Chapter 10 Closing thoughts

There are a lot of things I’m still learning, and a lot of other ways to do what we’ve done together here. Here are some final thoughts related to things I wish I still had a better grasp on.

Table formatting

Table formatting is ugly with kable(). There are alternatives to kable that are specifically designed for .docx output. These are lovely alternatives to use if you are only outputting to Word (or HTML), but I have repeatedly run into problems with these other options playing nice when alternating between .pdf and .docx outputs.

Table formatting packages for .docx outputs:

Parameter files: A neater, nicer way?

In its current format, all your writing is in R Markdown except when it comes to your pre-body text, which have to be done in the doc_preface.tex. This is not a huge concern, though eventually down the line it would be nice to somehow incorporate this text into R Markdown documents as well for total continuity. Alas, today is not that day.

Additionally, providing more than style specifications to Word documents is a tricky business, and one I do not have a firm grasp on. At the moment, the .docx template provided tells R Markdown/bookdown how to style the document, but does not include the abstract.

My rationalization for not worrying about this is that the .docx versions, for me, are intermediary; they are not the final product, and so fussing about the fine grained details is not a good use of time. However, it may be the case that someone down the line would prefer to use a .docx output every step of the way, right up until the final submission. In this case, more tweaking would need to be done.

I have many more complaints about outputting to word (see Table gripes up above), but I think these limitations are not related to the fact that solutions don’t exist, but that I haven’t figured them out yet and have decided to stop worrying.

Collaboration: still a hurdle

As mentioned in Section 7, collaborating with other people who rely on a very different system can still be a challenge. That being said, I think finding a happy medium, which at this point may still require some minor sacrifices from each party, is fully worth it. I know this is a hot topic for researchers everywhere, and have confidence that options will continue to expand as people keep contributing to package development. That’s one of the many lovely things about the #rstats open source community!