Re: [R] Making TIFF images with rtiff

From: Prof Brian Ripley <>
Date: Fri 12 Jan 2007 - 16:28:23 GMT

On Fri, 12 Jan 2007, Inman, Brant A. M.D. wrote:

> Thanks to all the responders. Here are some replies to the comments:


> 3)Lack of gratitude by R users.
> It is interesting to note upon reviewing the R-help files that many
> queries (perhaps even the majority?) do, in fact, convey gratitude.
> Unfortunately, I have also noted that there are several messages from R
> developers that appear to feel underappreciated. I suspect that one
> reason that R is experiencing an explosion of users is precisely that
> people appreciate and value the donation of free time provided by
> statistical experts--such as Harrell, Weigand, Ripley and Kort in this
> thread--for the development of accurate and powerful statistical
> software. Furthermore, the support provided for the software in the
> form of R-help is outstanding, again something that I think is part of
> the package deal that is attracting new users to R. In other words, one
> should not assume a general lack of gratitude on behalf of R-help users
> but should see the growth of R as evidence that the software and its
> developpers/supporters are indeed greatly valued. I do not think that R
> would be used much if people did not appreciate the nice packages,
> functions and help provided. Indeed, those of us that have access to
> multiple software programs (I have access to JMP, SPSS, SPLUS and SAS)
> choose R as our primary method of analysis because we feel that the
> sharing environment supported by CRAN is a better way of doing
> statistical computing. Enough said.

I see no mention by anyone of 'gratitude', and nothing relevant above to a thread about graphics devices and formats 'unfortunately'.

What _I_ actually said was

> [I don't recall anyone ever writing to thank us for the PNG or
> JPEG or bitmap drivers, and lack of appreciation does play a part.]

and people _do_ write to thank us for other additions. Areas that people do show appreciation for do tend to get more attention, and things which get frequent negative comment, less.

Had several people said 'the png() device is very useful but what I really need is a TIFF variant', it might exist. What happened is that people commented (and continued to comment) about the difficulty of use and (for some) poor quality of output of the png() and jpeg() devices and separately about the bitmap() device. The idea of adding TIFF variants (which would have identical image quality) was dropped as a result.

So my comment was specific and factual.

For my i686 box rebooted into Windows XP,

Sys.putenv(GS_CMD='C:/packages/gs/gs8.53/bin/gswin32c.exe') bitmap("test.tif", type="tiff24nc")

works. Note that gs's documentation says

   TIFF is a loose collection of formats, now largely superceded by PNG    except in applications where backward compatibility or special    compression is required.

(that is a collection of formats is clear from a reading of the whole Wikipedia entry).

I have little idea which of these formats publishers will accept. I once had one who asked for 32-bit CMYK TIFF and then could not read what gs wrote (and had to subcontract the work to a printer who could). It really is the case that 'loose collection' is true and causes problems.

Brian D. Ripley,        
Professor of Applied Statistics,
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272866 (PA)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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