[Rd] Quartz graphic device can be extremely slow in some cases

Wilke, Claus O wilke @ending from @u@tin@utex@@@edu
Tue May 29 16:54:42 CEST 2018


We’re receiving reports of extremely slow rendering by users who are using the new geom_sf() feature in ggplot2. Importantly, this seems to be a graphics device issue, because the exact same plot takes vastly different amounts of time to render under different devices. We’re talking about 2 seconds vs. 100 seconds here, so not a small effect.

In particular, the quartz device on OS X seems to be particularly slow. It appears to be the case that geom_sf() (which draws complex polygons for maps) hits a code-path in quartz that hasn’t been well optimized for performance. Importantly, on the same machine where rendering a specific map with quartz takes 100 seconds, I can render the map to pdf *and* open the pdf in Preview in about 2 seconds, so there is no fundamental reason why it should take that long with quartz.

For discussion and reproducible examples, please see here:

Best wishes,
Claus Wilke
Professor and Department Chair, Integrative Biology
The University of Texas at Austin
2500 Speedway, C0930
Austin, Texas 78712
512 232 2459

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