# R-alpha: plot( pch = <character> ) is slow.. -- why ? --

Martin Maechler Martin Maechler <maechler@stat.math.ethz.ch>
Thu, 3 Jul 1997 17:54:51 +0200

```Can anyone explain this to us :

> unlist(version)
platform                   arch                     os
"sparc-sun-solaris2.5"                "sparc"           "solaris2.5"
system                 status             status.rev
"sparc, solaris2.5"                 "Beta"                    "0"
major                  minor                   year
"0"                   "49"                 "1997"
language
"R"

# (The following is using  x11() and an  Ultrasparc I.
# You should decrease from '20000' if you have a slower machine):

> x <- runif(20000)

> for(i in 1:10) print(unix.time(plot(x)))
[1] 1.66 0.04 3.00 0.00 0.00
[1] 1.33 0.04 2.00 0.00 0.00
[1] 1.68 0.04 3.00 0.00 0.00
[1] 1.40 0.05 2.00 0.00 0.00
[1] 1.67 0.06 2.00 0.00 0.00
[1] 1.44 0.05 3.00 0.00 0.00
[1] 1.68 0.06 2.00 0.00 0.00
[1] 1.38 0.04 2.00 0.00 0.00
[1] 1.66 0.06 2.00 0.00 0.00
[1] 1.41 0.06 3.00 0.00 0.00
>
> for(i in 1:10) print(unix.time(plot(x, pch='-')))
[1]  4.76  3.25 21.00  0.00  0.00
[1]  4.29  2.51 20.00  0.00  0.00
[1]  4.46  2.95 20.00  0.00  0.00
[1]  4.75  2.95 21.00  0.00  0.00
[1]  5.42  2.99 23.00  0.00  0.00
[1]  4.73  3.14 23.00  0.00  0.00
[1]  4.93  3.00 23.00  0.00  0.00
[1]  4.62  3.02 22.00  0.00  0.00
[1]  4.76  3.06 23.00  0.00  0.00
[1]  4.62  2.82 22.00  0.00  0.00
^^^^^
this tells you that the DRAWING PROCESS is the slow thing.
it takes about 10 times longer...

Why is x11 much faster in drawing pch=1 (a circle), than a simple "-" ?
Is this X11's `fault' ?

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```