[Fwd: LispStat, R and ViSta [was: Re: Status?]]

Jan de Leeuw deleeuw@stat.ucla.edu
Sun, 18 Aug 2002 21:09:22 -0700

On Sunday, August 18, 2002, at 05:43 PM, Forrest wrote:

> I am very interested in an effort to combine the strengths of LispStat
> and R, but have no clue how it would be done.  From my viewpoint,
> though, it would need to add the three strengths of LispStat (Lisp,
> Objects and Dynamic Graphics) to the existing R environment, and it
> would need to work in all three supported environments -- Windows, Mac,
> and Linux/Unix

Since R has its own object system, and its own array language (with
many of the mapping functions etc from Lisp), I think we would go a long
way towards this goal by just adding dynamic graphics to R (which
people are working on, it seems). In fact, the tcltk interface (which  
exists natively on MSW, X11, and Aqua) already has some mouse
interaction -- see demo(tkcanvas), and quite a bit can be done by
using nonstandard packages such as RGtk (on MSW and X11).

I really hated to give up Lisp (and many lines of existing code), and I  
that extensions such as Vista and Arc are major arguments in favor of
XLS, but it seems that XLS is best as an environment to develop
GUI statistics tools (hiding the lisp) and not as an environment to  
do statistics. Vista and Arc are great for teaching, but raw XLS is not.
In that sense XLS is more like a specialized version of  one of the  
languages such as Ruby or Python or VB or Tcl/Tk.

So basically, it would be great if the capability to write GUI  
packages on top of raw R would be part of R -- this includes dynamic
graphics, but it also includes a library of widgets. My feeling is that
the current possibilities (tcltk and RGtk) are too far removed from the
core of R.

Jan de Leeuw; Professor and Chair, UCLA Department of Statistics;
US mail: 9432 Boelter Hall, Box 951554, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1554
phone (310)-825-9550;  fax (310)-206-5658;  email: deleeuw@stat.ucla.edu
homepage: http://gifi.stat.ucla.edu
           No matter where you go, there you are. --- Buckaroo Banzai

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