[R-SIG-Mac] Congratulations for R.app

Duncan Murdoch murdoch at stats.uwo.ca
Fri Apr 27 02:59:21 CEST 2007

On 4/26/2007 7:55 PM, Chabot Denis wrote:
> Hi,
> I've used R.app ever since starting to use R on the Mac and posted  
> here a few times. But today I helped a friend who is just starting  
> using R on a PC. I thus got my first encounter with RGui.
> Well, I was always grateful to those who gave us R.app. But now that  
> I've seen RGui, I have to officially congratulate Simon and Stefano.  
> R.app is more polished than the Windows program. For instance, my  
> friend clicked on the up arrow to get the previous command back into  
> the console. If he wanted to run it again but had to first change the  
> name of the variable to the very left of the statement, he pressed  
> backspace until he was back to the left and made his change. I said  
> "why don't you just position the cursor there and modify the variable  
> name. He said the mouse did not move the cursor in the console! I'd  
> go mad. Mind you, I did not use RGui myself and maybe the problem is  
> that my friend is too new with R, but even a beginner would be able  
> to position the cursor in R.app.

I think this is a result of the fact that Rgui doesn't use a standard 
Windows control for the console, it uses a really old toolkit (a 1998 
version of Graphapp).  But I had never noticed the particular flaw 
you're talking about:  when I'm typing I mostly use the keyboard, not 
the mouse.

One way in which I like Rgui better than R.app:  you can copy prompts 
and all, and paste just the commands, e.g. I could copy the lines

 > x <- paste("a",
+            "b")

and not have to edit out the prompts before pasting into the console. 
(Use "Paste commands only".) On the other hand, R.app treats pasted text 
as a unit, so it's easier to scroll back a block at a time.  I don't 
like the way R.app lets the cursor go to places where input isn't 
allowed:  it means the arrow keys mean different things depending on 
what you've done recently (e.g. click on the line above the input line, 
and up arrow moves the cursor up; but if you move it down to the input 
line, then up arrow scrolls through the history).

> There seems to be little that is available through menus in the  
> Windows version.

I'm not sure what you mean by this:  what sort of things do you want? 
There's no data browser, but other than that (and I admit it's a big 
omission) most of what I see in the menus seems to have Windows equivalents.

> So thank you very much, Simon and Stefano. And I just found out that  
> R 2.5 and a new version of R.app were out. I'm goint to try this  
> right now!

I agree with this.  Thanks Simon and Stefano.  It's great to have some 
active GUI development going on.

Duncan Murdoch

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