Q: I don’t quite understand the concept of the sassy system. What is this set of packages?
A: The sassy package is a meta-package that contains five sub-packages: logr, fmtr, libr, reporter, and common. . These five packages work together as an integrated system. The system was written primarily to make regulatory reporting in R easier. The system borrows several concepts from SAS® software, and that is why it is called sassy.
Q: What was the motivation behind writing the sassy packages? There are already +10,000 R packages? Was it really necessary to write more?
A: The sassy packages were written to fill gaps in the way R deals with accessing, formatting, and reporting data, plus the logging of those activities. Some of the functionality of the sassy system is redundant with existing packages. But these packages do not work together, or were not easy to use. The advantage of the sassy packages is that they were written as a complete ecosystem.
For instance, the libr and reporter packages know about the logr package, and will log their operations automatically. Another example is the fmtr package can assign a “format” attribute that can be picked up and used during reporting with the reporter package, or when viewing a data dictionary from the libr package. There are many more ways these packages compliment each other. This integration is something that did not exist in R previously, and makes the sassy system interesting.
Q: I am interested in using the sassy system, but I don’t have SAS® installed. Is it required?
A: No. The sassy system is just R packages. They are written mostly in Base R, and require no other software to run.
Q: I don’t have a background in SAS®. I just know R. Can I use the sassy packages?
A: Yes. No background in SAS® is necessary to use these packages. SAS® users will see some similarity between sassy functions and functions from SAS®. In the end, however, the sassy packages are pure R packages, and can be used effectively by any R programmer. R users will probably find the concepts introduced by the sassy system to be very useful, and more efficient than the equivalent concepts from Base R.
Q: Why do I need to install/load the sassy package? Can’t I just install and load each of the packages independently?
A: Yes, you can. The sassy package just makes it more convenient, in the same way that the tidyverse meta-package makes it more convenient to use the packages in that system.