Graphing With R

I took a few days off for Christmas in San Antonio with my parents and my sister. While there, I had the usual tasks for a geek with non-geek relatives: fix computers, fix wifi, fix printers, explain the Internet, explain how stuff works. But in between time spent doing that, and doing family stuff, I learned a bit about R. R is programming language mostly intended to do statistical programming. I don’t know much about that, but I wanted a way to make some graphs that are sometimes difficult to make in Excel.

I think it would be easier to just learn more about Excel, but now I am invested so I am trying to use it as much as possible. Recently at work I added a post to our blog on the impact of JavaScript and concatenating/minifying the code on your website. You can read the about it here At the end of that post, I added an chart describing the final results.

JavaScript tests chart built with R

JavaScript tests chart built with R

Creating a chart like this would probably take me 20-30 minutes in Excel. Building it in R would probably take less time if I knew R like I know Excel. Instead it took me a lot longer. But in getting there I discovered a lot of ways I didn’t like the image. I think Excel is great when you know exactly how you want the final image to appear in the post. I thought I did, but this looks vastly different from that initial version. Tweaking and then having a very repeatable chart within seconds for any dataset is one of R‘s biggest strengths for me.

So how did I get here? Well, R is complicated. Luckily a course on Coursera came up at exactly the right time for me. There is a second course that takes this further that starts next week too.

But assuming that you know the basics of R and just want to see what I did, here is my R Script for this chart (the csv files I am using are the standard ones you can download after running a test on Yottaa):

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font-family: sans-serif;
background-color: white;
font-size: 12px;
margin: 8px;
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font-family: ‘DejaVu Sans Mono’, ‘Droid Sans Mono’, ‘Lucida Console’, Consolas, Monaco, monospace;
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h4 {
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h5 {
font-size:0.9em;
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h6 {
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border: 1px solid #ccc;
white-space: pre-wrap;
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pre code {
display: block; padding: 0.5em;
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code.r, code.cpp {
background-color: #F8F8F8;
}

table, td, th {
border: none;
}

blockquote {
color:#666666;
margin:0;
padding-left: 1em;
border-left: 0.5em #EEE solid;
}

hr {
height: 0px;
border-bottom: none;
border-top-width: thin;
border-top-style: dotted;
border-top-color: #999999;
}

@media print {
* {
background: transparent !important;
color: black !important;
filter:none !important;
-ms-filter: none !important;
}

body {
font-size:12pt;
max-width:100%;
}

a, a:visited {
text-decoration: underline;
}

hr {
visibility: hidden;
page-break-before: always;
}

pre, blockquote {
padding-right: 1em;
page-break-inside: avoid;
}

tr, img {
page-break-inside: avoid;
}

img {
max-width: 100% !important;
}

@page :left {
margin: 15mm 20mm 15mm 10mm;
}

@page :right {
margin: 15mm 10mm 15mm 20mm;
}

p, h2, h3 {
orphans: 3; widows: 3;
}

h2, h3 {
page-break-after: avoid;
}
}

pre .operator,
pre .paren {
color: rgb(104, 118, 135)
}

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color: rgb(88, 72, 246)
}

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color: rgb(0, 0, 205);
}

pre .comment {
color: rgb(76, 136, 107);
}

pre .keyword {
color: rgb(0, 0, 255);
}

pre .identifier {
color: rgb(0, 0, 0);
}

pre .string {
color: rgb(3, 106, 7);
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I am having a lot of fun with R so far and I look forward to seeing what I come up with over the next few weeks. I have a series of posts coming up on the Yottaa Blog and plenty of opportunity to post more charts made with R.