[R-SIG-Mac] Mac or Windows...?
murdoch at stats.uwo.ca
Fri Nov 10 19:09:20 CET 2006
On 11/10/2006 11:22 AM, Carlos GUERRA wrote:
> Dear friends,
> I’m thinking about buying a MacBook Pro and I wanted to know if anyone can
> tell me what are the major changes, in “R”, between a Mac, and a Windows.
As others have said, R is pretty similar. I'm mainly a Windows user,
but I have an Intel MacBook, and I like R on it better than Windows in
the following ways:
- The editor in R is nicer, with syntax highlighting, syntax hints, etc.
- If you can figure out how to get it going, the XCode debugger is a
nicer source-level debugger for C code in R or R packages than what's
available for gcc code in Windows. (It feels like a professional
debugger, such as you'd get with Microsoft or Borland software, but
those don't support gcc. Insight in Windows feels like a kludge.)
- The console is smarter about offering you previously entered
commands rather than previously entered lines, when you scroll up.
Things I don't like:
- It's a major PITA to figure out how to get XCode working when you're
not doing all your development within it. I think there's a bigger GNU
community in Windows development than in Mac development, so it's easier
to get help.
- The console scroll-back sometimes turns into cursor movement instead.
- There are two incompatible graphics systems available, so packages
like rgl only work half the time: either as X11 packages, or as
(Aqua/Carbon/whatever they call the nice looking graphics). I'd love to
know how to compile it so that it used whichever graphics was present at
run-time, but so far that looks quite hard.
- Subversion has better integration (TortoiseSVN) in Windows than on
the Mac. In fact, there isn't even a binary of version 1.4.x of
Subversion available for download yet, two months after release. But if
you're set up for compiling R, compiling svn isn't a big deal, and if
you're not set up for compiling R, you may have no need for Subversion,
so this isn't much of a problem.
And some irritants that may or may not be relevant:
- The Macbook case has a very sharp edge, which makes my hands quite
sore if I rest them on it as I'm typing. Old Macbook Pros don't have
this problem; hopefully new ones won't either.
- I know Windows tools better so I'm still more comfortable there. I
think there is no Mac equivalent of TortoiseSVN or Beyond Compare (a
graphical diff utility, quite a bit better than what I've found for the
Mac so far).
> Thanks for all
> Carlos GUERRA
> Instituto Politécnico de Viana do Castelo
> Escola Superior Agrária de Ponte de Lima
> Mosteiro de Refóios do Lima
> 4990-706 Ponte de Lima
> MAIL: carlosguerra at esa.ipvc.pt
> TEL: +351 912 407 109
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