[R] GUIs under 'unix' (was a Q about R in unix)

Prof Brian Ripley ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Wed Jan 23 09:35:47 CET 2008

Well, a more appropriate subject would help (see the posting guide), as 
would a more precise description of the server OS.

Look at the R GUIs link on http://www.r-project.org/other-projects.html.

I'd look at JGR if you can get it to work - 'unix' is non-specific and it 
is often hard enough to get Java and C-based programs to work work 
together on Linux -- but if 'unix' is Solaris you may be in luck.
It is 'prize-winning' (the Chambers' prize in 2005).

But if you are using a server remotely any GUI may be slow, and I think 
most such R users use the commnand line and edit scripts locally in their 
favourite R editor.

R is developed on the command line so that is fastest and most stable. 
Some of the GUIs are flaky and/or 'awkward' (to quote a poster here about 
one with a name reminiscent of that word -- and I concur, but GUIs are a 
matter of taste).

I used a Solaris box at home until 2003, so I have a lot of experience 
with R on 'unix' (and still run it on Solaris servers, although mainly 
for testing).  I used the command line and edited in Emacs+ESS.  I believe 
you would find that by far the most common mode of work on a Unix box.

People underestimate the work needed in producing a GUI: standard GUI 
platforms provide toolkits and lots of pre-programmed widgets, but even 
with those it is considerable work.

On Tue, 22 Jan 2008, Wensui Liu wrote:

> Any insight?
> I really appreciate your input.
> wensui
> On 1/22/08, Wensui Liu <liuwensui at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Dear All,
>> I finally have chance to have R install on our unix server. However,
>> the system admin asked me if I prefer command-line or gui interface.
>> I have experience with R on linux before but never use R on unix. Here
>> are my questions that I need you guys help.
>> 1) is there a good gui for R/unix like we do for windows and mac?
>> 2) if the answer for 1) is yes, which one is better interms of
>> computing performance and stability, cmd or gui?
>> 3) do you have experience with ess+emacs on unix with R? Any insight?
>> This will be an experimental use of R in our company. If I can make a
>> successful case out of it, we might be able to use it in a larger
>> scale. So your input and help are highly appreciated.
> --
> ===============================
> WenSui Liu
> Statistical Project Manager
> ChoicePoint Precision Marketing
> (http://spaces.msn.com/statcompute/blog)
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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 272866 (PA)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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