[Rd] Link R with Tcl 8.6 on Windows

Adrian Waddell adrian at waddell.ch
Tue Sep 29 02:32:30 CEST 2015

OK, I have the answers to my questions:

The GUI error in Windows happens for the sequence: create a toplevel in 
Tcl, set an icon, pack something. A small self contained example is:



     set icon [image create photo -width 30 -height 20]

     $icon put blue -to 0 0 30 20; $icon put yellow -to 0 6 30 11

      proc foo {} {

         set i 0

         while {[winfo exists .w$i]} {

             incr i


         toplevel .w$i

         wm iconphoto .w$i $::icon

         canvas .w$i.c -bg steelblue

         pack .w$i.c -fill both -expand TRUE




Not setting the icon or replacing the "toplevel .w$i" command with the 
tktoplevel() R callback will fix the problem.

As for linking Tcl version 8.6 with R under Windows: I have compiled R 
against ActiveTcl version 8.6 which works without the necessity of 
copying and renaming the dlls. So far, ActiveTcl 8.6 works well.


On 2015-09-28 07:36 PM, Adrian Waddell wrote:
> Dear all,
> I am working on an R package intended for CRAN that requires Tcl version
> 8.6 because of the TclOO tcl extension and the -angle option for canvas
> text items.
> R for Windows currently still ships with Tcl 8.5. Does anyone have
> experience with linking R under Windows to a Tcl interpreter of version 8.6?
> When I link R 3.2.2 (installed from the binary on Windows 8) to a custom
> Tcl installation of version 8.6 (e.g. from ActiveState for both 32bit or
> 64bit) using the MY_TCLTK environment variable, then loading the tcltk
> package will result with a tk85.dll not found error. This problem can be
> “fixed” by copying and renaming the tk86.dll and the tcl86.dll files in
> the bin folder of the activetcl installation to tk85.dll and tcl85.dll.
> However, this setup does not work well for me; sometimes, when creating
> a number of involved toplevel windows at once, some of them are not
> created properly and are left completely unresponsive, see the attached
> image. I have not managed to create a small contained example so far.
> But I can share my code, if necessary.
> Is there a reason that under Windows R looks for the tk85.dll in
> particular, effectively forcing the Tcl version to 8.5? Also, does
> anyone know a remedy to this gui error?
> Thanks,
> Adrian Waddell
>  > sessionInfo()
> R version 3.2.2 (2015-08-14)
> Platform: i386-w64-mingw32/i386 (32-bit)
> Running under: Windows 8 x64 (build 9200)
> locale:
>      [1] LC_COLLATE=English_Canada.1252  LC_CTYPE=English_Canada.1252
> [3] LC_MONETARY=English_Canada.1252 LC_NUMERIC=C
> [5] LC_TIME=English_Canada.1252
> attached base packages:
>      [1] tools     tcltk     stats     graphics  grDevices utils
> datasets
> [8] methods   base
> other attached packages:
>      [1] loon_0.8.4.4

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