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

Prof Brian D Ripley ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Sat Jun 17 08:22:28 CEST 2000

On Fri, 16 Jun 2000 cstrato at eunet.at wrote:

> Dear Prof Ripley, dear R developers
> I hope this mail does not upset any of the R developers, in which case
> I apologize. There are some questions which I wanted to ask for some time, but
> did not do. However, the mail of Prof. Ripley regarding Java/Swing did
> confuse me, so I decided to ask the questions now:

Lots of others have already given a lot of insights.  My concern in my
original posting was a practical one, having recently struggled for
some days (and failed) to get a Java/Swing GUI to run. I was only talking
about the GUI side.

> I am using S-Plus and R for some time now and find it very elegant and enjoy
> programming in it. It simplifies coding so much and has so many statistical
> functions built in that it would be great to be able to write programs completely
> in R/S.
> However, I have two problems, which other people have also mentioned in
> r-help a couple of times: I have very large datasets to work with and thus I
> need
> i, the ability to handle large data sets, and
> ii, speed, speed, speed.
> For this reason I am currently thinking to re-write my programs in C++, since
> my program needs 2hrs in S-Plus on a 733MHz machine with 1GB RAM, and
> would take much longer in R.
> Furthermore, it would also be great to have a GUI to work with in R, similar
> to S-Plus.

Um. S-PLUS only has a GUI on Windows.  When that first came out the
reesources it needed were too much for the computers most of us had at the
time. (I had a laptop with a maximum memory of 40Mb, and it needed 48Mb at
least to be happy.)  In my very limited experience TcL/Tk-based GUIs are
much less resource intensive than Java-based ones, and that's an issue.

> My first question is:
> Since S/R is a full featured language it would be great to have a native
> compiler, so that I could write stand-alone programs which profit from the
> full speed, and ability to handle large data-sets, of a stand-alone application.
> Wouldn´t this be an option to consider?
> Related to the first question and to the GUI question is my second point:
> It would be great if I could wrap some S/R code in a GUI, so that other
> people not knowing the language could use my programs.
> Do I understand it write that the bindings to Tcl/Tk offer just this possibility?

Yes.  On Windows you can also (now) program the GUI used for the port, in C
at negligible run-time cost.

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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