[R] Diagnosing trouble with R-2.0, Fedora Core 2, and Rcmdf

Paul Johnson pauljohn at ku.edu
Mon Oct 11 20:08:39 CEST 2004

Greetings, R-help!

On 2 Fedora Core 2 Linux systems, i've completely erased the previous R 
and all packages and then installed R-2.0 and installed fresh packages.

In using Rcmdr, I see some trouble and I wonder if other people see this 
and if it is due to the tcl/tk, or R, or Rcmdr.  (If readers have not 
yet tried Rcmdr, I recommend it not just because of the GUI it provides, 
but also because Prof. Fox has created several very handy commands, like 
scatter3d, which make it possible to use advanced packages like rgl. 
Rcmdr provides several very handy wrapper commands that "just work" and 
users don't have to fuss over so many details! And, if you are new at R, 
you can use pull down menus and then Rcmdr displays the commands that 
correspond with those menu options. Very educational!)

In no particular order, here are the issues I see with R-2.0 and Rcmdr

1. In the panel to select a dataset from a package (nenu: Data/Data in 
packages), I can type in the name of a dataset, but the GUI will not let 
me choose the name of a package from which to select a dataset. Nothing 
happens when I pick a package name.  (With previous R/Rcmdr, I did not 
have this trouble).

2. When using Rcmdr, some of the output from commands shows in the Rcmdr 
bottom window, but some is sent to the xterm in which R was started. For 
example, with a scatter3d() command, if I add the option 
model.summary=T, the model summary shows in the xterm.  But some other 
models show results in the bottom pane of Rcmdr.  And, it seems to me, 
there are some commands in which I've noticed some of the output going 
to the Rcmdr bottom buffer and  some to the xterm.

3. When I want to exit Rcmdr and choose the pull down "exit from 
Commander and R", I get a Segmentation Fault that closes Rcmdr and R.

4. 3d plots do not display on the screen until I click in the rgl window 
that displays the graph.  This might be a video card/AGP driver problem, 
I suppose.  These systems have the NVidia FX5200 cards and the NVidia 
proprietary X driver.  If other users don't see the same on other kinds 
of systems, I guess that will tell me where the problem lies.

5. At random times, I get an error tcl/tk window popping up with a 
message about MASS and categorical variables.  It says

Error in data(package=parse(text=packageName));
'MASS' must be character string or NULL

It says that over and over, sometimes it has other package names, as in:

Error in data(package=parse(text=packageName));
'relimp' must be character string or NULL

These seem to be harmless?
Paul E. Johnson                       email: pauljohn at ku.edu
Dept. of Political Science            http://lark.cc.ku.edu/~pauljohn
1541 Lilac Lane, Rm 504
University of Kansas                  Office: (785) 864-9086
Lawrence, Kansas 66044-3177           FAX: (785) 864-5700

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