[R-SIG-Mac] RAqua

Jan de Leeuw deleeuw at stat.ucla.edu
Wed Jul 2 10:43:04 MEST 2003

RAqua is really beginning to look good. There are some things
I don't like, though. Better have them out in the open. Some of
them are probably in line to be fixed anyway. I am adding a
little wish list.

Having input and output in different windows, or in different
sections of one window, is bad, because it breaks the
perceptual link between input and output. After a while, the user does
not know anymore which input produced which output, and
so on.

Having buffered output makes this even worse. If my
program takes one hour and does 100 iterations, I want
it to write something to the terminal. Otherwise I dont even
know if it's running, and the link between my actions and
what I see gets even more lost. It's like submitting a
batch job to your local mainframe.

Having a monolithic application is ultimately is mistake,
I think, although it may be a useful option. A large framework
with all of R, except for a small GUI application which can
be anywhere (not necessarily in /Applications, which I
treat like /usr, so  it only contains Apple provided stuff).
Other GUI's share the framework, including Terminal
and future GUI's written in RCocoa (I wish).

The default working directory seems to be set to /,
which is obviously a bad idea.

The search stuff in R.help does not work (no doubt
an applet problem).

We need: a source code editor, either external and
linked to RAqua, or included. We need: R services
(Evaluate Command, Evaluate Expression, Search in
Manual from any Cocoa application).

The menu items send R commands to the Console. I
think it would be OK to have them send commands to
a history window (perhaps marked as having
been send from a menu), but having them in the console
sort of makes using Menu commands look rather stupid
(it says: if you had known what you were doing, you would have
used the console in the first place).

It is known that there is a hidden API to access the Window
Manager from command-line applications. If we knew what
the commands were, we could use Terminal.app and we
could uses pipes, so I hope Apple will release this at some

Jan de Leeuw; Professor and Chair, UCLA Department of Statistics;
Editor: Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Journal of Statistical  
US mail: 9432 Boelter Hall, Box 951554, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1554
phone (310)-825-9550;  fax (310)-206-5658;  email: deleeuw at stat.ucla.edu
homepage: http://gifi.stat.ucla.edu
           No matter where you go, there you are. --- Buckaroo Banzai

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