[R-SIG-Mac] tcltk causes help() to hang in R 4.2.0 on macOS

John Fox j|ox @end|ng |rom mcm@@ter@c@
Sat May 28 19:36:40 CEST 2022

Dear R-sig-mac list members,

I've discovered that loading the tcltk package apparently causes R 4.2.0 
(including the current patched version) to hang on an M1 Mac.

Try, e.g.,


My session info:

------- snip -------

 > sessionInfo()
R version 4.2.0 Patched (2022-05-28 r82413)
Platform: aarch64-apple-darwin20 (64-bit)
Running under: macOS Monterey 12.3.1

Matrix products: default

[1] en_US.UTF-8/en_US.UTF-8/en_US.UTF-8/C/en_US.UTF-8/en_US.UTF-8

attached base packages:
[1] tcltk     stats     graphics  grDevices utils     datasets  methods
[8] base

loaded via a namespace (and not attached):
[1] compiler_4.2.0

------- snip -------

Some additional details: The problem occurs both in the R macOS console 
and, if options(help_type="html"), when R is run in a terminal window on 
macOS, but not when options(help_type="text"). The former is the default 
in the Mac R console, the latter when R is run in a terminal.

The problem is apparently new in R 4.2.0 -- it doesn't, e.g., occur in R 
4.1.3. My apologies for not turning it up earlier.

I discovered the problem when accessing help in the Rcmdr GUI, which 
uses tcltk, caused R to hang.

Has anyone else encountered this problem?

John Fox, Professor Emeritus
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
web: https://socialsciences.mcmaster.ca/jfox/

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