[R-SIG-Mac] OSX R Gui Data editor

Peter Cowan cowan.pd at gmail.com
Tue Mar 11 06:18:20 CET 2008


I think you may be mixing up the R package Rcmdr [^1] with the Mac OS
X R gui.  I've haven't used Rcmdr in years so I cannot comment on your
issue, but I think you were commenting on the Mac gui.

Yes, I agree that the edit() function leaves a bit to be desired and
using it as the primary data entry point would be painful.  Your
suggestions for improvement would make it more user friendly.
However, the gui currently implements the edit.data.frame() function
which is a part of R (as opposed to the gui) and thus works on other
platforms, it appears to allow editing of row names, but not column
names.  I don't believe it has ever been intended as the primary means
of getting data into R.  It is, however, useful for fixing the
occasional incorrect value in a dataframe.

Perhaps what you are looking for is something along the lines of the
xlsReadWrite package, which purports to read and write Excel files
(though having excel save as csv usually works for me).

If your colleague isn't interesting in learning to use a command line
program, then I suspect that R is not the correct choice for her.
Developing guis is a lot of work, and actually I think that the Mac R
gui is impressive and quite nice to work in compared to the windows

Lastly, please keep in mind that R is an open source project.  The
people who develop have kindly license their work so that we can all,
use it, learn from it, and improve it to match our needs if we desire.


[1] <http://socserv.socsci.mcmaster.ca/jfox/Misc/Rcmdr>

On Mon, Mar 10, 2008 at 1:11 PM, John Walker <john.s.walker at uchsc.edu> wrote:
> G'day
>  I just tried to introduce a naive user to R via doing a t-test on her
>  data using Rcmdr on OS X. Now I'm not sure if this is the right mailing
>  list but I must say that  the introduction was a complete and total
>  failure because of the OSX data editor that is called by Rcmdr. I think
>  this is the one that comes with the R GUI. We tried to enter her data
>  into R and I couldn't do it using the OS X data editor. When I had to go
>  to the command line she was clearly initialy put off by the poor editor
>  and by the need for the command line to fix it.  As she said, "how can I
>  trust a stats program with my important data if they can't get data
>  entry working?". She promptly went back to Instat
>  I know that the criticism she voiced isn't valid and that some learning
>  is required for any program, but I think she has a point. The data
>  editor as it stands is a failure. The idea that you can add a column but
>  not change the variable name and that you have to double click on each
>  cell to enter data is crazy. It is simply a pretty looking window with
>  less functionality than the old x11 interface.
>  I'm aware that the current model is "prepare your data elsewhere and
>  import it into R" but this is an absurd stance. It works for large data
>  sets that statistical experts deal with but then the  casual t-test
>  requires several programs and an import step. A silly approach
>  especially when the data sets are small (about 10-20 entries) and all
>  the user wants to do is a simple t-test.
>  If braoder adoption of R is an aim then the OS X data editor needs to be
>  at least as functional as the X11 one. The ability to double click to
>  change variable names and right click to change the variable type (or
>  menu entries to do this) is important if not essential. The ability to
>  tab to the next data entry slot is also a simple but important function
>  that needs to be included.  Right now it is a barrier to new OS X users
>  who want to try out R using a simple t-test on a small data set.
>  Regards
>  John Walker
>  --
>  John Walker
>  Assistant Professor of Cardiology
>  Department of Medicine
>  University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
>  4200 E. Ninth Ave B130
>  BRB Rm 351
>  Denver CO 80262
>  ph 303 315 0103
>  _______________________________________________
>  R-SIG-Mac mailing list
>  R-SIG-Mac at stat.math.ethz.ch
>  https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-sig-mac

More information about the R-SIG-Mac mailing list