[R-SIG-Mac] Mac or Windows...?

Bill Northcott w.northcott at unsw.edu.au
Sat Nov 11 21:07:46 CET 2006

On 11/11/2006,  Duncan Murdoch wrote:
> 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:

Just a couple of comments from a mainly Mac user.

>   - It's a major PITA to figure out how to get XCode working when  
> you're
> not doing all your development within it.

In my experience, it gets better with each iteration and there is a  
payback from the learning curve.

>   - 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.

I am not quite sure what that would mean.  Both are always present in  
the current default installs of MacOS, but yes it is an issue because  
of conflicts such as that the Aqua Tcl/Tk GUI and stuff that uses it  
cannot be started from the Aqua Mac GUI (all buried in stuff about  
menu bars and event loops).  X11 Tcl/Tk will work within the Aqua  
GUI.  Either GUI can be started from a shell.
>   - 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.

As others have observed Xcode, and Textmate both integrate nicely  
with SVN.  I would add that my own favourite BBEdit also has CVS and  
SVN integration and my favourite GUI for diff.
Also SvnX is a magic GUI for creating, browsing and managing code  
> And some irritants that may or may not be relevant:
>   - 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).

I think that is important too.  One is often most productive with the  
platform one knows best.

Bill Northcott
> Duncan Murdoch

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