[R] Java/C interface with R

Prof Brian D Ripley ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Fri Sep 17 08:23:12 CEST 1999

On Fri, 17 Sep 1999, Li Dongfeng wrote:

> Prof Brian D Ripley wrote:
> > 
> > > On Thu, 16 Sep 1999, Lionel Siau wrote:
> > >
> > > > Hi,
> > > >
> > > > I'm rarther curious if it is possible to interface C or Java GUIs with
> > > > the underlying R statistical engine. SPLUS has something like this in
> > > > S+SDK.


> > I think the future of this has to be inter-process communications,
> > like CORBA or (shudder) (D)COM.  There is some example code for the latter
> > on Windows, which should appear in the next release: we can let you
> > see a version shortly if you really want to get on with it. (It works well,
> > but it does not handle errors well yet).  And an R/CORBA interface
> > is also under construction, I understand.
> That's really exciting! I am creating (another) R web interface,
> this time using an long-running R subprocess(the other existing
> R web servers start one R process per request). But the subprocess
> will end if the submited source has any error. An R/CORBA interface
> with good error handling will be great for web integration.


(i) It is R that will need the good error handling, and better error
handling is planned but is not imminent.

(ii) Running multiple external requests to a single R process needs a lot
of thought. What happens when two users try to do similar things? Suppose
two people want to send slightly different versions of the same data set to
R and get plots back? How are you going to ensure that they don't
interfere?  What is to stop one user overriding some system functions with
copies in the workspace that will persist for all subsequent users?

I see this as a lot more complicated than the original question (a GUI for
R) unless the capabilities of R are severely curtailed.

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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