blog post, or a package… And then imagine a student asks a coding question and you want to run their code quickly but don’t want to populate your environment with the objects that code creates.

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I attended useR! 2012 this past summer and one of the highlights of the conference was a presentation by Yihui Xie and JJ Allaire on knitr. As an often frustrated user of Sweave, I was very impressed with how they streamlined the process of integrating R with LaTeX and other document types, and I was excited to take advantage of the tools. It also occurred to me that these tools, especially the simpler markdown language, could be useful to the students in my introductory statistics course.

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Citizen Statistician

Learning to swim in the data deluge