x-language coding

A simple demonstration of coding with Python and R within the same IDE using Quarto.


Julian Oliver Dörr


Quarto weaves together narrative text and code to produce elegantly formatted output. Most interestingly, Quarto executes code written in different languages. The following gives an illustration of cross-language coding in Quarto (here using R and Python - other languages, e.g. Julia, are supported as well).

Cross-language coding


R code chunks are written and executed just as we would do it in R Markdown. So, for users of R Markdown this should be very familiar.

if (!require("pacman")) install.packages("pacman")
pacman::p_load(tidyverse, palmerpenguins, reticulate, viridis)
data(penguins, package = "palmerpenguins")
penguins <- penguins[complete.cases(penguins),]

       aes(x = flipper_length_mm, y = bill_length_mm)) +
  geom_point(aes(color = species, shape = species)) +
  scale_color_viridis(discrete = TRUE) +
    title = "Flipper and bill length",
    subtitle = "Dimensions for penguins at Palmer Station LTER",
    x = "Flipper length (mm)", y = "Bill length (mm)",
    color = "Penguin species", shape = "Penguin species"
  ) +


The beauty comes into play when we add Python chunks of code.

species island bill_length_mm ... body_mass_g sex year
Adelie Torgersen 39.1 ... 3750 male 2007
Adelie Torgersen 39.5 ... 3800 female 2007
Adelie Torgersen 40.3 ... 3250 female 2007

We simply switched from R to Python working on the penguins data set.

Now, let us train a simple classifier using the scikit-learn module in Python.

Precision Recall F1-Score Support
Adelie 1.00 0.95 0.98 22
Chinstrap 1.00 1.00 1.00 15
Gentoo 0.97 1.00 0.98 30
Average/Total 0.99 0.99 0.99 67


Great, with Quarto it is possible to write reports, presentations, … using different languages. Here, we have made use of R's tidyverse for data preprocessing and visualization and Python's Machine Learning frameworks (scikit-learn in this example). So, Quarto really enables you to pick the best of both worlds.