FAQ

Q: Why should I use this package when I could be using shiny or d3 directly?

A: We fully agree that this package is not the be-all end-all. We think shiny is a great platform for creating web apps in R, and if you know shiny/d3/both you are probably as good or better with interactive figures than we are.

The users with the most to gain by using this package are those that are good enough with R to run analyses and produce presentable data, but may not have the programming background and/or time to code up a shiny app or d3 visualization to present their data. Check out this comparison of the amount of R and javascript it requires to create a similar figure using each option.

Q: OK, your platform is kind of nice, but I don’t really work with health data. Am I out of luck?

A: Not at all! Since our collective interest is in health-related data, we’ve started developing figures for this package with that in mind. But if you have a visualization or an idea for one and you think a lot of people will get use out of it, write it up and let us know.

Q: I want an interactive figure that does X, but your package doesn’t have that. What should I do?

A: Can you write the d3 to make it happen? Then develop for healthvis [LINK]!

Otherwise, describe what you want and send it along. If we think the figure could be useful for other people as well, we’ll add it to the package.

Q: I’m using function Y in your package and it doesn’t do exactly what I want. What gives?

A: We’ve tried to make the functions in our package fairly generic and easy-to-use, and we’ve had to make some customization and aesthetic decisions for you as a result. Please let us know what it is you wish you could do. We’ll consider adding that functionality if it seems to have wide appeal, or we’ll try to help you with your specific case.

Q: Why isn’t your package on CRAN?

A: At least at the outset, we think there are going to be a lot of updates to the package, some possibly major. We want to make sure that these get rolled out quickly and that all of our users know about them and get them just as quickly. Stay tuned to the blog and twitter (@rhealthvis) and pull new versions regularly! Once things stabilize, we will consider submitting to CRAN.

Q: Sometimes the form on my figure doesn’t validate the input correctly. Any idea why>

A: Yes – if the variable name for the input that’s not validating contains some special character (such as a period), it seems to disable the validation. We are trying to resolve this as we speak! We are also going to expand the types of input fields and allow for a bit more customization (such as custom ranges and initial values).

Q: My question still hasn’t been answered. What kind of FAQ is this?

A: Email us!