[R-SIG-Mac] Mac as R platform

Simon Urbanek simon.urbanek at r-project.org
Tue May 9 08:11:43 CEST 2006


On May 5, 2006, at 12:07 PM, Jason Liao wrote:

> Good morning. I am considering buying a new computer to develop an  
> R package for multi-dimensional Monte Carlo simulation. One  
> requirement is to call, from R, a Fortran 90 program about 1000  
> lines of code. A  C++ version of that program is also available if  
> desired.  Will the new Core Duo Mac be a good development platform  
> in the sense that I will not need to struggle with too many  
> technicalities in linking R with the compiled code? I am asking  
> this because I saw that the binary Mac R distribution in fact has  
> compilers bundled in it. I currently work mostly on Windows and was  
> told that I will have a lot to download and configure if developing  
> on Windows.

in general I think Macs are pretty painless in terms of developing  
packages for R. Most tools come right from Apple with the operating  
system. To complement that the fortran compiler supplied with R (GNU  
Fortran 95) supports F90, so you should be safe (although I'm not  
sure how versatile such package would be). At the development stage  
you shouldn't worry about universal binaries, either. Admittedly, I  
develop even Windows programs on my Mac, because I find it easier to  
cross-compile for Windows on a Mac than to do it in the horrible  
Windows GUI, but that's another story ;). I don't know if that helps,  
but those are just my 2 cents.
However, if you're interested in raw speed (i.e. you actually want to  
run the simulations), you may be better off using dual-core AMD  
Opterons with Linux or Quad-G5 PowerMacs - the Intel CPUs are not  
necessarily fast (although Apple tries to make you believe  
otherwise ;)).


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