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Appsilon’s open source shiny.info package just received a major update and is now available on CRAN. A great solution for development and testing, shiny.info allows for displaying diagnostic information from inside Shiny apps. We’ve also included a number of accessibility features to streamline your work.

What is shiny.info?

shiny.info is a Shiny package developed and released last year through our open source initiative. It was created to assist Shiny developers in software development and testing processes. It allows for displaying various pieces of information (e.g., application version or git commit) in a way that is easily accessible to testers and users. You can read more about the original release here.

shiny.info elements: top left – session info, top right – version, bottom left – git info and inspect button, bottom right – value.

The testing and debugging process is even easier with the current updated version of the shiny.info package. Developers require a range of information to check and resolve reported bugs. The new keyboard shortcuts allow for toggling such information on the screen. Thus, they provide easy access to shiny.info features and enable the tester to gather all essential debugging information quickly at the press of a button – a simple key shortcut displays this information inside the app. For instance, you can quickly identify whether the problem stems from deployment of a wrong version of the application. 

During development, programmers often need to check things that happen inside an application to make sure that everything is working properly. In Shiny, the typical thing to do in a case like this is to use the browser() function to turn on debugging mode. shiny.info makes it incredibly easy to add an “inspect button” that allows you to run browser() function any time you want right from the IDE. 

All of these functionalities can be added to your Shiny application in a fast and easy way with shiny.info.

Try it Yourself

The package is available on the Comprehensive R Archive Network (CRAN) and you can make use of it simply by running install.packages(“shiny.info”).

You might also be interested in other packages in the Appsilon’s open source family, which we developed to solve common programming problems that occur in our daily work: shiny.semantic, semantic.dashboard, shiny.router, and shiny.i18n. If you like what we’re doing, throw us a star on GitHub!

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