[Rd] Adding Tk extensions to R for windows

Marsland, John John.Marsland at CommerzbankIB.com
Tue Sep 30 12:34:27 MEST 2003

Have you tried to make R under MSYS/MinGW, there would seem to be some
obvious benefits to this over the current collection of Cygwin tools? In the
end I don't think a separate windows install of R should be needed... in
much the same way as the separate apple mac install has been discontinued in
1.8.0 now they have the osX/fink setup. I've had a play at configuring and
making R with MSYS and I seem to be able to get quite a long way down the
process, but I'd be interested in your views since you obviously have much
more experience in this area.

John Marsland

> -----Original Message-----
> From: wettenhall at wehi.EDU.AU [mailto:wettenhall at wehi.EDU.AU]
> Sent: 30 September 2003 08:42
> To: r-devel at stat.math.ethz.ch
> Subject: [Rd] Adding Tk extensions to R for windows
> Hi,
> I'm developing an R/TclTk application which uses the BWidget and
> Tktable Tk extensions and I'm trying to make it easy to install.
> For now, I'm focusing on Windows users who start with nothing.
> I have built Tcl/Tk and Tktable for windows using Msys/MinGW.
> (BWidget contains only Tcl scripts so does not need building.)
> I have then copied Tktable and BWidget into the lib subdirectory
> of the Tcl directory in R source, created by unzipping R_Tcl.zip
> from Brian Ripley's webpage.  (I should also try creating the
> entire R_Tcl.zip myself, rather than mixing and matching.)
> Finally I have followed the instructions in src/gnuwin32/INSTALL
> including "make distribution" which has built
> an R installation wizard including the Tk extensions.
> It seems to work fine and I don't think I've violated any
> license agreements - it's my understanding that Tktable and
> BWidget source (both on sourceforge) are under BSD, like the other
> Tcl already included with R.
> Of course some would say that you can build faster and smaller Tcl
> libraries using Visual C++.  I didn't notice much difference with my
> application running Tktable.  I did try buildling Tcl/Tk with the
> free version of VC++.NET SDK but nmake -f makefile.vc in
> Tcl_source/win/ complained that vcvars32.bat needed to be run.  The
> latest version of the (free) VC++.NET SDK seems to only have 
> sdkvars.bat,
> which does something similar to vcvars32.bat (i.e. set PATH, INCLUDE,
> LIB and NetSamplePath), but running it didn't seem to help so I turned
> to Msys/MinGW.  Maybe I should buy the full Visual C++/Visual Studio?
> I'm wondering whether anyone would like to point out any potential
> problems (license or otherwise) with distributing a customized R
> installation wizard.
> Also, I would be happy to become involved in the maintenance/testing
> of R_Tcl.zip for windows if I'm qualified, but I suppose this would
> require buying the full Visual C++/Visual Studio, right?
> If there is sufficient building/testing from volunteers, are 
> the R core
> developers considering bundling more Tcl/Tk packages with R, 
> or does the
> problem of HOW MANY packages/megabytes to add mean that there 
> would always
> have to be a separate "batteries included" installation wizard?
> Regards,
> James
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