[Rd] raster support in graphics devices

Simon Urbanek simon.urbanek at r-project.org
Tue Dec 1 15:16:32 CET 2009


On Nov 30, 2009, at 23:48 , Charlotte Maia wrote:

> I consider raster graphics highly problematic in statistics.
> People get caught up in the idea of creating pretty pictures, rather
> than effectively visualising information.
> Plus a lot of people (who should know better) needlessly put raster
> images inside reports and articles (even books), which either makes
> the files large (and very difficult to view), or creates blurry
> images, or both.

I would like to point out that implicitly you have been already using  
raster graphics all the time in very inefficient form in heatmaps etc.  
The point here is not really about added functionality for the user  
but efficiency, because now we can finally use efficient encoding of  
heatmaps, matrix visualizations, overlay data over satellite images  
etc. Although all this was always possible in R, it was very  
inefficient and caused unwanted side effects (see the constant anti- 
aliasing discussions).


> It's always good to have more functionality.
> However, I certainly hope that most of the R community stick to vector
> graphics (with conservative colour use), unless it is absolutely
> necessary to do otherwise (and the only example I can think of, is
> modelling images themselves).
> On a side issue, I have found that R plots tend to be getting slower
> over the years.
> I think cairo was a bad move, however that's just my opinion...
> regards
> -- 
> Charlotte Maia
> http://sites.google.com/site/maiagx/home
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