[R] The hidden costs of GPL software?

John Fox jfox at mcmaster.ca
Fri Nov 19 16:40:53 CET 2004

Dear Peter,

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Peter Dalgaard [mailto:p.dalgaard at biostat.ku.dk] 
> Sent: Friday, November 19, 2004 5:46 AM
> To: John Fox
> Cc: r-help at stat.math.ethz.ch
> Subject: Re: [R] The hidden costs of GPL software?
> "John Fox" <jfox at mcmaster.ca> writes:
> > I don't think that
> > it would be hard (although it would be time-consuming) to produce a 
> > much broader extension, but the result (in my opinion) would be as 
> > dubiously useful as the GUIs for SAS or S-PLUS.
> Strategically, that might actually be a valid (and valiant) 
> design goal! From my limited experience with Rcmdr and SAS 
> Analyst, I'd say that Rcmdr is almost there, just a few 
> little niggles like not remembering values from the last time 
> a form was filled in.

I've thought about remembering dialog values, but I guess so far I've been
too lazy to do it or, to put a better construction on it, too distracted by
other things. It shouldn't be hard to do -- just a matter of maintaining a
data base of previous entries that are flushed when the active data set
changes. Actually, the linear-model and generalized-linear-model dialogs
already do this.

I'd be interested in the other little niggles as well.

> > By the way, if there were something I
> > could wish for here it would be a slightly broader set of 
> Tk widgets 
> > to be included with the Tcl/Tk that installs with R for 
> Windows, since 
> > using widgets outside of this set creates installation 
> obstacles for 
> > lower-level users.
> Argh. Please stop poking at my guilty conscience.... Wrapping 
> Tcl/Tk extensions as R packages has been on my wish list too 
> for some time, with tktable as the obvious first candidate. 
> (It's not just on Windows; the default Unix/Linux installs of 
> Tcl/Tk tend to be pretty minimal too. On Windows we have this 
> instructive twist on the BSD/GPL debacle, that ActiveState 
> made a very nice Tcl/Tk distribution with all sorts of 
> "batteries included", but we cannot bundle it with R as they 
> are restricting redistribution.)

I certainly don't want to press this issue, since I'm grateful for what
you've already done (and it's surprising how much mileage one can get from
the basic widget set). I see this as primarily a Windows problem because
users of other computing platforms (possibly with the exception of some Mac
users) tend to be more sophisticated about installing software.


> -- 
>    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

More information about the R-help mailing list