[Rd] PGF Device

Jeffrey Horner jeff.horner at vanderbilt.edu
Wed Jan 31 22:43:46 CET 2007

Duncan Murdoch wrote:
> On 1/31/2007 8:49 AM, Prof Brian Ripley wrote:
>> On Wed, 31 Jan 2007, Duncan Murdoch wrote:
>>> On 1/30/2007 8:50 PM, jtxx000 wrote:
>>>> Greetings all,
>>>> PGF is a package for LaTeX which works with both ps
>>>> and pdf output without any nasty hacks like pictex.
>>>> Is there any technical reason why there could not be a
>>>> PGF graphic device for R?  If not, I'm going to try to
>>>> throw one together.  Any tips for getting started?
>>> The existing drivers are in the grDevices package.  I would start with
>>> one of those (the picTeX driver would probably be most similar) and go
>>> from there.  Alternatively, start from devNULL.c and fill in the blanks.
>> Please don't start from pictex (it is only half implemented, including no 
>> real font metrics).  If you need Type1 fonts, I suggest you start from the 
>> postscript/PDF driver.
>>> Someone else may be able to offer advice about whether you should be
>>> targetting this to be your own package, or for inclusion in the R
>>> source.  In the past it's been impossible to create a driver in a
>>> package, and there's been talk about adding enough to the API to allow
>>> this, but I don't know whether that's in place yet.
>> There are several devices in packages, and this has been possible since at 
>> least R 1.4.0 (from 2001).  There used to be gtkDevice (still on CRAN, but 
>> old Gtk), GNOMEdevice (never finished) and an SVG driver 
>> (http://www.darkridge.com/~jake/RSvg/), and there are now cairoDevice on 
>> CRAN, the quartz device in the R.app front-end, and others.
> Yes, I must have been thinking about connections.  Just for the record, 
> is it possible to create a new connection type in a package?

No, but it's been proposed:


Comments are much appreciated.


> Duncan Murdoch
>> Paul Murrell used to have a list of known graphics devices, but I was 
>> unable to locate it quickly.
>> I've written several devices, including pdf(), xfig() and versions of 
>> png() etc.  The hard part is getting text and font metrics working: also 
>> nowadays you need to be prepared to handle UTF-8 text and CJK locales, 
>> which many graphic systems are not up to speed on (including postscript, 
>> pdf and latex).
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