[Rd] How graphical an interface should the default be?
Prof Brian Ripley
ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Fri Feb 25 12:11:01 CET 2005
install/update.packages will have a lot of changes in 2.1.0, and I have
been adding some widgets to go along with this.
- Rather than just CRAN and BIOC, you have a character vector of
repositories. There is a function setRepositories() to set the
- There is no default CRAN, but a function chooseCRANmirror() to set a
mirror, which is invoked if you try to access CRAN without setting a
- update.packages(ask="graphics") brings up a listbox for you to de-select
packages (all available updates are pre-selected).
- install.packages() with no/empty pkgs argument brings up a listbox of
all available packages (including those inside bundles).
- menu(graphics=TRUE) is implemented.
These can be set up to use widgets where available (Windows, if Tk is
available under X11, I hope Aqua before release), and have a text-mode
fallback (better than the current menu(), but in that spirit). (Except
that is install.packages: text-mode selection from 480 packages even in
three columns is not useful to me, but a scrolling list works well as
Windows users of R already know.)
My question is:
What should be default be?
Options might be:
- use the graphics widget if available.
- make the graphics the default on Windows (it will always be available,
but not necessarily on the right screen under DCOM uses).
- make text-mode the default on Unix.
- do different things for different tools. Currently setRepositories()
and chooseCRANmirror() default to graphics-if-possible, and
update.packages() defaults to text mode (which gives more
I am not really in favour of making the defaults a set of options, but
that is possible.
This is a request for input on what would be a good compromise for general
R users (and not just the R-devel audience).
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 272866 (PA)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK Fax: +44 1865 272595
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