Re: [Rd] tcltk capability

From: Paul Johnson <>
Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2012 13:18:30 -0500

Sorry I did not see this sooner. Response below:

On Thu, Aug 30, 2012 at 2:48 PM, Gabor Grothendieck <> wrote:
> There are quite a few packages that make use of tcltk and although
> - most R distributions have tcltk capability
> - its possible to query this via capabilities()[["tcltk"]]
> - attempting to build a package that needs it on such an R
> distribution will give a message letting one know
> users still seem to have problems with this.

I agree that packages are using tcltk, but users do so at their peril.  Just loading tcltk breaks multicore functions like mclapply. I don't understand why, you might be able to explain it to me.

tcltk is discouraged, at least to some in R core.

I would really appreciate some guidance on what graphics library I should use to develop GUI for R programs. There's no future in tcltk, apparently, but I don't know what to work with.



> There was recently an R bug report submitted that likely stemmed from
> the user having such a build of R and recently there was also an R
> help post that seemed to be related to this as well. As more and more
> packages add GUI capability these incidents are bound to increase.
> The best situation would be to arrange that every distribution of R
> have tcltk capability but if this is difficult to arrange then I
> suggest there be a message at start up similar to the existing locale
> message letting the user know that the R distribution they are running
> lacks tcltk capability. Preferably the message would be somewhat
> menacing so that users are encouraged to get a different distribution
> of R right from the start.
> This might reduce such problem reports somewhat.
> --
> Statistics & Software Consulting
> GKX Group, GKX Associates Inc.
> tel: 1-877-GKX-GROUP
> email: ggrothendieck at
> ______________________________________________
> mailing list

Paul E. Johnson
Professor, Political Science    Assoc. Director
1541 Lilac Lane, Room 504     Center for Research Methods
University of Kansas               University of Kansas  

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