Future directions of R for Windows?
Prof Brian Ripley
ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Thu Apr 15 19:18:37 CEST 1999
Now rw0640 is released, we have achieved our main goal of being able to
build easily new versions from the Unix sources, and the R functionality is
as complete a copy as we can achieve easily. We are now thinking of
possible enhancements, and would like your comments on the following ideas.
o Use a standard MDI interface like MS Office's, say. Would you
prefer an MDI interface to the current one, and if so is the
`standard' `look and feel' important?
o Replace the help system by standard Windows help files. Would
you like this instead of text help, html help or both?
o rw0640 implements offline printing via latex. Do you anticipate
using this? (It needs lots of extra files.) Would printing from
a Windows help file be an adequate replacement?
o Build an R dll that can be linked into other applications to drive
effectively an R command-line by passing input strings. Possibly
versions without and without on-screen graphics.
o Implement inter-process communications, either
- Windows-style (DDE and ActiveX automation) or
- CORBA-style (real standards)
This might allow R to be called from a spreadsheet or Visual Basic
front-end, for example.
o Would you prefer an installer as well as / instead of the
current set of smallish zip files?
o How important is it that R can be built from source with free
tools? (We are not contemplating requiring any new tools to
install packages, but a Windows-standard interface probably
requires a commercial compiler with MFC.)
We would also welcome other suggestions. Some of this appears easy,
some rather hard, so there are no guarantees that anything will be done.
I am posting this to R-announce to reach most Windows users of R: PLEASE
reply directly to Guido and I, or cc only R-devel.
Brian D. Ripley, ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Professor of Applied Statistics, http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/
University of Oxford, Tel: +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road, +44 1865 272860 (secr)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK Fax: +44 1865 272595
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