Chapter 13. Contributing

Hold the door, hold the door.

—Hodor

In Chapter 12, we equipped you with the tools to tackle large-scale and real-time data processing in Spark using R. In this final chapter we focus less on learning and more on giving back to the Spark and R communities or colleagues in your professional career. It really takes an entire community to keep this going, so we are counting on you!

There are many ways to contribute, from helping community members and opening GitHub issues to providing new functionality for yourself, colleagues, or the R and Spark community. However, we’ll focus here on writing and sharing code that extends Spark, to help others use new functionality you can provide as an author of Spark extensions using R. Specifically, you’ll learn what an extension is, the different types of extensions you can build, what building tools are available, and when and how to build an extension from scratch.

You will also learn how to make use of the hundreds of extensions available in Spark and the millions of components available in Java that can easily be used in R. We’ll also cover how to create code natively in Scala that makes use of Spark. As you might know, R is a great language for interfacing with other languages, such as C++, SQL, Python, and many others. It’s no surprise, then, that working with Scala from R will follow similar practices that make R ideal for providing easy-to-use interfaces that make data processing productive and that are loved ...

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