[R] Re: R-1.1.0 is released : GUI

Peter Dalgaard BSA p.dalgaard at biostat.ku.dk
Thu Jun 15 14:57:53 CEST 2000

Mathieu (Castor) Ros <mathieu.ros at bigfoot.com> writes:

> En réponse à Peter Dalgaard BSA <p.dalgaard at biostat.ku.dk>:
> hello all,
> > 
> > I've rolled up R-1.1.0.tgz a moment ago. 
> > ... 
> >     o	New package tcltk, providing interface and language bindings for
> woooh, this is great !
> I know it must have been discussed before but I'd like to know why not to use 
> java (awt,swing...?) instead of tcl/tk. It would be a better solution for the 
> portability (the same GUI for MS-Win & linux/unix), even if java is not open 
> source (?) (ok, I just understood, sorry for this mail ;)
> Thanks to all who must have worked hard on this topic, I'm also one of those 
> who think that R needs a minimum of GUI (and not only for MS-windows).
> regards,

Actually, the amount of interface glue is surprisingly small. The
basic reason for using tcltk (I'm deliberately not saying "choosing",
because we're not committed to using just the one possible interface)
is the ease with which language bindings can be done. It was simply
the path of least resistance at this time.

Take a look at the demos and the man page examples and you'll see that
it mainly does simple syntactic replacements from R to Tcl. The main
reason that this is doable is that both languages are imperative in
nature -- figuring out how to do something similar with an
object-oriented library such as wxWindows is much harder (ideas on how
to do it are welcome) even if the library itself may be faster and
more elegant. Same thing applies to Java, although we do have a .Java
interface in the works.

Tcl/Tk *is* highly portable to both Windows and Mac and the new
Windows version contains the same package. Since Tcl/Tk is not used
for the system console (yet...) this makes things a little
schizophrenic, but it allows you an easy path to building popup forms
and so forth. 

   O__  ---- Peter Dalgaard             Blegdamsvej 3  
  c/ /'_ --- Dept. of Biostatistics     2200 Cph. N   
 (*) \(*) -- University of Copenhagen   Denmark      Ph: (+45) 35327918
~~~~~~~~~~ - (p.dalgaard at biostat.ku.dk)             FAX: (+45) 35327907
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