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

Prof Brian D Ripley ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Thu Jun 15 20:32:09 CEST 2000

On Thu, 15 Jun 2000, Mathieu (Castor) Ros wrote:

> 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
> > 	the Tcl/Tk graphical interface toolkit. This makes it possible
> > 	to do some rather nifty things with buttons and entry fields
> > 	and so forth in very few lines of code.  It is still somewhat
> > 	experimental so don't go churning out thousands of lines of
> > 	GUI code and then blame us for changing the API later on. It does
> > 	not currently work with GNOME because of event loop differences.
> > 	See demo(tkttest) and demo(tkdensity). 
> 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,

1) Do you know the resources needed for Java/Swing?  Last time I looked
A Java 1.2 Runtime Environment was several times the size of R (Tcl/Tk
is alrady sizeable) and there were severe demands on the system if Swing
was in use. (Like, a 96MB Solaris machine was too small, and working to
a remove Xserver was faulty.)

2) Swing might look the same on any platform, but it looks non-native on

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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