[R-pkg-devel] how to make "r-release-osx-x86_64-mavericks" machine support rgl 3D plots

Dr Gregory Jefferis jefferis at mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk
Wed Dec 30 21:54:14 CET 2015

Dear Duncan,

On 8 Oct 2015, at 22:10, Duncan Murdoch wrote:

> On 08/10/2015 4:41 PM, Dr Gregory Jefferis wrote:


>> I have a package which imports rgl i.e. rgl is loaded on package
>> startup. A number of examples (not tests) use rgl features and I do 
>> not
>> want these to be run on CRAN.
>> Is there a way to configure rgl.useNULL to handle this situation?
> I don't think so, but I don't think you really want that.
> options(rgl.useNULL = TRUE)
> doesn't stop rgl from running, it just stops it from trying to display
> anything.  So you could put code like
> if (!interactive())
> options(rgl.useNULL = TRUE)
> into your .onLoad function for your package, and it wouldn't try to 
> open
> a display on CRAN, or anywhere else that wasn't interactive.

I tried following this suggestion, but this has the unintended (for me) 
consequence that it is no longer possible to get rgl snapshots e.g. in 
knitr when rgl.useNULL=TRUE? From what I can see writeWebGL works fine 
but snapshot3d does not and this is not quite what I was expecting 
(though it seems fair enough in retrospect).

Is there a workaround to get snapshots out of a RGL null display?

If not, I think I am back to square 1 in terms of trying to figure out 
how to suppress rgl *examples* (tests are easy) on CRAN.

With many thanks,


> sessionInfo()
R version 3.2.3 (2015-12-10)
Platform: x86_64-apple-darwin13.4.0 (64-bit)
Running under: OS X 10.9.5 (Mavericks)

[1] en_GB.UTF-8/en_GB.UTF-8/en_GB.UTF-8/C/en_GB.UTF-8/en_GB.UTF-8

attached base packages:
[1] stats     graphics  grDevices utils     datasets  methods   base

other attached packages:
[1] nat.nblast_1.6.1 catmaid_0.6      httr_1.0.0       nat_1.8.1        
rgl_0.95.1435    devtools_1.9.1

loaded via a namespace (and not attached):
  [1] Rcpp_0.12.2        formatR_1.2.1      plyr_1.8.3         
nabor_0.4.6        tools_3.2.3
  [6] nat.utils_0.5.1    digest_0.6.8       jsonlite_0.9.19    
memoise_0.2.1      filehash_2.3
[11] igraph_1.0.1       curl_0.9.4         yaml_2.1.13        spam_1.3-0 
[16] knitr_1.11         dendroextras_0.2.1 grid_3.2.3         R6_2.1.1   
[21] magrittr_1.5       codetools_0.2-14   htmltools_0.2.6    
rsconnect_0.3.79   stringi_1.0-1

Gregory Jefferis, PhD
Division of Neurobiology
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology
Francis Crick Avenue
Cambridge Biomedical Campus
Cambridge, CB2 OQH, UK


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